Aby-a-Day – August 6: Bad Experience Turned Awesome at the Holiday Inn (Hipstamatic Monday)

This weekend’s CFA show, hosted by the Half-Moon Cat Club, was held at the Holiday Inn in Mansfield. This is one of my favourite shows to go to; it’s a nice place, the hotel restaurant is awesome, and it’s really easy to get to by MBTA Commuter Rail and the hotel’s shuttle. You don’t have to stay at the hotel to use their shuttle service, which is excellent. But it’s also where we ran into a little trouble. You see, the train only comes in two hour intervals, and the show ended and we were packed up with only a little time to spare before the 5:24pm train back to Boston was scheduled. And those trains don’t wait around if you’re late. Oh, sure, they’re late all the time, but if you’re a passenger they’re merciless..

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So after the show was over, Jacoby and I had enough time to get the shuttle to the station – it isn’t far at all – but we only had just enough time to get there. The girl at the front desk called the shuttle driver, we went outside, and… Nothing happened. Nobody came. I could see the van, parked a ways away across the parking lot, but I didn’t see anyone inside. My husband called to see if I was at the station yet, and I told him no, but almost – I was waiting for the shuttle.

Then I noticed someone was in the van. Okay, so he’s just getting in, he’s coming, it’s all good…except it wasn’t. Nothing happened.

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Finally I noticed he was…waving? at me. I looked down at my duffle, laptop, my showcage bag, and Jake’s bag on the bench, then looked at the van and sighed. I thought they were supposed to come up under the canopy, but okay. My rolling duffle bag doesn’t have great balance by itself and I had the showcage bag attached, and while I was dragging my things to the van, I went over a crack in the pavement and the bag tipped over. It was heavy and awkward to get straightened out, and I ended up almost tearing off a toenail in the process. Meanwhile, the guy is still sitting in the van’s driver’s seat.

I’m starting to have a bad feeling about this…I finally get the bag upright again, slinging the showcage bag over a shoulder instead, and walk over the the van’s side door and try to open it. It’s locked. Finally, Mr. Helpful opened his door, walked around the other side of the van, went to the back and said, “You wanna bring this back here?”

Really? I walked to the back and stood there a moment; he didn’t offer to help me with my bag, let alone lift it for me, until I kind of looked at him. “I didn’t realise you were here,” I said. I thought you guys came up to the door.” I think he may have grunted. Then I asked, “Do we still have time to get the to the MBTA Commuter Rail stop? I need to catch the train at 5:24.” With all the trying to get my bag over there, I didn’t know what time it was.

He looked at me like I was stupid and said, “No. You missed it.” Then he started to lift my bag.

“I missed it? Are you kidding me?” I know know what you call his response; it was kind of like a shrug, but with more apathy. “You know what? Never mind. The next train isn’t for another two hours. When I came out to wait, I had time to make the 5:24.”

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I was not happy. I went back to the front desk to ask for a manager. When she came out, I told her the whole story. And then I called my husband to come pick me up. The whole point of going to shows at Mansfield is that I can take the train for them and not have to rely on anyone to drive me, so I was a little annoyed. She told me that the shuttle driver was supposed to come to the door, and I was standing in the right place; the driver was absolutely meant to offer to help me with my bags, especially when I was travelling with a lot of stuff and/or a pet (and I had both). She said everything he’d done was unacceptable and that she would find him and talk to him.

She also offered to pay for dinner for both me and my husband, which she didn’t have to do…but I love their restaurant so I accepted.

It takes about an hour to drive from Boston to Mansfield, so I settled in by an outlet with Jacoby.

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I was attended by George from the restaurant, who not only took my order and brought me seltzer, but he even brought Jake some hamburger to eat while we were waiting!

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And fish crackers, too.

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So even though we had to wait a little longer to get home, we had a pretty nice time. Fish crackers, like cats, make everything better.

Aby-a-Day Upheaval: Remember this post about CafePress?

This one, where I mentioned:

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I made one of these Kor water bottles for myself, and I didn’t realise at the time that it was going to be available to anyone to purchase…but, it is!

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Here’s a close-up of the photo of Jacoby; I made it as large as I could on the bottle.

Kor water bottles are really awesome. I think they may be the best water bottles I’ve ever used. They have a nice handle, easy-access lid that’s attached, nice drinking opening…and this really cool thing called “stones” by which you can put a photo or any flat item under the lid where you will see it everytime you drink!

Their stones are made of some kind of waterproof paper, but they’ll have a way to customise them yourself on their site, and, they’re water-resistant, so you can laminate the photo and it’ll be fine (at least, mine are, so far). CafePress only has two colours available, Fuschia and Blue, but you can buy replacement rings and caps for the stones and adapt the colour at least a little.

Well, guess what? I just opened the Aby-a-Day Cafepress Show…where we’re serious about our cats on the internet! Granted, it’s a work in progress (I know, I KNOW, those are not Abys on the shop home page, and as soon as I figure out how to customise the template, you better believe that’s gonna change), and not all the products are entirely ready for sale yet (they’re placeholders while I fix the images to fit the products better, But “I promise you, we are open” during construction.

If you use the code BIGTIME before midnight PDT TONIGHT, you can save 20% on all Marketplace items (which mine are), too. So that’s special.