Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Good Saturday morning from the Terrell, Texas Waldorf Astoria/Ritz/Plaza

No, this building is neither the Salvation Army nor any of the hotels mentioned above.  It is the other side of the Municipal Building in Tampa, Florida.  I, however, am in the Holdiay Inn Express in Terrell, Texas, awake--though not of my own free will--on Saturday morning since 6 a.m.  A few days ago while I was in Tampa, I spotted this intriguing building on my walk to dinner one evening.  I posted about the other side of the building on Red Shutters.  I did not realize when I was taking this picture, as it came first, that this was part of the municipal building--which looks different on the other side.
I noticed the little glass sculptures on the face of the wall, and thought they were just some type of abstract bird.
I confess to not being totally sure of their purpose as they were not particularly visible, and seemed small for the massive scale of the building. (Note, the massiveness of the scale of HIE here in Terrell pales in contrast, but I will get to that.)
The bits of marble in front of the building are all that is left from the "first sidewalk in Tampa."  Apparently, marble was more plentiful than other sidewalk materials, or perhaps just that we had not considered other materials at that time.  If one thinks about it, though, walking around on marble slabs does seem to be a bit elitist in the use of resources.  Archibald Ross, Scotland native, was on the Tampa City Council.  He paved the walk around his bakery located on this spot in 1888, with Georgia marble.  Interesting, Mr. Ross was know as "the poor man's friend" and as this was the first paved sidewalk in Tampa, perhaps that was true--and he also wanted folks to be able to walk into his bakery without muddy shoes would be my next guess. (Historic Marker, visible in the marble marker this side of the steps).
The City of Tampa and the Tampa Historical Society preserved the remains of the sidewalk on the corner of the location of Ross's business.
It was not until I was walking back to the hotel after dinner that I realized the significance of the little glass "birds" on the wall.  While almost non-existent by day, at dark, they reveal another picture.
Without a tripod, there was not any way to really capture the stunning display, and its evocative of releasing birds in flight--I'm think Bird of Paradise.

Now, about that unplanned stay last night at the Terrell WARP:  I left Jackson yesterday at noon, following giving a presentation on ethics.  I spent the night in Flowood, in the Holiday Inn Express, for the rate of $114 + tax.  It was a nice room, in a nice hotel in a nice area.  I left Flowood at noon, planning to drive to my folks home, which typically would be a 9 hour drive.

I forgot it was noon, and I had to have gas, was not on the Interstate, took the wrong exit, had to drive through Fondren to get back to the Interstate, get past downtown Jackson, and finally an hour later, was in Clinton and gassed up and stopped at Starbucks.  I stopped in Monroe for food, and while I normally just eat on the run while I am making that long trek, I was tired, stiff, in pain, and opted to sit down for a short break at the deli...only there is no sign when you enter Monroe that directs you to the fact that if you plan to go to the mall from the Interstate, you had best take that first exit, or otherwise, you are going to drive past the mall, exit, backtrack, go down a back road, probably make a couple of wrong turns, and eventually find yourself where you want to be in the event you have not gotten impatient and said forget it.

There went another hour.  Long before Shreveport, I needed a pit stop due to the quart of McAlister's unsweet tea, but I was determined to make Shreveport.  I did, gassed up the car, took a pit stop, and back on the road.  It's six hours from Shreveport to home, and I really thought I would be in Dallas by 6 pm and it is now 5:30 and I am 3 hours from Dallas.  I finally made it to Terrell where I opted to stop for the night.  Spotting the Holiday Inn Express, which is slightly off the Interstate, and an interior hotel, I pulled up to get a room...and find out it is $169 + tax.  I asked, "What in the world is going on in Terrell that the rooms are 169?"  Canton First Monday is this weekend...gigantic new mall opening this weekend...the Army is in town for something.  I did not care--I was tired, in pain, and I generally am confident that HIE, while not the Tampa Hilton in terms of luxury service (not that it is required for me, just noting the distinction), is a safe, clean, and adequate space in which to spend the night when I am traveling alone.

It was.  I slept like the proverbial "baby" or "log" and awoke this morning at 6.  I was not sleepy, but did not feel any urgency to arise.  It was comfortable, I wasn't in pain, and it was quiet and relaxing.  I laid there a while, trying to decide if I did want to doze off again, get up and get an early start, or just have coffee in bed.  Then the alarm on the room alarm clock began a piercing screech, I could not reach it or see the off button, and by the time I finally found it, I was wide awake.  I hate the sound of an alarm--which is why I use my harp alarm on my iPhone.  In the rare event that I do not awaken on time on my own, it at least does not jar me from sleep thinking the garbage truck is backing into my bed.  I wondered if it was a ploy by the hotel to get you up and out of the room so they could be cleaned.  Manager to housekeeping every Friday: "now don't forget to set the alarm for 6:30 so they won't lollygag all Saturday morning."

So, after coffee and scones, and watching the sun come up in the east outside my window, I am now both relaxed and wide awake, and ready to hit the shower and then the remaining 4 or so hours home.  Mom and Dad will probably still be asleep when I get there.


Lana Pugh said...

Bless you! I hate hotel alarm clocks too which is why the few times I've traveled by myself I've unplugged the things from the wall. Even as a 30 something adult I've yet to figure out how to consistently set an alarm. Thank goodness for iPhones!

Suzassippi said...

Really--whose idea was it to invent the alarm clock anyway? LOL