The Time I Stayed in a Hotel Again

I jokingly said on Facebook that it had been so long since I travelled I wasn’t sure I remembered how. There was a bit of truth to that. I came home from vacation on March 14 and haven’t left the island since. For someone who was travelling somewhere at least once a week, three months at home was unheard of. There was a part of me that was enjoying it and given the chaotic times we are in, the safety of home was comforting.

 

Alas, a broken filling was enough incentive to get me to leave the island. Our dentist on the island is closing, so after 40-ish years I’m going somewhere different. I was thrilled they could fit me in quickly and jumped at the appointment; my fear of an increase in restrictions a prime motivator for moving quickly. Only after I said yes did it truly register I would need to make it an overnight trip.

 

I’ve always liked travel and I’ve stayed in a wide variety of hotels, motels, and lodges along the way. They all generally have their charm, and if not, you usually end up with a good story to tell. In all that time, I’ve never really pondered the hotel experience. Last night I did.

 

I stayed at the Delta Brunswick in Saint John. The last time I was there was on December 19, not that long ago in reality but it feels like a lifetime in 2020. It was just before Christmas and the place was bustling. I was thrilled when I found a parking spot within easy schlepping distance of the elevators. I saw people I knew on my way to the room. I met a friend and we went to dinner and a concert. Saw more people we knew and stopped for a visit. Normal times in the festive holiday season.

 

I pulled into the parking garage last night and it was empty. Not just plenty of spots, but empty. There was parking right next to the hotel door. I realized why when I got to the sign that indicated the door was locked and hotel access was through the valet parking entrance. I’m rarely a valet parking gal, but down I went. There wasn’t a valet to park the car; you simply parked in their spots. I don’t think there were a half dozen cars when I arrived at 10:00 pm.

The lobby was marked with the social distancing lines we’ve become used to. Plexiglass has been installed since my last visit. The banquette in the lobby now has a please don’t sit sign.

 

It was so quiet. So quiet.

 

I went up to my room where there were more changes. Gone were the guides touting activities and places to eat and what channel was where. Everything was plastic wrapped. For a minute I was afraid to touch anything the room felt so sterile; I didn’t want to mess it up. That’s not to say the rooms didn’t feel clean before, this was just a whole other level.

I went to breakfast at Cora’s (one of my favourite indulgences). I was the only one there. The food court at lunch was deserted as well.

 

I realize Sunday night/Monday morning in June isn’t prime tourism time. I knew from watching the news things were different.

 

The eery feeling of the lack of people in the downtown core is something I will remember for a long time.

  One thought on “The Time I Stayed in a Hotel Again

  1. June 10, 2020 at 5:46 am

    It must feel like a scene out of some alien movie. Hubby had to make a day trip for work a month ago, and asked if I wanted to travel with him. My biggest fear was literally running into people not following any rules in public spaces. I never considered I might not run into ANY people! I decided to stay home.
    Now he’s considering another trip for his Jeep. I’m considering going, to pick up a few things I know I can’t get shipped to the island…like paint for my living room. I’m hypersensitive to the idea of just “browsing” for garden supplies, though.
    The idea of being the only one at Cora’s is quite appealing though!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. June 10, 2020 at 7:46 am

    So much is “strange” during this time Bonnie. I find it in so many different places. Hope your new dentist experience was good.

    Like

  3. lori
    June 10, 2020 at 9:29 am

    Bonnie reading your blog gave me goosebumps, it was like you were explaining a scene in an apocalypse movie. We are living in strange times, I just hope this is not the new normal. I miss my group socials with work and in my personal life. My sister and I ventured out for dinner last night for the first time since COVID days, and it was uncomfortable, I felt I was breaking some law by being outside my bubble. When the waiter placed the menus on the table, my sister and I just looked at it without touching it, then after we placed our order the waiter took the menu and ripped it up and placed it in the garage. I told him we didn’t even touch the menu, he said I know but this is our policy now. All menu are now disposable, wall barriers are up between tables, and over half of the table and chairs were gone. I fear for how long restaurants can operate at this capacity. After dinner, we walked to a vintage store, and the owner said she is on her last days and will be closed by the end of the month. She said the Premier may have opened up services and stores, but she said she is now caught up into a domino effect. All her merchandise is purchased at auctions, and there are no auctions up and running for 2020, she feels we have not seen the worst of COVID. Many businesses will just not survive.
    Take care and be safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 10, 2020 at 4:03 pm

      That’s the sad part of all of this: how many small businesses will not survive even with re-opening. Uptown Saint John has so many unique shops and restaurants but with no cruise ships and very limited tourism I’m afraid it will be a very changed place when this is over.

      Be safe!

      Like

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