Thursday, November 14, 2013

What Is This, A Hotel For Ants?

As most of you know from our previous post, I went away to Miami last weekend so I could celebrate my 30th birthday on the beach. And relax. What ensued... was anything but relaxing. Today I'll share with you my vacation horror story.

After our red-eye flight to Miami we were looking forward to our stay at the Avalon hotel on Ocean Drive, which is supposed to look like this...


Too bad it looked like this in person...


Thanks to a screw up in booking (not on our end, mind you) it took seven hours to get our room. That's right, seven hours of sitting around in the lobby being told "just another 30 minutes," every hour on the hour. And once we got our room... well, we weren't exactly relieved.

The walls were this wonderful, sickly yellow. Like if walls could actually get cancer. The Keurig K-cup machine was broken. The wifi didn't work. And what the shower lacked in hot or even warm water it more than made up for with ants. Yes, a literal shower of ants, just raining all over the bathroom walls and floors.

Because this is totally normal

So even something as simple as having a quick shower wasn't all that simple.



We tried to talk to the front desk on multiple occasions but it was either unattended or the dude was too busy talking to everyone else for up to a half hour at a time (no, really) about mindless bullshit, because apparently his job description is "tell everyone my life story."




So we gave up on the hotel. At that point, we thought maybe we'd just go eat at one of the local restaurants, which had been touted as amazing. They are not, if only because of the service. You see, 20% gratuity is added to every single check no matter what, so the servers are all dicks. All of them. They're rude, they ignore you, and they come by when they feel like coming by, because hey, they got their money. They don't have to be nice.




I should also mention all of these restaurants and bars only have beers like Bud and Bud Light, and they're anywhere from $10-20 each. Craft beers simply do not exist there. Not a vacation wrecker, but come on bro, total party foul.

So THEN we thought "we should just go to the beach and relax." I mean, you surely can't take mother nature away from us, can you?

...Yes. Yes you can. Thanks to all the overly aggressive homeless people. They swarm the beach and hassle you with every step, wanting to build you stupid things out of palm fronds, or sell you weird looking fruits they picked off of trees, or tell you riddles for money. And if you don't oblige, then they yell at you for being the "rich asshole tourist" who's just too "cheap" to help them out.

And yes, that's right, riddles. More than one told me, "I'll give you a riddle, and if you can't solve it, you have to give me $5, okay?" What is this, The Hobbit? I'm Bilbo Baggins trying to get by Smeagol the homeless beach bum?





Needless to say, it was not the best birthday I've ever had, and I'm pretty damn happy to be back in Colorado with my cheap craft beers, my Smeagol free nature walks, and my ant free showers.

And to the Avalon on Ocean Drive, fuck you. In the ass. No lube. No reach around.

Cheers and stay classy, folks,
Bryan (and Brandon)

Music: Nigel & the Dropout
Beer: Staropramen Lager


95 comments:

  1. Aw man, that is a bummer! This is why I don't travel or leave my apartment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is what I'm learning, too, which is not helping this whole "reclusive writer" image I've got going on. But hey, I tried to get out and 'see the world'...

      Delete
  2. Damn that sucks but happy birthday anyway. Did you at least go to South Beach and see nekkid leather 80 year old tits swingin' to and fro?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, but I did get assaulted by the homeless, watch a guy on a bike eat it on the sidewalk, and witness a roided out guy taking shirtless selfies for 20 minutes straight before he finally just left.

      Delete
  3. Here is why all criminal activity is not bad. Pick pocketing for example. Would have been good to relieve some of those waiters of their wallets. Arson? Well, it would get rid of the ants...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes - sweet, cleansing fire. For the ants AND for the waiters. Maybe even the homeless. I like the way you think. Just know when the police come knocking that this was all your idea, okay?

      Delete
    2. Sure. I'll just tell the judge I was passing along what the voices in my head told me. A little vacation in the looney bin sounds okay.

      Delete
  4. Ah, that's terrible. My girlfriend wants to go on a vacation, but I'm terrified that it'll go something like this. I was looking at hotels that were cheap, and naturally, the reviews mirrored what you just described. Fuck the world, I'm staying inside.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This hotel wasn't even cheap, either. It wasn't expensive, but I'd say it was mid range. How many hundreds of dollars do I have to spend before the ants go away and the appliances function properly?

