resisting the urge to order room service

“Sometimes it’s just good to stay in a hotel,” I tell my mom with my feet propped up on the window that goes from floor to ceiling. “The sad thing is that I have a 10th floor view of Nieman Marcas and Saks and Macy’s and I have no money to go shopping.”

My dad, my dear old dad has come through for me and given me his travel voucher points for this posh room in DC. When I checked in, the clerk said, “Welcome Miss Anna, I see that you are a Marriott Rewards member and you have one of our elite rooms. I would also like to tell you that you have a GAZILLION points left on your rewards account and there will be a rewards gift for you in your room” “Great,” I fake smiled my way through it as this nice man obviously thought I was a posh customer that I so am not, but he not need know I’m using Daddy’s card. Shhh, don’t tell. And ohmigod, I am so not an “it’s on Daddy” kind of girl.

I love hotels, love them. Sometimes I fantasize about going to the The Jefferson in Richmond for a night, just to get away and pretend that I don’t even belong to the city I live in. The escape, even a few blocks away, can do wonders for helping you love your city.

An Elite room, I have come to find out, means that I got what I requested, a non-smoking room, a king size bed, and my gift was some Milano cookies and a bottle of water, a welcome treat after 2 hours in the car. I entered the room, which was cool, and clean and classical music wafted through the air. Elite means they leave the music on for you. I’ve left it on all day. I think I like classical music in the background.

Walking around, unpacking and making this room feel like home, I find that it smells familiar. My olfactory sense is hard at work placing the smell, connecting it to memory and then all of a sudden, when I pull back the shower curtain to turn the water on for a shower it hits me, London. They must have bottled the smell and shipped it here. This room smells exactly like my twin bed room in Hyde Park Towers on Inverness Terrace near Queensway Road in London. And I know immediately why I love this room. And I never want to leave because I am bombarded with scenes (the green sprawling grass of Kensington Park) and sites (the London Eye) and accents (the hotel clerks who tell me I have messages waiting). Oh London, my London. It only takes a smell and I am back in your arms again.

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