October 2nd, 2010
OK, so we traveled down to San Diego yesterday, and we got to the Town & Country Hotel in Mission Valley. We had a reservation for a room in the convention section of the resort, or so we thought. Turns out, they overbook four or five times a week, especially in the summertime. After much hemming and hawing, they gave us a room without a bed, with a promise that we could move the next day. There were other things they did to sweeten the pot (first night 50% discount, no charge for parking, two free breakfast passes), but it sucked. We settled into the room, expecting that the staff would bring in a trundle bed for us for the night while we were out, and then left to get a meal.
We ate at Kelly's, a piano bar steak place on the resort grounds, and the food was fine with fair service (the waitress got my order wrong, but fixed it right away). The problem was the horrible singing from the piano bar. Ick.
We'd signed in to the convention on arrival, so after the meal we went to the Conjecture concert: filking! forestcats very much enjoyed the first artist, and purchased a CD she was offering.
Back in the room, no trundle bed. We called the front desk, and they did nothing for 45 minutes. When the staff finally showed up, it turns out that the couch in the room converted into a bed, but they clearly knew that no one liked the bed at all, and so they put several additional covers onto it to try to make it more comfortable. It failed. In addition, the air conditioning in the room worked poorly.
We were unimpressed.
Morning, and we went to get the free breakfasts. Lousy quality buffet, at a premium price. Back home for a few dollars more they offer shrimp, prime rib, and oysters at the buffet table! Not impressed again.
The convention continued to be relaxed, but the panels and talks were very good, and folks were friendly and willing to chat. We enjoyed ourselves very much.
At 11, forestcats called the front desk as instructed to arrange our move. "Call back after 3" she was gruffly told.
We went to more panels that we continued to enjoy. The con suite served four kinds of chowder at noon!
After three (actually, after five!!!) we called the front desk and they fought with us about where they were going to put us. We had asked to be shifted to a building closer to the portion of the resort devoted to Convergence. They just wanted to move us to another room in the building we were in. In addition, they wanted us to move our luggage ourselves, rather than sending a bellhop, because they were involved in an emergency, as we had seen. A woman had taken a fall, and the paramedics had been called, as she'd sustained a cut across her nose. forestcats put her foot down, and that was that.
Now, we're in a room with beds, which is something of an improvement. The bathroom is actually smaller (hard to believe...), and the air conditioning still doesn't work very well.
We had dinner a block away at a mall's food court, for vastly less money, but not quite as tasty, at least as Kelly's had been the previous night. Still, it was calories at a reasonable price. I did splurge on some Godiva chocolate.
We met Robert Sawyer, the author whose novel Flash Forward was the inspiration for the TV show. We also met Chase Masterson, who played in ST:DS9; I knew that I recognized her from something I'd watched very recently, but I just couldn't remember it. forestcats did, however, and it was cool to realize it.
I also finished reading a novel that I'll write about later while I waited for a panel to start, and that was good, as I was enjoying it very much.
I don't think I've ever heard of a place that had rooms with no beds. That's just odd. And I can't believe how horrible the service at the place is.
I think that the room is usually used for meetings or for small parties of one sort or another. But I agree, it's strange.