      Delete
  5. Yes, that's the downside to turning 30. The last of your illusions about life will be stripped away by then.

    P.S. You didn't bring back bedbugs, did you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So THAT'S why all of the 20-somethings were having such a blast while I was in agony. Doesn't explain the wife, though. Maybe she's just 30 "in spirit."

      P.S. I'm not sure, but I'd probably better incinerate my bed just to make sure.

      Delete
  6. It's just as well. Based on what I've seen on television, just about everyone in that city is a serial killer anyway. And don't think of calling the cops, because they are all dating serial killers without even knowing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I figured the least Dexter could do was come and murder me. Put me out of my misery. But I guess he's too busy being a lumberjack now. That selfish prick.

      Delete
  7. Miami is a toilet. I had a similar experience, crappy hotel so we thought we would go to dinner at Danny DeVito's restaurant nearby. Where not 100 yards from the crappiest motel, people were dressed for the Oscars in comically large diamonds. We tried for HOURS to find a decent restaurant but it's apparently a town for either the super rich, or homeless people. Nothing in between. Never going back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Danny DeVito has a restaurant there? Is he in back, shirtless, cooking up the food? Because after my experience, that seems perfectly fitting.

      Delete
  8. Hahaha the part about Smeagol the homeless beach bum made me laugh so hard I almost fell off my chair. But hey, if you're from beautiful Colorado, then why on earth would you go to crappy Miami? Haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because every picture, TV show, movie, etc. I've ever seen of Miami has blatantly lied to me!

      Delete
  9. So sorry you had a bad experience! No fun to spend money and time and have it turn out crappy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We only stayed for 2 days so it could have been much, much worse for time and money. We were originally thinking of staying for 4-5 days.

      Delete
  10. I've stayed in places like that, but in general I dislike Florida.

    ReplyDelete
  11. That's why I stay away from Florida.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's honestly not bad as a whole but the beach experience was incredibly shitty.

      Delete
  12. Wow that's pretty damn bad. I'll be in a hotel in about half a year and I hope it's nothing like this. It won't be in Miami so there's a chance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've stayed in many a hotel for both business and leisure and I can tell you that this was my first broken-down, ant-infested hotel room. Definitely not the norm.

      Delete
  13. I need to stay overnight in Miami for the Progreeive Nation at Sea cruise next Feb, and was thinking it might be nice to stay near the beach.

    Now I am thinking "not."

    I don't mind Bud Lite so much, but $10-$20 for one? From an asshole server who presumed their service is going to be good enough to earn a better-than-average tip (although I tend to tip way more than that on a bar tab, so they actually stiff themselves when they add the 20% on).

    Althought it might be fun to tell the homeless guy a riddle and see if he can guess the answer!

    Happy (belated) birthday!

    Larry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! And the birthday wasn't all bad, but Miami beach is definitely a shithouse. You're much better off just staying in regular Miami for your trip. The beach is an ocean of lies.

      Delete
  14. Damn, that sounds like a bad horror movie, except the horror is you never die and just have to endure the crappiest place ever. Never ever going to Miami. How come Burn Notice or Dexter never looks that bad? You should sue the studious for false advertising lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The place I stayed and the beach I saw looked NOTHING like what they show in Dexter or Burn Notice. I can't believe TV lied to me!

      Delete
  15. That sounds horrible..........bastards!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If we all shake our fists hard enough, maybe they'll feel it over in Miami beach. Maybe.

      Delete
  16. But did you get serial killed by Dexter? I heard that's the thing to do while in Miami.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dammit. I should really read the other comments before posting mine. I'm like the third in line on referencing Dexter. How about: Did you go on any cocaine busts with Crockett and Tubbs?

      Shame.

      Delete
    2. I would have, but it seems these days Crockett is making palm frond animal sculptures and Tubbs is telling riddles for money...

      Delete
  17. Wow... that sucks! Doesn't paint a lovely picture for Miami. Maybe you should have got to Harry Potter World... because that's a good way to spend your 30th. :|

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not gonna lie, that does not sound terrible. Lots of things to see, no homeless people, and even THEY produce their own craft beer.

