In which she books six hotel rooms for three nights’ stay

by DaniGirl on June 8, 2010 · 8 comments

in Away we go

Clearly, I have missed my calling in life. I should have been a travel agent, because I am so embarrassingly good at vacation planning that I currently have six hotel rooms booked in four cities for three nights of travel. Overcompensate much?

First, I booked a room in Edmunston, NB for one night on our way out to Nova Scotia and one night on our way home. That was back some time when it was cold and we had only a nebulous plan of attack to conquer the 16 hour drive to Nova Scotia. Then y’all chimed in with your really wonderful suggestions, and we changed the plan so we overnight in Grand Falls, NB on the way out, nullifying the need for the Edmunston booking (note to self, must cancel Edmuston booking) on the first night.

We also changed the plan for the drive home, extending the trip by a night for a more leisurely trip home. Now we take the ferry across from Digby, NS to St John, NB the first day and stay in St John. After a midmorning visit with the divine Mad Hatter in Fredericton, we sojourn in Riviere-du-Loup at this adorable and incredibly affordable cottage recommended by one of my colleagues. (Note to self, also cancel second booking in Edmunston for homeward leg.)

In agonizing over hotels in St John — a hotel which we will barely see because the ferry arrives at 7 pm, the kids’ bedtime is around 8 pm and we will be departing as early as possible the next morning — I realized that I could perhaps use some of my Air Miles that I have been ferreting away since 1987. After spending 20 minutes on hold not once but twice yesterday with the Air Miles peeps, I booked a room at the Hilton on the understanding that I could offset the cost of the room by cashing in an Air Miles gift certificate. Imagine my delight when I realized that the $115 nightly rate I found online couldn’t be honoured with the $100 gift certificate I would buy with 20 years worth of carefully collected Air Miles. In fact, the rate would be $169 plus taxes, plus parking, plus who knows what else, so even with the gift certificate I’d be paying close to $100 out of pocket plus squandering a lifetime collection of Air Miles.

In a pique of annoyance, while waiting on hold for more than 30 minutes for clarification from an Air Miles agent, I also booked a room online at the Holiday Inn Express in St John for very nearly the same price I’d pay above and beyond the Air Miles gift certificate. (Note to self: cancel Hilton reservation, too.)

If you’re counting, that’s two bookings for the same night on the way out (one in Edmunston and one in Grand Falls) plus three bookings for the first night of travel back home (two bookings in St John and another one in Edmunston) plus the one for the last night in Riviere-du-Loup.

I’m a serial reservationist. Stop me before I book again!

The irony in all this is that in fact, most hotels seem to think we will in fact need six hotel rooms for three nights of traveling, because despite the fact that my kids have a collective age of 16 and a collective body weight of about 130 lbs, we’re expected to book two rooms because we’re a party of five. Hmmm, which one do you think should sleep in the car, the baby, the six year old or the eight year old? Sheesh.


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lara June 8, 2010 at 11:32 am

THIS is why I don’t ever want to plan a vacation. i would make myself insane πŸ˜‰ It’s going to be a fabulous trip though!!

2 A Crafty Mom June 8, 2010 at 11:56 am

I always over book hotels too – and we always do one room. This may be tricky this summer, as my daughter is not in her crib anymore and she is not keen to sleep in the pack and play. So we will likely bring our small blow up mattress and she can sleep on the floor.

My sister lives in Saint John so we always stay with her πŸ™‚ The Holiday Inn Select in Saint John is very nice, it will be perfect for you. The Digby Ferry is lovely too, but if it’s a rough day bring gravol – it’s not bad if you don’t have a weak stomach, but my oldest son and I both have motion sickness so we can’t get across the water without hurling (sorry for that mom & son puking imagery!) without our gravol.

I am still not sure where I will book this summer – we are leaving on a Saturday and need to be on the south shore of NS by Sunday afternoon. We think we’ll do some crazy nighttime driving – get up at 3:00 a.m. and hope the kids sleep for a big stretch to cut down our time. We are doing “some” camping but I told my hubby no way I am sleeping in a tent with three kids after 8-10 hours of driving.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is it always goes better than you think. Bring lots to keep the kids busy in the car . . . our portable DVD player just broke so I’m breaking out in sweats over here πŸ™‚ My two oldest are often fine, the two year old hits points where she wants OUT and NOW!!

3 Brenda June 8, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Dani,
As a family of 6, we always book our rooms as a family of 4 and bring an airmattress or request a cot. Hotels have little understanding in that area!

Do you think Lucas could sleep between your other two munchkins to avoid the cot this time around?

4 coffee with julie June 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm

*sigh* I have been rethinking my entire original vacay plans since our last weekend road trip. I’ve been avoiding it actually, and your posts just remind me what I’m *supposed* to be doing! Maybe we can just tag along and stay in all the extra hotel rooms that you’ve booked. That sure would save me lots of planning time. hee hee!

5 Carly @ The Tree June 8, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Yikes! So glad you got it all sorted out (I’m so tired I actually just wrote “gotted” instead of “got it” . . . and now I can’t believe I just admitted that in writing) and I’m glad you’re not staying in Edmunston during your travels. No offense to the surely kind folks who live there and it does make for a convenient half-way mark stop on the way from Ottawa to the East coast, but boy it sure ain’t a pretty town.

I love Riviere-de-Loup though and hope you enjoy your stay – someday if you’re ever out that way with Beloved alone, there’s a gorgeous B&B I’d recommend.

:o)

P.S.
Captcha: whinier

6 2Hirondelles June 9, 2010 at 10:19 am

I’m told my mother has ‘fond’ memories of me as a young child and that ferry, also involving motion sickness. Guess it has rightly earned its reputation. This post is why I believe that being the mother of a household of 5 qualifies one for virtually any white-collar job at any level by the time the kids have all left home. By the time it’s all over, you’ll need another 5-day vacation just by yourself to recover from the organization and co-ordination exhaustion!

7 Amber June 10, 2010 at 12:35 am

Your HUSBAND should sleep in the car. Of course. πŸ˜‰

8 DaniGirl June 10, 2010 at 7:35 am

LOL Amber, after that much time in close quarters with the kids, we may be arguing for who *gets* to sleep in the car!

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