Hotel has unusual amenities

We stayed at the Mark Twain Hotel in San Francisco on our honeymoon. It was very romantic. The room had a lovely view of the night sky. Not because it had a skylight, but because there was a hole in the ceiling.

The first time we took the kids to the ocean, we stayed in a hotel with Paradise in its name. Paradise was a terrible misnomer. An enormous roach lumbered through the room, making its way to the sliding glass doors leading to the beach. The thing was so large it opened the sliding glass door all by itself.

I once surprised the husband with a short ski trip when we lived in the Pacific Northwest. I booked us a night in what was described as a “rustic cabin.” They weren’t kidding. It had no heat.

We’ve had more than a few surprises when it comes to lodging. The biggest surprise happened recently when some of the grands invited us for an overnight at their house.

They told us it would be like staying at a hotel. Knowing that they have a good roof and no household pests, we said yes.

Upon arrival we were given a key card made from construction paper to Room 208.

“Top of the stairs and to the left,” one of them said.

A hand-written sign taped to the banister said “HOTLE” and had an arrow pointing up.


We trudged up the stairs and opened the door to 208 with three kids stepping on our heels.

“Here’s a basket with stuff you might have forgotten.”

In it were two bottles of water, two toothbrushes, a tube of toothpaste and peanut M&Ms.

“I did forget my M&Ms,” I said.

They also pointed out that they had stashed a piece of candy under both of our pillows and said we could eat them now if we wanted.

The best part was a large handmade sign written in crayon. It read:

“Welcome to The Best hotle IN Town. Why?”

“Frindle Faces.”

“Free Food.”

They explained we could have free popcorn anytime we wanted it. It’s always good to know popcorn is available and that your family won’t charge you for it.

“Grate Hostptale.”

We weren’t sure if they thought we might need a great hospital or if they were offering great hospitality.

Those amenities would have been more than enough to rate a top-notch review, but they listed one more reason why it was the best “hotle” in town.

“Free wife.”

The husband saw it first and wanted to know where she was.

Funny guy. He can hardly manage the one he has now. Two wives would be the end of him.

The girls giggled and stammered and explained it was for the computer. Well, then he expressed surprise that he would be getting a free wife AND a computer!

He may have scared them completely out of the hotel business. If they ever host us again, the amenities will likely include nothing more than a tiny shampoo and tiny conditioner.

Getting a grip on axe throwing

I don’t pay much attention to trends because they tend to be like buses—there’s a new one every ten minutes. However, this one has not only snagged my attention but sent chills down my spine and triggered goose bumps on my arms.

Axe throwing.

That’s right, throwing an axe at a target has become a big thing. Don’t tell me you’re still doing yoga.

Axe throwing is so popular it’s gone global. No matter where you live, you can probably find axe throwing lessons near you or even join a competitive axe-throwing league.

When I first heard the next big thing was axe, I thought they meant Axe, the line of hair products, deodorant and fragrance popular with young men. Half of our son’s graduating class marched across the stage to receive high school diplomas enshrouded in a giant cloud of Axe.

That’s not the axe. This is the axe like frontiersmen used to fell trees. Those would be the ones who smelled like sweat, not aftershave. Only nobody is clearing land with axes. They’re throwing axes at targets. It’s like a supersized version of darts.

One man claims throwing an axe is very therapeutic and very calming. I’d like to know more about his day job.

Axe throwing is a three-step process. The first step is to grip the handle of the axe with two hands, raise it over your head and lower it behind your back. The first step would also be the last step for me. The weight of an axe overhead and behind my back would tip me backward. Even if I didn’t fall backward, or dislocate both shoulders, I couldn’t swing it overhead, let alone accurately hurl it at a target.

Maybe that’s why you do this with metal fencing on both sides of you. Plus, someone sizes you up to determine if you have the strength for axe throwing. That would be me getting the no-go.

Oh, and you’re also not to wear open-toed shoes.

Great. There’s the recurring nightmare I’ll have for the next two weeks.

You’re wondering how popular something like this could be, right?

Very popular. Axe-throwing businesses advise booking two months in advance.

I’ve been reading about this and keep thinking, who are these people? Do I know them? Am I related to them?

Turns out I am. A son-in-law did this in a corporate team-building exercise. He said it was fun. I’m keeping an eye on that one.

An axe-throwing venue near us is advertising a birthday special — book your group and the birthday boy or girl gets in free!

“Mom, Mom! Can I? Can I? Can I please have an axe-throwing birthday party?”

Mom faints.

I’d pay someone not to invite a loved one to an axe-throwing birthday party. I’m not antisocial. You can come to my house for cake when the axe-throwing birthday party is over, but we’ll cut the cake the traditional way – with a small dull knife that hasn’t been sharpened in years.