      Delete
  18. What a bummer! I had a similar experience in Miami beach once too. I'm sure its not all awful but shit! We even could only find a dive bar and they closed at 9pm. We had to pound 4 beers in like 15 minutes and eat shitty chicken wings. At least they were Yuenglings, a small step up from bud.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Weird, all of the places around us were open at all hours. And no Yuengling that I saw. Maybe I needed to answer a few more riddles before I "unlocked" that particular beer.

      Delete
  19. You obviously didn't learn the lesson of The Hobbit well enough. You punch the Gollum bum and run off with his precioussses while he runs after you shouting, "Writers! We hates you! We hates you all!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I had The One Ring on me I would have made myself invisible in a heartbeat. And as one man, I can only do so much. This beach was full of Gollumzes. Gollumzes everywhere. Too many to punch. :(

      Delete
  20. Riddles? That's amazing. You should have just said "what have I got in my pocket?" If you lost and didn't have any money, would they have eaten you?

    Happy birthday dude. Hope the big 3-0 treats you well, and I hope that by the time you're 40, you're a famous writer who can afford to pay $5 every time someone tells you a riddle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That should be my new catch phrase: "What do I look like, I'm made of riddle money?"

      Delete
  21. Normally I'd say something like "Damn, you shoulda just come to Puerto Rico, I'd have toured and shown you around, and even though SOME hotels/inns really suck, none of them are that bad" but I wasn't here to tour you around. I was out on my own little escapade with a wonderful shower and great tourist locations.

    Happy birthday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure, rub it in. Really, though, we've already decided that whenever our next vacation may be we want to just go out of the country. So don't think we wouldn't take you up on that offer. If I've learned anything about traveling, it's that it really, really helps to tag along with someone who knows the place like the back of their hand.

      Delete
    2. Well, out of the lower 48, because PR is still a territory.. as are the US Virgin Islands and all that fun stuff. But you could still stop by. I love any chance to move around.

      Delete
  22. You, 4-B, have saved me from ever going to backwards imaiM, so it was money well spent (on me).

    The one time I was in Florida, we went out on the beach and were aghast to find that motor vehicles were allowed to drive all over the beach, through the sand, dodging tourists laid out on beach towels attempting to tan and relax. I knew than and there that Florida has its ass screwed on backwards.

    We returned to the beaches of Redondo, Santa Monica, and Malibu, where one can enjoy the sand and surf without fear of being run over by a four-wheel drive spraying sand in its wake and into your daiquiri disguised by a Coca-Cola cup.

    There's something to be said for Southern California after all.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If this post can help even one person then it's money well spent. Actually, I made sure to put the tag 'Avalon' and 'review' in here, so when people search "The Google" for reviews of this place I'm hoping they'll find this blog bit near the top as it garners more traffic.

      I completely forgot to mention it, but I saw a few cars on the beach too. I didn't know that was the norm.

      Also, some of the best vacations that I've ever had have been spent on California beaches. Lesson learned.

      Delete
  23. Wow. So it's true what they say. Florida really is America's dick.

    I'm sorry your birthday vacation sucked so very badly. But at least you now have a horror story to tell to anyone who's crazy enough to think they might want to visit Miami. And I thought the shower at our hotel in New York was bad. At least there the bugs were courteous enough to clear out when we turned on the bathroom light...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, right? A little common courtesy? Those ants were aggressive. It was like the shower rape scene in Shawshank Redemption.

      "I'd like to tell you ol' Bryan made it out of there and avoided those mean ant sisters, but this is real life. This ain't no fairy tale."

      Delete
  24. People tell you riddles for money. Is this a thing? Because if it is I'm moving to Miami to embark on a whole new career path. I might test it out here first, just to get my riddle-telling up to scratch. It sounds like a shitty birthday, but that last picture is the best I've ever seen so I guess you got that out of it... x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I knew I could make money telling riddles I NEVER would have gone to college. True story.

      Delete
  25. Wow, that really, really sucks. I hope the Avalon and city of Miami take a hit in business because of this post. Sorry, but it made for a very entertaining blog post. Welcome to the 30s! Truthfully, though, it was by far the best decade of my life. It will improve.

    xoRobyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm in the best shape of my life and I still get carded for spray paint (you have to be 18 to buy), so I'd say I'm pretty happy with things. As for the post, I hope it SINKS THEIR HOTEL INTO THE GROUND. Or, you know, even if I could stop one poor soul from making a reservation, that would be cool too. :)

      Delete
  26. I wish you would have asked, because I could have told you that all of Florida (except for maybe the Keys) is the pits, and Miami the worst. I'm surprised you got out of the airport alive.

