Partying with the Staff

Welcome! Can I interest you in the most surreal 5 star experience of your life?

Welcome! Can I interest you in the most surreal 5-star experience of your life?

Years ago, my husband and I stayed the evening in a nearby high-end hotel/resort. They were offering a winter time rate special, and we figured we’d hop over the bridge and give it a try.

The place is beautiful, and though the cold prevented us from partaking in the gorgeous bay views or water activities, the fundamental charm of the place was enough to make us happy. We arrived a little early for dinner, and decided to have a few cocktails at the bar while we awaited our reservations.

Frigid nights make my palate long for whiskey. The bartender started us out with some sort of foofy drink on the house, but after that, I switched to bourbon on the rocks and Mike shifted to Scotch. Since the place feels like a rich man’s mansion, every nook and cranny begged us to sit in front of the fire with our whiskey, preferably with a hunting dog by our side. Sadly, the resort did not provide us with a complimentary pack of hunting dogs. They should really look into that.

Our dinner reservations were a good hour away, and not being regular whiskey drinkers, we were pretty toasted by the time it came to sit down in the restaurant. Due to the season, the place was empty but for us. We looked at the fantastic menu and realized immediately, and with great sadness, that we had drank away our hunger.

Our waiter was very understanding. In fact, he was three snaps in the air Fab-u-lousssss about it. I think we ended up eating a salad and drinking a bottle of wine, all the while laughing and joking with the server. I’ll call him Jack, like Jack from Will and Grace, whom he brought to mind. He was over the top and hilarious.

We were having such a good time with Jack, that we moved the party into a big, comfy fireplace room and asked Jack if he would join us. We seemed to be the only people in the hotel – even the bartender had closed up shop. Jack insisted that he could not join us.. But about 15 minutes later, he is baaaaaaaaack, after, I’m guessing, making sure the coast was clear. He has a drink with us.

One of the cleaning ladies materialized. She is a good friend of Jack’s. Mary is a heavyset, 50-year old good-old-girl dressed like a classic hotel maid. We ask her to have a drink as well. She says she is not so much a drinker… but she has been known to smoke a bit of the ganja. The wacky weed. The Mary Jane. This gets Jack a little excited and they talk amongst themselves about how nice it would be to partake.

My husband and I don’t smoke, so we tell them we’ll be sticking to booze. But, thoroughly in party mode, we also tell them that they are certainly welcome to come back to our room and do their thing on our porch so they don’t run the risk of being caught by the powers that be at the hotel.

I think that is called “aiding and abetting.”

We pack up the party and move back to our room. We are on our porch in a 5-star hotel with a full blown queen, a sweet old weed-smoking Eastern Shore trailer-dwelling lady, and our very, very drunk selves. Completely surreal.  If you’d put this scene in a movie, the audience wouldn’t even buy it.  I couldn’t help but periodically look around the porch and think, “What the …?”

Mike and I have one last drink on the porch with our odd couple while they smoke their marijuana and Mary regales us with stories of her daughter’s pregnancy, the girl’s dirtbag boyfriend, and her own various ailments.  I had never heard anyone tell such sad stories while giggling their ass off before.  I think Mike only made it about half way through his final cocktail, before he hit the wall and crawled off to lay down on the bed. Snoring commenced. Mary made some wild, giggly jokes in her classic Eastern Shore accent about how she was going to take advantage of my poor passed-out hubby. Jack agreed that was a good idea. Luckily, it isn’t terribly difficult to distract a weed smoker. We finished up our animated conversations and the two of them toddled off to the places from whence they came.

We didn’t get a meal out of that trip, but it certainly was one of the most memorable stays we ever had anywhere. I think every hotel should offer the “Party with the Staff Package” during the off season.

We’re going to New Orleans this week and I can only pray something that innocuously bizarre happens to us there.  If I wake up on a bed of beignets covered in parade float trimmings with vague memories of an 80 year-old mushroom-popping bee keeper and a 16 year old dwarf bus boy, I’ll let you know.

Note: I assume you can’t be retroactively arrested for watching someone else smoke pot in 2003. If you can, then this was entirely fictional.


Amy Vansant

2 Responses

  1. Tim Sayles

    I’m told the mushroom-popping beekeeper moved to Houston after Katrina, but the tiny busboy is still there.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.