Travel Tips


I’d like to take a brief break from talking about writing and my efforts to publish my novels to talk about travel tips. Here is tip #1. Always call the hotel to confirm your reservation.

Kim and I are going to the Fancy Food Show in NYC. It’s always a great show. We booked, once again, through the Fancy Food shows travel consultants and aggregators, Travel Planners. We’ve gone to many of these shows, all different types, including the New York Gift Show, and never had a problem. But, when I called the Essex House, now owned by Marriott, they could not find my reservation.

(The frustrating part was, I was in the car, I did not have the confirmation number AND even if I had had it, it would have been the Travel Planners confirmation number and not the Essex House confirmation number. So, after our trip to Albany, running various errands and having lunch in the Big City, we returned home to only find more frustration waiting for us. That and a boatload of bromine and chemicals and parts for the pool.

One of my errands was to get another bottle of Bleu de Channel. It’s my summer fragrance. Many people think it’s good for winter but I am slowly coming around to the idea it’s a summer fragrance. So, I spent some time looking for Creed samples at the malls and department stores to no avail. Though I did get some shower gel at the Body Shop. Moringa! My favorite.)

I then called back Travel Planners and they said it was sent over yesterday and that the Essex House, which is a fine hotel, probably had not put it into their reservation scheme. (I probably should say “system” here but the way I felt, blocked at every turn, having to wait till the last second, “scheme” just fits better.) The reason I called the hotel was to tell them that we would be arriving on the check-in day very early and to see if we could be accommodated. I am very glad we’re staying in the Essex House. Last time we stayed at the Algonquin. I love the Algonquin but their food, I thought, was a little heavy handed. I’m trying to convince Kim to go to Yum Cha (饮茶)! Also known as Ban ming (品茗). Yum cha means drink tea and it is a special lunch or dinner where all the plates are a la carte and special. I love the Silver Palace but have not been there in a long time. Maybe we’ll go to the empanada place my brother John and his girlfriend Carla turned us on to. Last time we went to the Fancy Food Show, I had a cold. To add insult to injury, we had reservations at Per Se. I could not taste anything to save my life. 🙁

When I was growing up, I learned a valuable lesson. Sometimes you ate the berries and sometime the berries ate you and sometimes it doesn’t pay to go into the woods. (If this doesn’t make any sense substitute bear for berries. I know, a strange saying but that’s what we said.) So, I am imparting another lesson. ALWAYS confirm your reservations WITH the hotel not the aggregator no matter how reliable they are. Travel Planners has been very reliable but I am still going to have my secretary call and confirm. She’ll be in tomorrow and by tomorrow they should have my reservations in the database. Fingers crossed.

I almost forgot. I am up to 27K words on Book #4 and I like the way it is shaping up. I have brought some new characters into the story. Erin has come back, sort of, and our old semi-villain, semi-hero, or dark hero or maybe light villain, Reggie Hasenpfeffer is back. Book #4 is very much concerned with the wacky Human guests. No more spoilers. Let’s see what would be my summary sentences for this book? The inn guests have found the source of eternal youth in the Greenwich Arms’ pool or have they? Or perhaps, another question, guess who is plotting to take over the inn and rule the Omniverse?

Mark Vincent LaPolla Novels Writer Inn at the Crossroads Star Crossed

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