Friday, 15 May 2015

Poly Bear

I've been staying in Lincoln City, Oregon in the Surftides Motel. It's an older property but it has been well maintained. The motel is right on the beach; you can take the elevator down the the second floor and walk down the ramp, or roll down the ramp as I did, to the upper part of the beach. There is a lower part down to the sand; unfortunately sand and wheelchairs don't go well together, even with my free wheel. I've tried.

Another hotel in this area is The Inn At Spanish Head. I've stayed there too, about 20 odd years ago. I remember that trip, that hotel, very well thanks to three separate events; one bad, one good, and one memorable.

Back in those days we traveled a lot in our mini-van. On this particular trip we were making our way up the coast, staying at motels as we went. The whole process of selecting a motel each night caused major stress between my then wife and I. My ex-wife was, and still is, all about the cost of something, all about the money. As one wise person said to me, "She knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing." Getting a motel was a nightmare; they all cost too much or were wrong for other reasons. No choice was the right choice for my ex-wife.

We had been through this fight in the prior several days; by the time we got to Lincoln City I had had enough. I simply chose a place I liked and we stayed there, notwithstanding the verbal slicing I got for my decision. The hotel was The Inn At Spanish Head, or as my kids called it, the upside down hotel. The lobby was on the top floor and you went down in the elevator to your room, and ultimately to the beach below. It was a real fight to get it; I paid an emotional price. I remember that.

Then a good thing happened. The kids absolutely loved the hotel. They loved that it was upside down. They loved that they could take the elevator down to the beach. They loved that they could go on their own while Mom and Dad watched from the balcony above. The kids had an absolutely terrific time and, after a suitable period of anger, so did my ex-wife. We had a great stay, although somewhat tarnished by the squabble over money.

When we headed home, a day or so later, we were about four hours away from Lincoln City when Meaghan, our second daughter, realized she had left her Gundt Poly Bear behind in the room. This was a disaster, a crisis of the first order, until I told her that I would simply call the hotel and have them Fed-Ex Poly home to us. We drove the 8 hours home, something I could do easily in those days, and then called the hotel.

The Inn At Spanish Head handled it well. They took my Fed-Ex account number, packaged Poly into the smallest possible container, and shipped him home. It cost me more for the Fed-Ex than it would have to buy a new Poly Bear. But I knew the value of Poly to Meaghan. She was so happy when that package arrived and she had her beloved bear once again. It was worth it.