07 December 2017

7th Anniversary Getaway + G Hotel Experience

We always try to do a quick trip for our anniversary each year--we're pretty flexible about it, after all, our 3rd anniversary trip actually took place the following March, but we appreciate the chance to get away.

Angel had wanted to do a repeat of last year's Pangkor Laut trip, but I wanted to stay even closer to home (here's the thing, apparently, I really, really don't like the idea of traveling while pregnant), so instead, we opted for a night at G Hotel in our own city.

Because of it's location between two shopping malls, we've walked through the lobby of G Hotel many times, and have joked about staying there, and actually being the people who are supposed to be in the lobby rather than the people who are using it as a shortcut between malls. I found a good price for Saturday night on our anniversary weekend, and we booked the hotel, and spent the next few weeks looking forward to a weekend of fun and relaxation together.

Saturday morning, Angel had to teach a class, so I worked on some projects at home and got ready and by 11 he was home and we left for the mall. All of the Christmas decorations are up for the season so we got to enjoy the festive look!

First on our agenda was an 11:35 showing of "Murder on the Orient Express."

While Angel bought the movie tickets, I went to the grocery store in the mall's basement because I was running low on purse candy (sucking on hard fruit-flavored candies is my magic nausea/sudden-not-feeling-well cure). A middle-aged man said "Hi, Sweetie" as I walked past him in the aisle which was unusual, but very quickly I met up with Angel again outside the theater and we were just in time for the beginning of the pre-movie commercials.

There are a LOT of commercials before movies at the theater here. We like to laugh at/be mystified by them. My current least favorite commercial is a McDonald's commercial full of close-ups of mouths biting into pieces of fried chicken, accompanied with loud chewing and crunching sounds. It's such an awful commercial I'm tempted to write to McDonald's to ask what they were thinking. I already detest McD's but I imagine watching such a commercial would cause even the most ardent Big Mac fan to commit to a healthier lifestyle.

"Murder on the Orient Express" was quite enjoyable. I've read every Hercule Poirot book that exists and have seen most of the older BBC TV adaptations of the various books. If you're a big stickler for the books, there are certainly a few scenes in this movie which feel jarring and not what you'd expect for certain characters. Doesn't a book reader always wish the film would stick a little closer to the book? But I was not disappointed, just surprised that I was in tears on a few occasions during the movie--somehow you feel the tragedy of the story more keenly in the movie than in the book. Overall, I really enjoyed the characters and the scenery and my beloved annoying Poirot in action once more.

By then it was 2 p.m. and time to check in to our hotel room, so we walked into the lobby. And here we met a road bump.

This is probably our fault, because we don't stay in hotels often enough to know what to expect, but it hadn't said anywhere on the room reservation that we'd paid for the month before that you needed to bring in passport copies and the original credit card that you paid for your room with. We do carry passport copies with us, but we don't carry our American credit cards on us because of the high incidence of petty theft and the general uselessness of American credit cards while on everyday errands. The front desk insisted that we needed to show the same card, or else we could pay for the room again on a different card and they would start putting in motion a refund on our original payment from last month. They couldn't say, however, how long a refund process might take, and I am very skeptical about refunds in this country (after it took us 110 days after canceling our internet service provider to finally be refunded our deposit) so we opted to drive home again and then back to the hotel in order to pick up our credit card. I'm very glad that we happened to be just a half-hour's drive from home, so this mistake only cost an hour of our day, but I think it would be wiser for the hotel to put a notice on their reservation slip that it's their policy that you must bring in the exact same credit card you paid for your reservation with.

Once we'd returned with the right card, check-in went smoothly and we found our room on the 9th floor.

The threatening skies made us glad we'd opted for an indoor getaway this time around. This region has had a very intense rainy season this year, one that's seemingly without end! The room had a very simple, modern design. Angel liked the big TV and I liked the comfy pillows, the complimentary snacks in the mini-fridge, and the bathroom amenities.

After exploring the room and the hotel for a bit, I was getting hungry and we headed out to the second mall. I got a smoothie bowl--it's teamwork when we get the bowl. Angel eats the pumpkin seeds and I eat the rest of the smoothie. Fair, right?

We spent some time in the various furniture stores in the mall. I've been on a quest toward a comfy couch for quite some time. We sat on a good number of couches and weighed pros and cons. There were some good sales going on but most of the couches weren't quite what I was looking for and the few that were...were too costly for me.