    Being 30 will improve - all through the year. Think about it - it can't get much worse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should have asked. All of the 'amazing reviews' online lied to me. On the plus side, though, I got to drive a pretty cool rental car.*

      *unimaginably tiny, underpowered shitbox

      Delete
  27. That's what you get for choosing Miami, which is now just one giant coke hangover from the 80s.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And imagine how much coke you can buy after selling $20 bottles of Bud Light all day!

      Delete
  28. I kind of admire them for the riddles and not just shaking you down. But the beach is a dumb place to panhandle. Who carries a bunch of cash to the beach?
    Sorry your vacation wasn't the magical experience you hoped for (it sounds like the Cris Angel of vacations), but happy belated birthday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The riddles were pretty hokey, like "What gets wetter the more it dries?" (A towel, duh, we're on a beach, numbnuts)

      One guy tried to make the bet of "If you tell me your first name I bet I can spell your last name," which of course results in the ultra lame, "Y-O-U-R L-A-S-T N-A-M-E" and a very pleased chuckle.

      So you're not exactly getting first rate riddles and bets with the homeless population.

      Delete
  29. To celebrate making it to 31 next year, may I suggest San Diego? Nice weather (but avoid the beach in November- too cold), a good trolley system that you can even take down to the Mexican border, lots of tourist traps, a lot of them very reasonable, no flying cockroaches, and a much better class of homeless. Dunno about the beer, but there is at least one good microbrewery there.

    Oh, and Happy Birthday!

    PS- I am retired in Albuquerque, but I lived in SD and environs for over 30 years, and even though it is becoming Los Angeles South, it's still a fun place for a vacation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been all over California and had a blast each time - San Francisco, Crescent City, L.A., Bakersfield. But have never been to San Diego. We'll definitely have to visit at some point, if just to see this classy breed of homeless folk!

      Delete
  30. On the bright side, you didn't run into Richie Incognito...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's cool. I'm white, so I would have been totally fine.

      Delete
  31. With ants in your pants what is not to love?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pro: I picked up a few new dance moves.
      Con: It fell off.

      Delete
  32. If ants were in your shower, I won't even ask what was in your bed.
    And very grateful my vacation experience this week has been MUCH better than that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You've never lived until you've showered with 200 other lifeforms simultaneously. It's like a water orgy.

      Delete
  33. Only the wealthy get to enjoy Miami. Coconut Grove, Coral Gables....you get the picture! You should have come to Daytona. I could have given you the hot spots, ant free and quiet beach tips! Happy Birthday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh well, maybe next time! And no joke about the wealthy. You don't know how hilarious it is cruising the streets of Miami beach in a Chevy Spark while everyone else is in Bentleys, Porsches, etc.

      Delete
  34. The rude waiter made me laugh just because of how damn rude he is. I honestly am irked and annoyed that beers like Bud cost between 10 and 20 dollars though, it's insane, even if you're some rich guy, to have to pay 10 dollars for a beer is just wrong. Disgusting that you had to wait 7 hours in reception too, you're a better man than me for not walking out after 2 hours Bryan, sorry that it was such an absolute stinker man, you gave me lots of laughs with this post but the fact it was that bad sort of brought it down a little, I wish it had went perfect and relaxing and you'd had nothing to blog about than you and the wife had to endure this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And not just 10 dollars for a beer, but a bottle of beer. Not even draft. Hell, I could get a 12 pack for that!

      And the trip may have been bad, but at least it's something to look back and laugh on.

      Delete
  35. Ants in the shower! Even looking at the photo made me feel itchy. Happy birthday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A beer in the shower > ants in the shower. Any day.

      Delete
  36. Oh man! Happy Birthday Bryan. I'm so sorry that you had a disappointing vaca. I've never been asked to solve a riddle, but it does kind of remind me of New York, where the bums literally spit on your windshield to "clean" it, then smear it all over with their filthy dirty sleeve to "wipe it off", then they hit you up for cash. Even though I am a HUGE sucker, volunteer at homeless shelters and give money to just about every cause there is, this never ceases to completely gross me out and royally piss me off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And here I thought "spit shine" was always just a phrase...

