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Wednesday, February 23, 2011


My husband and I traveled to the Bay Area this weekend to attend the memorial service of our good friend, Spyros Stamos. As Paul has been on four weeks of bed rest, this adventure purported to be outside of his comfort zone and mine. We decided to stay at the same place that I took him when he recovered from fractured hips. Handicap accessible—the room included a shower that a wheelchair comfortably fit, giving my husband freedom to use the bathroom on his own. A luxury by our standards.

The last time we stayed there, Paul was heavily drugged for pain and unconscious most of the time. I had little time to eat or sleep—let alone use the amenities. In anticipation of a different experience, I packed my swimsuit—the red one in all my blog photos—and workout clothes. The first morning there, I managed to get a half hour workout in the gym and twenty lovely minutes in the hot tub.

The same chain of Inns had a location closer to our friends and the memorial service but they wanted $99 for the first night and $75 for each night following. This location close to Oakland Airport offered the exact same facilities for only $57 per night. For thirty bucks, we could afford the time and gas over the seventeen mile difference between the two locations. A bargain—so we thought.

Friday morning, I leapt out of bed and took full advantage of the complementary guava juice, coffee, eggs, blueberry waffles, and yogurt—pulling together a like breakfast for the still-sleeping moose. Okay the blueberries were fresh and the self-made Belgian waffles I made fit in the palm of my hand. I didn’t cheat that badly. After all, exercise and swimming followed the breakfast.

We did the memorial service and visits with friends. Paul held together fairly well considering. We collapsed in the room, watched Denzel be gorgeous in “Unstoppable,” and fell into a restful sleep.

The next morning I brought the coffees in the room. Paul watched the local news channel.

“A young man was shot last night in a hotel close to Oakland Airport,” said the newscaster.

Cameras followed a reporter through the lobby and past our room. The pretty female reporter started interviewing a middle-aged black woman.

“Hey,” I said, “I just talked with her over the coffee machine.”

“Shh.” Paul leaned towards the TV screen.

Seems there was a party on the third floor during the night. Things got ugly. A young man was killed somewhere above our heads.

“Guess we are staying at the Fremont Marriott next time.” I smiled a weak smile at my husband, knowing full well who picked the hotel location.

“Ya think?”