We decided to go back to the hotel to rest for a bit, and Angel slept while I watched Mythbusters. haha!

I'd written a to-do list for our anniversary, and one of the 'to-dos' was to find an anniversary souvenir. One of the lesser known facts about me is that although I'm rather minimalist, and I don't buy a lot of stuff, I really just enjoy shopping. And Angel and I really enjoy shopping quests together. We decided to go back to the first mall to continue our couch shopping quest. Although at this point, I expected that this shopping expedition would do nothing more than provide final confirmation that a couch with the specifications that I had and within the price range I had in mind did not exist in either mall.

I remembered that one store that we'd purchased organizing boxes from before had some furniture in the back, and suggested that we take a look there. When we were inside, we realized that they were having a big sale for the holiday weekend, and, lo and behold, they had a couple couches. One of them had removable cushions with removable covers. It had wide, padded arms that would allow you to cuddle up in the corner with a good book. It wasn't huge, but it was L-shaped and long enough to lie down on (at least for short people like us). In short, it was checking off every requirement on my list. The original price was in the same range of the other couches we'd been looking at that were too expensive, but this one was 50% off. A very friendly salesguy came to talk to us, and let us know that the sofa was actually an additional 10% off of the 50% off price, and they'd throw in a free matching ottoman, a free bottle of upholstery cleaner, and 6 free teddy bears (???? Free random things are fairly normal in sales here. Sometimes the match between free thing and the thing you buy is totally non-existent, but it's fun anyway). BUT! They didn't have any couches left in blue, my first choice for color. BUT! If we were willing to wait three weeks, they could order in a blue couch.

We were pretty much sold by that point, but this was the first store we'd visited in this mall, so we said we'd think about it and come back later. We went around to other stores, and even visited a bookstore where I found a book by a favorite author on 70% off clearance...but we had to come back for the couch. I couldn't stop thinking about it. Just the Christmas gift I've been wanting! And we'll always be able to remember that we bought this couch on our anniversary. A perfect, if rather large, "souvenir." I'll be sure to show you the couch once it arrives!

After all of that, I was definitely starting to feel tired from the big day, and hungry. I went to Chili's and ordered take-out mashed potatoes and Southwestern Egg Rolls (hey, baby wants what baby wants), and Angel went to McDonald's to get a take-out Big Mac (I guess even horrible commercials can't convince some people to give up their Big Macs). Livin' the life! We went back to our room completely pleased with our shopping success and very excited about our meals!

A Clint Eastwood movie about baseball was playing on TV, so we stayed up much later than our usual bedtime to watch the movie.

The next morning, we were up early to see the sunrise and head to the hotel's breakfast buffet. Our theory with breakfast buffets is always go early, before too many other people have had a chance to touch all the food. What I was most intrigued by was the presence of a chocolate fountain at the breakfast buffet. This is something I have never seen before. I tend to live by the motto "If there is a chocolate fountain, ignore all other food," so obviously I had three plates of chocolate-dipped fruit for breakfast. I will say, they had a rather abnormal selection of fruits for chocolate dipping--I've never had watermelon or honeydew with a chocolate fountain before, and I think I would have preferred the classics: strawberries, apples, and oranges, but I'm not complaining! I really enjoyed that chocolate fountain! Angel ate more like a normal person. I also ate a freshly-made omelet so my breakfast didn't entirely consist of chocolate and fruit.

Then we went back to our room to relax until we had to check out. I'd brought along some embroidery and a coloring book and journal--my ideal ways to spent a few hours with no responsibilities or obligations.

The hotel staff brought a celebratory cake to our room the night before--it seemed like too much to eat ourselves, so we ended up bringing it home and sharing it with my family on Sunday afternoon.

Always, when we're having fun together, the time passes all too quickly. Check out time arrived and we headed out. I wanted to make sure to take a photo with the "G" that was decorated like a reindeer for Christmas:

And then, in true married 7 years fashion, we stopped at the grocery store for milk, and headed home. I'm so glad that we took the time for this quick getaway. Our relationship is a gift, and no matter how full life may get at times, I always want to take time to simply have fun together and try new things. And learn new things about credit cards and hotel reservations. :)

{Linking up with What's New With You}
Michelle said...

I have so many things to say! I can’t get over that commercial. That would make me want to crawl out of my skin.

That view is magnificent. I would never stop looking out the window.

