The Virus Diary: Pandemic Getaway Goes Awry?

Sunday, the 5th of July:  I get up and get dressed and head down to the South Porch with hubby while son gets himself ready.  I was hoping to quietly relax and enjoy "virch" (virtual church) with my headphones on my phone.  However, people around me were being a little loud and annoying (yes, I have turned into an "old lady"), reception was only so-so and my son came down for breakfast less than 10 minutes into it.  Knowing that breakfast can be chaotic, I gave up and we got on line for breakfast.

There was a line and things were a little crazed.  We were taken back to a table and given NEW menus (they had eliminated some items in hopes of making things move faster.)  We did not have silverwear and I noticed that they were packing up lots of take out. (So much so that the manager said they would not be able to take any more orders...or at least that's what I thought he said.)  

We ordered breakfast.  This time I decided to order the smoked salmon bagel (even though I knew it wouldn't be a "true" NJ bagel).  We had our coffee and I had juice while we waited.  And we waited.  But we were patient as I knew breakfast, even with changes, was going to be a challenge.  Finally our food came, but we had no utensils.  And that's when I noticed what looked like a bit of scrambled egg in among the breakfast potatoes which came with my meal.  I tried NOT to freak out and was actually HAPPY that we didn't have our utensils yet.

My son flagged the first person he could find.  The assistant manager who came over, immediately took my plate away and went to get utensils for us.  Carlo, the manager on call came over with a new plate and apologized profusely.  I know this kind of thing can happen (in this case it would have been a cross contamination issue as I suspected that whoever ladled out the potato also used the same utensil for eggs) and things were crazy due to the situation, but I was freaked out.  When my new plate arrived, I totally avoided the potato and just nibbled on the insides of the bagel (salmon, onion, lettuce, etc.)  I also decided to text Zoe and Colleen, who were both so good with working with me prior to this.  Zoe immediately responded.  (And it turns out in my haste I had tried to text Colleen's office and not her cell phone.)  She said she would be in later and would take care of things...what I didn't know is that behind the scenes, she immediately called Colleen who was on her way in.  My point being that although a very dangerous mistake had been made, within minutes of my contacting both ladies, they were on top of the situation, even though neither were working at the time.  They were focused on ME (the customer) and resolving the issue; no passing the blame or making excuses.  In a nutshell, a mistake was made, but a bad experience was avoided and everyone involved immediately stepped in to rectify the situation; isn't that what customer service is supposed to be about?

After breakfast, my husband and I returned to the South Porch, which is where Colleen found us.  She had called my cell the minute she got in and came out to speak to me about what happened.  She was going to speak to the kitchen staff and take care of things.  She also let me know that things at the pool were not going so well as they had to shut down the entire pool area (outside as well as in) because someone had...well let's just say SOILED the pool and it had to be "shocked."  (I shouldn't be shocked by this...the behavior of some guests was disturbing at times.    Guests yelling from the porch down to the wait staff at the outdoor dining area trying to bypass the breakfast line and get food "delivered" to them.)

Hubby and I sat outside relaxing; or trying to relax.  (Again, there seemed to be a lot of loud and obnoxious people that morning. When are people going to learn to treat each other with respect and not yell?)  I do love to read and relax on the porch, just wish other people would do the same.  (Enough of the old lady ranting here right?)

My son had gone off for a walk and when he came back he told me he didn't just walk, he hiked the Leavitt Falls trail.  This is a difficult one and I have always told my son that he shouldn't do difficult trails alone, but when has my teen son ever listened to my concerns?  (Not an old lady rant; a mom rant...totally different rant. )  I was proud of him, but angry/annoyed at the same time.  He said he had trouble getting through the Lemon Squeeze portion of the hike.   When I asked him what it looked like, he could not explain and of course he took no photos, so... then he went off to spend some time with the new friends he had made the evening before (on the observation deck.)

Since I had spent the majority of the day just lazing around, I decided it was time to do some walking of my own.  Since I had yet to "officially" walk around the lake (my walk around it yesterday was rushed so that I could get to my son who had already headed to Indian Ladder Falls), that's where I started.



Once I concluded my walk around the lake, I walked Leavitt’s Branch Road down past the Lakeview Inn (checking out how many people were at the beach there...a lot!) continued on until I got to Dutch Hill Road and then walked back up to the front entrance of the lodge.  I took my time, so this was an easy, but LONG walk.

By the time I got back, it was just about tea and cookie time.  I ran into the General Manager of the resort, Jeff, who has become a good friend.  He was talking to Colleen and Zoe and I had to share with him how caring these ladies are and how they immediately responded to my concerns.  We also spoke about the inn (which had just reopened) and how I'd like to check out the Lakeview Inn Restaurant when it opens and enjoy the fire pit that is at the end.  Perhaps another trip is in order?

After our chat, it was time to head upstairs, shower and get ready for dinner.  (Where does the day go?)

As we had for the previous two nights, we had a LOVELY dinner.  Both my son and I had the burratta as a starter.  (Is there anything as good a fresh mozzarella and tomato?)  I decided to try the ribeye as my main course, even though I knew I wouldn't be able to finish it.  (I had seem both my son and husband enjoy it, but only my husband could finish it).  It did not disappoint.  My son had the salmon and my husband has a pasta and shrimp dish.    I finished off with another chocolate mousse and decaf cappuccino.  Although the dining experience was very different than what we had done in the past, it was still so enjoyable.

After dinner the boy deserted us.  Hubby and I went out to the North Lawn where the lodge had set up booths of food and games.  You could purchase beverages and treats.  You could make a tie-dyed shirt.  There was a band.  People were already staking out spaces on the lawn for the evening's fireworks.

 We went back to the room for a bit and I found a spare blanket.  We took it outside and found a spot that I thought would be good for viewing the fireworks that would be going off at dusk (which was around 9 that night.)  It was just couple time as my son was still off with his friends.  (Wearing a mask the whole time; I saw him.)

The fireworks that evening were great.  I was really glad that they hadn't done them on the 4th; because this was something special to look forward to.  They were set off by the lake and we had a perfect view up on the hill. (The observation deck might have been even better, but wisely someone had locked that up.)  It was a wonderful way to wrap up the holiday weekend and our vacation wasn't over yet!



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