      Delete
  37. And that's why I usually stay in the major chain motels. There is typically a consistency and there's someone higher up to whom I can complain and usually get a coupon or something.

    Even my few excursions to Florida haven't been that bad, but in general I avoid Florida.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. Even if the Avalon reached out to me and said, "Oh man, we're so sorry, here's 50% off your next stay," I'd have to give them a huge middle finger. Sorry, but that entails me actually going BACK there...

      Delete
  38. I hate that you had a terrible time on your birthday weekend, Bryan. That sucks in a major way. I'm so sorry. You went to the wrong place on the east coast. It's not all that terrible. I promise.

    Geez, now I don't feel so bad about my recent hotel stay. That doesn't mean I won't gripe about it though.

    I must say, the homeless are creative there. Here, they still hold up cardboard signs and flip you off when you don't give them money. We don't get any riddlers.

    On a total side note: I read somewhere that you can scratch out the "mandatory" 20% tip and leave what you want. Not sure if that's true but, hey, it's worth trying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gripe, gripe away! Whether on the blog or in e-mail, we're all entitled to a good gripe. It's what makes the world go round. Or something like that.

      And actually, you can't scratch it out. It's not like one of those tickets where they fill it in where the tip goes. It's actually part of the main receipt charges, like with the food and drink, calculated before tax. So you can't fight it. Those fuckers.

      Delete
  39. What a shame....I will not be planning any trips to Miami anytime soon. I have stayed in Miami a time or two but I don't recall dealing with the 20 percent gratuity added. That would tick me off unless the service was extraordinary and I was feeling generous. I would be hard pressed to give a little prick like the "fuck you" guy anything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's easy to miss because they tack it onto the regular charges with food and drink. And they STILL include a slot for 'tips' at the end. So I'm sure plenty of drunk or careless tourists leave these assholes as much as 40%.

      Delete
  40. Sounds like paradise...umm....well, maybe not.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Yeah... I'm going to stick with my big cities and wandering around in massive malls and buildings.

    Also, wouldn't it be hot over there in Miami? Ugh...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Probably the only good thing about Miami beach was the weather. It was 80 degrees and a little cloudy, so not a lot of sun. Too bad everything else sucked.

      Delete
  42. I'm sorry your trip was shitty. I'm not a fan of Florida, but then I've only been to Orlando. Speaking of ant motels, when we evacuated during Waldo Canyon, we decided to go to Canon City to get completely away from the smoke. The hotel we stayed at down there was full of ants. My cat had a field day chasing them around. Like there weren't already five billion reasons to be relieved to get to go home. Friggin' ants. I'm not sure I've ever felt that unclean.

    The Warrior Muse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing like showering with 100 angry ants to make you feel unclean, right?

      I would have taken my cat to ward them off but I'm pretty sure they could take her. Strength in numbers.

      Delete
  43. There is truly nothing more disappointing than being deceived by a glamour photo of a crapshack motel. Well, being killed by Santa Claus would be more disappointing, but still...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I disagree. I think being killed by Santa would be pretty epic.

      Delete
  44. Wow, that really bites! I'm sorry it sucked, although I admire you for having a sense of humor about it.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Holy shit that's awful! But the good news is that you got a blog post out of it. (That's how I always justify my ridiculous life events.)

    Happy Belated Birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  46. You should have asked me about Miami first, as I've been everywhere on the Earth, plus or minus a few places in Africa. Try the other side of Florida next time. I recommend Punta Gorda near Fort Myers (or anywhere +/- 50 miles north and south of that.

    ReplyDelete
  47. happy belated birthday...at least it was uh oh so memorable!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Damn son, you were right, your bad birthday beats my kids bad birthday. You should have taken a poll before choosing vacation destinations, because I could have told you that Miami is a shit show. I hope you managed to salvage some of it and have a good birthday anyways, and hey, there's always next year!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I must visit this land....the land where assholes dwell. I'd fit right in!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Happy birthday old person! Sorry your trip sucked, but it was probably just a welcome to your new decade. Although, I have to say, my 30's were pretty awesome. Better than my 20's for sure.

    I've only ever been to the Miami airport, headed somewhere else. Looks like that was a good plan, huh?

    ReplyDelete