6 free teddy bears! That’s hilarious. I’m so glad you got your couch! Egg rolls and mashed potatoes is hilarious. Pregnancy does weird things to your appetite. I could’ve eaten a cheeseburger for every single meal during my last trimester, and I still would’ve craved meat. That’s so weird for me.

Kay R. said...

Glad you guys had a great trip but that check-in wow. Ive never heard of such an odd policy?! Why do you need to bring your original credit card if the room is already paid for?. Odd.

You guys are super cute and happy anniversary again.

PS ive seen that McDonalds commercial and - gross.

P!nky said...

Happy Anniversary!!! Looks like you had a wonderful time, i love your hair!

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

That sunrise is gorgeous!

Happy anniversary - glad you were close enough to not let the credit card thing be a thing!

Lauren said...

Happy Anniversary! That's great that you guys do something to celebrate. I think more couples should do that. I haven't read a TON of Poirot novels, but he's a favorite of mine and I want to read more. I thought the movie was well done, if not a bit slow, but I do hope Branagh does more Poirot films. He's great as the Belgian detective!!


Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

i am not a fan of mcdonalds exactly, but i worked there when i was younger and so i am weirdly protective of them as a business (australian mcdonalds anyway). i haven't seen that commercial, but just having you describe it was nails on a chalkboard for me. STOP. EW. GROSS. are they stupid?
ugh what a mess with the hotel. i'd be furious. glad you'd be able to get it sorted.
i haven't read Murder on the Orient Express but i do want to read it and then see the movie. glad you liked it though, i agree, always want the movie to be closer to the book, but some things just work better a certain way in movies, so i let it slide when i am a fan lol.

Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad said...

Sometimes a staycation really is the best option. It must be funny to stay somewhere you've visited so often - actually, S and I went and stayed in a hotel in the centre of Sydney for my birthday this year and I loved it. It was SO much fun and I still think about it a lot. It's made me want to do more staycation type activities, I do think they are underrated. Your hotel looks great and I loved Murder on the Orient Express, too. I read the book so long ago that I'd forgotten most of the details so I didn't mind the changes so much. I just wish we could have had more of Judi Dench. What a legend.

That's great news about the couch! Sounds perfect and a bargain. Just in time for the baby to arrive. My main question though is what do you plan to do with the 6 free teddies??

Laura Darling said...

Ugh that's a bummer about the hotel snafu. What a GORGEOUS view though!!

Audrey Louise said...

What a sweet little get-away. Even with the hotel mix-up, it sounds like it was nice! I like to get away for our anniversary, too, although I get weird about leaving our dogs. I just feel bad for them, even though they have a sitter that stays with them and keeps them in their routine.
I'm currently reading the Poirot novels! Should I wait to see the movie until I get to and get through the book? I've been debating this for a few weeks...
Happy belated Anniversary!

AnneMarie said...

This sounds like such an awesome anniversary vacation!!! I would be all about a chocolate fountain at breakfast. Even with those fruits, that would be awesome :) Yay for the couch!!!! That sounds pretty incredible. I'm so happy for you guys! Couches are beautiful things.

Jenny Evans said...

I loved the stopping for milk on the way home thing. That is a classic married couple move. Classic.

Nikki said...

I have never heard of the G Hotel. Where is that located? We always take a trip for our anniversary, usually local and usually just a few days. I love visiting our own state. I have a blue sofa too, and I can't wait to see yours!
Where are you from? (you keep mentioning "this country")
:) gwingal

Farrah said...

hahaha, 6 free teddy bears is definitely random, but what an awesome find! I'm glad you guys got such a great deal on it! Happy anniversary to you and Angel! That cake looks delicious! :]

Linh said...

You guys are the cutest! The view from this hotel is just breathtaking and so glad yall had a great time. Happy Anniversary!!

Carolann Chambers said...

"If there is a chocolate fountain, ignore all other food," -- pretty much my life motto too. So glad you had such a wonderful anniversary and that you got such a great souvenir! Nick and I try to mark each anniversary with a little getaway, too. It doesn't always happen around our anniversary but the improtant thing is that we make time for each other at some point!

C said...

I've never seen that McD commercial, but I bet it has to do with the popularity of ASMR videos. I'm with you, though...Gross! Your hotel room and view are amazing! And I love that you bought a couch! Happy seven years!

Unknown said...

What a super fun experience! I’d love to have a getaway with my husband!