Friday, August 8, 2008

Beds for sale in Bellingham

I think that here is where the trip started to get interesting. We walk in the door and there's a ton of people, many of whom we know, and know well. So we have a little meet and greet and go to get our tickets. The line for this was moderately long, but I took my place at the end only to hear people up at the window calling for me. So, I head up there to find out what the ruckus is for. I didn't know these folks at all. Turns out, it's the other ladies who are with my workshop and they're trying to get their tickets (but they can't cause they're listed as being with my "party"). So I inevitably skipped the line to handle the situation. A little back story to the back story here - my budget funded the trip for 5 people who were attending the workshop (ferry fare and accommodations).

I'd been afraid (for a few weeks at this point), that the ferry system was screwing up my room requests. When I made the reservations way back in January I requested 1 room with 4 beds, and 1 room with 2 beds - they put me on a waiting list and said they'd let me know if they came available. Shortly thereafter I spoke with the convention director who told me she had reserved 2 rooms for me with 4 beds each. I went ahead and took them and paid for them fearing that might be the only way we'd have a place to sleep. I called the ferry back and said I'd just like to reserve 1 room with 2 beds so that I could trade it for one of the ones with 4 beds (which I already had secured and paid for) when and if it became available. Are you lost yet? Apparently the ferry people were lost.

Over the winter and early spring I had numerous conversations with a girl named Fini up in Alaska who tried to sort out my room situation, but to no avail. She would call me at home and leave a message or talk to Brad and give me the status of the "room situation." By the time I was on the plane to Seattle I was 100% positive that I was now the proud owner of 4 rooms (a total of 14 beds) when I only needed 2 rooms (a total of 6 beds).

Back to the port in Bellingham now... I ask the guy in the window - "I think I have a major rooming issue. Do I talk to you about that, or someone else?" He says it's most likely him and we'll get it straighted out. Once we figured out who the initial 2 rooms with 4 beds were booked under, everything went quite smoothly, but that was a bit of a process (since I wasn't the person who had actually booked the rooms). I was able to relinquish the extra 4 bed room, but still walked away in possession of (and having paid for) 2 rooms with 4 beds and 1 room with 2 beds. I only needed 1 room with 4 beds and 1 room with 2 beds. I approached the convention director to see if anyone might want to "buy" the room from me. It was, after all, the closest thing to a suite that a ferry boat offers. A room with a full bath, 4 beds, and a table and chairs. See as it's the nicest thing available, one might imagine that it's also the most expensive thing available. At $533 for the trip, it wasn't an easy thing to unload.

Thank God for wealthy Asian folks. Is it just me or are there alot of wealthy Asian folks. I feel like I know my fair share of people from Asian countries and all of them are doing VERY well for themselves. I applaud this as it's certainly not a smear on their culture, but rather something to be admired. Yes, I'm digressing. So, we just so happened to have Dr. Suzuki with us on our convention and yes, he was very interested in buying the room from me, but he didn't have $533 cash on him (gosh, what WAS he thinking). No sweat, we can just bill him! So, Dr. Suzuki and family took the room off my hands. The funniest part to this story was when we got on the boat and went to the pursers desk to get our room keys. I put down my boarding pass with the two 4 berth "suites" listed. The purser said "oh my!" and I replied "yes, we're high rollers."

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