Friday, October 05, 2007

The Fall Classic Horseshow, My Pie social, and getting kicked to the curb at the Shilo Inn Hotel in Salem, Or.

It's quite the combination of topics in one blog, Do you agree?
Well, here goes...The NWSA Fall classic Horseshow was in nice attendance this year, lots of nice horses which is good to see. A few people were not there and were missed, Michelle mcFarlane of the Scripps Miramar Ranch for one, She loves my Pie Social and even told me so in person.(Sweet)
Jana Goldman, Bruce Dixon both of California just to name a few. We hope to see them up here again next year. The Mr. stayed busy as he wanted to be and sometimes a little more, only a few shoes thrown in the ring, that's always Good News!
We have some of the warmest and most kind people participating in our Saddlebred Show, Dick Boettcher a man always willing to give a warm hug hello, surprised me with 2 bonsai styled Alberta Spruce trees about 4.5-5 tall all trimmed to look like pom-poms. He did this out of the goodness of his heart, and to show me his appreciation for my hard work, He also loves my Blackberry pie-cobblers.
I gotta send him a note.
We went all out again this year and put up our decorations, our canopy for cover and lights all around. My theme this year was wine and roses, I decorated with reddish colored grape leaves and hanging artificial grapes. I had two huge hanging Ivy plants that I put silk roses in with the plant. It looked good. We serve coffee to anyone who wants it during the show, I bake most times and serve my Godiva liquor chocolate brownies and various cookies or cinnamon rolls also. I have a certain few who come by on a daily basis for goodie surfs.

My decor was evident to me but I would have had to tell everyone else for them to even notice I'm sure, But, oh well, it was fun.

The show was a success but we had rain and a chill in the air, we had a new class this year called the claiming class, I really don't know much about it other than it was to offer horses for sale at 7,500.00 or less.(A way for the amateur rider to get into the horses and show for minimal amounts of money) The horses perform in the ring with a rider, and the announcer said a little ditty about each one. I did become a little confused when the judge announced a winner of the class though. I was caught by surprise, I didn't know it was being judged. 6 participated in the event.
The Pie Social...My event, I fret over it like it was my own baby, Yet it takes so much more than what I contribute to it to make it work. There was some words over it even happening this year and a few select ladies went to bat for me and got it squared away. Hopefully it will not be the same fight next year. Thank you gals!

I turned out 32 pie styled cobblers this year, Everything from Apple to peach to pumpkin to raspberry and of course the ones I have reached my so called "Famous" status with my blackberry pies, not your average Blackberry but Himalayan Blackberry, they grow wild on our hilltop and you have a very hard time finding these for sale anywhere. They are the true Blackberries with all their sweetness and goodness, Thick with aroma. The Mr. picked 12 gallons of these from our farm this year just for this event.
I got a new stove just before this pie baking marathon this year and then preceded to wire in a 220 plug out in the shop for the other stove, Bonus, 2 ovens. Life was good. Each year I have done something smarter and made the task a little easier. I still make everything from scratch including my pie crusts and the filling are my own recipes both tried and true. I still stand on my feet for a good 16 hours to completion, but I had the daughter volunteer to help with some of the work this year, Much appreciated, I told her many times.

I got to serve the pies again this year, that's always fun, I get to see the many faces that have become friends over the years and many new faces too. I brought back in Toni Van Wyck to help serve, She was partially responsible for me doing this each year so I drag her back in and make her work too! Kidding, She was the show managers wife in charge of doing just said events when I got started, Sadly her husband Austin passed away a few years ago, But we still have her. Thank you Toni.

Now to my sore subject, The Hotel (http://www.shiloinns.com/oregon/salem.html.)...They actually didn't kick us to the curb, just to the lobby. They packed out belongings up on top of the suitcase and put it behind the lobby desk, unsecured. Without asking, without permission, and the room was being held by not 1 but 2 credit cards both private and corporate cards and both good for anything the hotel would charge.
Let me start with 2 days prior to our arrival, I call and confirm our stay and even tell them there will be a small dog. Everything's OK to this point, Then on the day we are supposed to check in the MR. goes and checks in but doesn't end up spending the night. The following day he goes to the room and brings in a suitcase, showers and takes a nap but doesn't return that night.
Now the third day, He doesn't go to the room at all but his suit case is still there and our room is still under the time block that I specifically called and confirmed.
The thing is we live within 45 minutes to the show, but, sometimes there is not enough time to go home and shower and change between shows, and sometimes we like to just stay there and not drive home so late. It serves as our dressing and resting room for 3 days during the show. It's a necessity for us, not just a convenience.

