The laundry arrived today.
Normally when we travel it is my job to sweep the hotel room for forgotten items. It’s one of those odd little skills I have, like running backward at speed – the sort of thing that is only useful in very specific circumstances but when those circumstances arise is a skill you want to have. We’ve forgotten very few things over the years.
But there was a breakdown in this system when we left Tusayan.
We’d been putting our laundry in a red mesh bag that Kim had hung in the closet, out of sight. I was going to put it in my suitcase when we left the room but somehow got distracted and since we had all been talking about this very thing not moments before I figured that Kim had put it in hers.
You know that old routine about why you must never assume anything? Yeah, that.
We figured it out that evening, as we settled into the Riverside Ranch Motel and RV Park (a name that rolls trippingly off the page, does it not?). So I called the hotel back in Tusayan and ended up speaking to Eric.
Eric is one of those pleasant old guys who just loves to talk to people and is well-suited to a job where people come and go with such speed that they can't grow tired of listening to him before they move on to their next stop, so they put him on the front desk. He’s also new there, and didn’t quite know what the procedures were for this sort of thing. But he kept up a nearly impenetrable stream of verbiage for the better part of half an hour while he worked his way through the process, filling out the forms and assuring me all the while that it would be taken care of properly and that I should call back the next day to see if they found our mesh bag of laundry.
The next day I called back and got Eric again, which was another half hour or so of much the same experience, though it has to be said that he was very pleasant about it and sincerely interested in being helpful. Yes, they found our bag. Yes, they would send it. No, he couldn’t find the forms he had filled out the previous day and could we work through it again? Yes, he would put it in the mail the very next day. As, apparently, he did.
On the down side, all of this meant that we had fewer clothes to make it through the trip.
On the up side, it meant that we had a fair amount of leeway with the weight of our suitcases – leeway we filled up with souvenirs. Also, it turns out that it is cheaper to mail a box full of laundry from Arizona to Wisconsin than it is to pay the airline fees for overweight baggage.
This is a lesson I shall keep in mind for the future.