This past weekend one of my writing buddies—to protect the innocent we’ll call her “Lola”—and I went up to Park City for a little writing retreat.
We did this last year. Rooms in Park City are dirt cheap in the fall, especially if you don’t mind staying a few blocks from main street. Last year we ended up being one of two sets of people in this HUGE hotel. The hallways were orange with this crazy light that made it feel creepy. The lack of people didn’t help, and neither did the odd smell that permeated the whole place.
This year I decided we should upgrade from the creepy hotel to a semi-reputable condo.
Lola and I sometimes don’t share well. Mostly her. So we got a condo with two rooms. And again, it was dirt cheap. Seriously. We paid in dirt.
No we didn’t. But that would be cool.
Anyway, the thing about Park City in the fall is that none of the hotels have people on staff at the front desk after 5pm. I’d called ahead to tell them we would be late, and they told me where to go and the number to call.
I only panicked a little when first, I dialed the wrong number and second, they couldn’t find my reservation. But Mary something or other worked it out rather quickly. We got the lock box open, acquired our key and headed down to the condos.
Another thing about Park City…there are no lights. At least not where we were staying. So finding our building took a bit of vulturing. The garage code actually worked the first time and we were in.
Lola had the brilliant idea to NOT bring our luggage (which was formidable for only a few days) while we searched for our room.
We thought our number was 2011, and tromped all around the deck of the building on the second floor for a good five minutes trying to find it.
Let’s mention that it’s about 10 degrees outside by this point. Good thing we didn’t bring the luggage.
The only room that we thought could be ours was 201. (You know, a type-o or whatever.) But, of all 10 rooms on the second floor, that was the only one that was inhabited. Everything else was dark.
Lola wanted to knock on the door. I’m not a big fan of talking to strangers, so I gave in and called Mary something or other back. Just as Mary picked up, Lola came running back to me, waving the envelope we’d gotten out of the lock box.
I’d been looking at the wireless network password. The room number was 106.
I thanked Mary something for answering the phone, hung up on her and we went down to the first floor.
Room 106 sat neatly nestled between 105 and 107. I pulled out the key (a real, metal key) and stared at the lock.
It was a combination lock.
We had no combination in our paperwork. Just a metal key.
So we called Mary something back. Good thing she’s awesome, because she got us a code and we were in!
We hustled inside, seeking shelter from the unseasonably cool air, and were dismayed to find that it was almost as cold outside as it was inside.
The furnace control hunt commenced, and once located, we kicked it up to 80 degrees.
Nothing happened. At all. For fifteen minutes. Every time a car came by we hoped it was the heater, but to no avail.
Mary something had a really fun night with us. We called her again, and she called the maintenance man. While he was coming, Lola tried to get the cable on the TV to work. She did a face to face with husband on her phone and they tried to trouble shoot the TV. Her kids kept asking why we were wearing our coats and scarves inside.
We should have come up with a better answer than, “Because the heater isn’t working.” Something along the lines of a rift in space or that we’d been sucked through some sort of worm hole.
After about 40 minutes, the maintenance man came. Yay for the maintenance guy! He walked through and went out a door opposite the door we came in.
Guess where that metal key worked?
Lucky for us, he was completely competent. He lit the pilot light for the furnace, lit the gas fireplace, got the cable working (which we never did turned on again—not shocking) and left.
Now that’s the way to start a writing weekend. I’m pretty sure that’s why we did so well with our word count. Start with adventure and writing ensued from there!