19 October 2009

On the Upside, There Were No Mountain Lions

I don't usually use this blog to talk about specifics of my life or what I've been up to lately. I have another blog for that, and it is appropriately pathetic. But I just got back from a trip to Tucson and suffice it to say that an acid trip would have been less upsetting.

I got directions to the hotel from the hotel's website. It was fairly specific, down to the fact that one road would change names after I'd been on it a few miles. However, it then specified that I needed to stay on said road with changed name, so when I was on Skyline and saw that I needed to turn left to stay on Skyline (the road was, just for the hell of it, changing names again, which the website didn't mention), I turned left. There are a number of places in Tucson where, for reasons unknown, the same street intersects itself. Skyline intersects Skyline, Sabino Canyon intersects Sabino Canyon, and Kolb runs parallel to Kolb in one place. Sort of a nexus-of-the-universe thing.

I should not have turned left. As it turns out, I needed to stay on Sunrise, which was once Skyline, which was once Ina. It would have been nice if the website had mentioned that.

But Jill, you might say, how hard could it have been to find a giant resort built into the side of a mountain? And perhaps I could have found it by myself had it been daylight. But this was Tucson, and for reasons I can't explain, they aren't big on things like streetlights or signs or roads that go in straight lines or roads that actually lead somewhere. But they especially hate lights - I have never been in a darker city. I think there may be some sort of city ordinance where no one is allowed to use anything brighter than a ten-watt light bulb, even outside. The hotel wasn't lit up and the street wasn't lit up.

After an hour or so of trying to find my way around Tucson, I found the hotel. My mother checked into the hotel. It's supposed to be this luxury resort. Well, I don't know where all the money goes, but it isn't into their electric bill. We drove around the hotel for ten minutes trying to find the parking lot by our room, but again, it was too dark to see where I was going. We returned to the lobby area and one of the valets drove a golf cart in front of us to show us where to go.

The hotel is quite literally built into the side of a mountain. Our room, which had an outdoor entrance, faced this:

My mother was afraid that a mountain lion was going to come down and eat us. I was more concerned about the unusually large cockroaches, several of which seemed to be enjoying the lack of light around the hotel. We got into our room. My mother claimed one bed, so I went to the other one. It had hair on it. I don't mean two or three long hairs. It looked like this all over the bed:

Apparently, the Wolfman is on the housekeeping staff. I am highly allergic to dogs and their fur, but Loews prides itself on being a pet-friendly chain of hotels, which apparently means dogs are allowed to frolic in freshly-cleaned rooms. I found hairs in the bathroom as well. The front desk was called, and hell was raised. I got fresh bedding. I inspected it closely for more mystery hairs. It seemed to be okay so I went to bed. I was looking forward to seeing Tucson during the day. Unfortunately, the money and marketing conference my mother and I were attending went from 8:30am to 5:30pm, so by the time we got out, it was too dark to do anything. I gave up on having any sort of good time and commenced drawing cartoons in my notebook.

We checked in on Wednesday night, and while I was waiting for housekeeping to de-fur my bed, I looked out on the balcony. There was a grassy sort of area outside the patio and a woman was walking one of those nasty little furry crap machines - pomegranates or whatever they're called. So on Saturday night, when I heard a strange grunting bark outside, I figured someone else was walking a dog out there. But the dog sounded sick. Really sick. And angry. I opened the curtains to see what sort of dog it was.

It wasn't a dog. It was a pack of javelinas. Javelinas, or collared peccaries, are a sort of wild desert hog. They are alarmingly large and noisy, and they were hungry. I'm an idiot, so I went out on the patio with my camera. Of course, it was too dark to get a good shot. Not because it was night time, but because there are about two light bulbs lighting up the whole of the outer hotel.

I saw the javis again in the parking lot on the way to find a Denny's. I almost ran one over with my mother's Highlander. But the car's headlights illuminated them a bit better, and I got this picture:

Apparently, my mother should have been more concerned about javelinas than about mountain lions. There was also a frog by the ice machine, and a coati by the swimming pool, and of course the world's largest cockroach hanging out on the stairs, and a few grasshoppers that were determined to gain entry into our room. The mountains are indeed beautiful, but it was all just a bit too much nature for me.

I've decided I hate Tucson. I don't ever want to go back. Maybe someday, if they decide to invest in lighting. But I'm getting a room inside, and I'm taking a gun in case the javelinas get aggressive.

1 comment:

patrice stanford said...

Holy crap! I think I would have slept in the car. I HATE motel rooms. Don't like the idea that someone else did who knows what in the same bed I plan on sleeping in. From now on I am taking my own sheets and blankets. Really, I am.