So I go to the Hotel Saturday evening to freshen up and try to use my key, Nothing the door won't open, I go to the desk and say my key won't work, She says what room? I say 304, She says oh, 304, I think what does that mean. I said I need to get in there our stuff is in there and we have it for another night. She says well we pulled your belongings, I said what??? Sure enough there was all the MR.s clothes and personal effects laying out in the open right behind the desk, Not in the suitcase mind you but in a wad on top. (I'm in total disbelief)
I can't begin to tell you how I felt at that moment, I had a whole gambit of emotions going on anything from anger to embarrassment, it was there.
My blood pressure surely took a hike that night, I felt my face become hot, This was totally wrong, by any way, shape, or form. What were they thinking? I sat down and wrote Shilo Inns main headquarters a little email and shared my experience.
Well, the following Monday morning I got a phone call from the very person who made the decision to pull our belongings and close out the room. She laid no claim to it though. I had made some tidal waves evidently. Headquarters ordered her to call an immediate meeting to discuss this matter. She told me this was to never happen again, even if its just a tooth brush in the room during a confirmed time frame. ...Just as it should have been all along right?
She also said she was going to send me a comp. night all of which I still haven't seen and probably won't. GRrrrrrrr, It should have been a comp. week for the aggravation and embarrassment she put me through! I am trying to let it go, But you know I've been treated better in a dive motel than this.
Unbelievable...

10 Left A Love Note :):

Jeannie said...

I can't believe anyone would make all those pies in such a short time! Is there any money raised by your doing it by any chance? Because really, if you are just giving it away - you are way too nice.

The hotel should have given you the nights lodging free in a better room or comp you breakfast if there wasn't one. Geez.

Marianne said...

I guess I am lost on the reason WHY they did this? I am drugged up pretty good on Benedryl and I am seeing double, but I don't guess I understand why they did this to you. Completely unacceptable.

Sweeti said...

Marianne, hmmmm, the gal at the front desk said it standard opperating procedure with the orders coming down from the general manager, anytime it looks as though someone is not staying in the room they do this, the general manager said: this has never happened before. Now you and I both know, that no hourly employee is going to do something that drastic without the orders coming from a higher up, It just isn't going to happen, hourlys are not stupid, they know if heads are going to roll it will be them first.
...and as to why, my guess is that our Organization wasn't paying enough for that room and they cleared it out so they could make the full price for the weekend. It was a money grab.
I hope you feel better soon!

Jeannie, Nope there's no money raised or anything but a few nice thank you's. I started this after a lady named Betty Deardorff could no longer do her apple pies for the show, I know that she never made as many as I do and I think there were a few who donated pies too.
So we the (Mr and I) soley sponser this event with the pies now as a way to give back to his customers and support the show.

Anyone can write a check, But how many are contributing to make the show the best it can be?
That's what it takes, well, that and lots of money too, effort and hard work is the backbone to any event that's successful. I'm just a team player that's all.

Just using Gods gifts for good of all.

D.T. said...

I was so looking forward to seeing a picture with your wine leaves decor. And the horses! Granted, I know your most proud of the pies (the picture of the kitchen totally gives me a fuzzy warm feeling and makes me think happy-happy thoughts of the holidays!), but I thought we get to see your other hard work and animals.

And the hotel thing...what the hell? A free night? I would fight it until I got a free week. Nay, a year of complimentary nights, whenever "you're in town". Take it to the extreme. That's the only way anybody ever learns. But that's just me.

oregoncelticlady said...

Greetings! I am so glad you stopped by my blog! I have sooo little time this time of year to post OR read. I hope you will stop by again!

oregoncelticlady said...

Just read the whole blog!!!! DO NOT let this go!!!! You will never forget it if you do! Write back to HQ, tell them of the nature of your conversation with her (as I am sure she did not apologize) and tell them what you WANT for compensation in order to ever do business there again. You may also want to let them know that you are part of group that travels from all over to come to the shows and that you would certainly be disappointed if you could not recommend there business again! =)

Wow, I am bossy, eh!? Try it and let me know!!!

Hammer said...

Those pies sound good!

That hotel needs a kick in the butt. Stay on em or call the press with yuor story.

B said...

I would have felt enraged by this. How totally unacceptable. I would tell them that you will be writing to the public (as you have in this blog) and warning people of the hotel standards.

How dare they just throw you stuff on the ground. I am assuming they rented out the suite you were in? All because you didn't sleep there? bottom line is YOU PAID (!!!) for the room, you checked in and since it was paid for, what does it matter if you slept there or not? Once you checked in, there should have been no question of whether someone "stayed there". AND HOW do they know? Did someone come by the room every hour to see if someone was there? Or was it merely because the bed was unused and the maid didn't have to make it?

I suppose how you proceed depends on how much emotional time you want to invest in making them rue the day they crossed you. :) But I know I would make a stink. Had it been me, heads would have rolled in that lobby that morning.

Sweeti said...

As of the 9th still no comp. Certificate from the Shilo Inns. Oh, but another irritating factor has been thrown in the mixture. Get this they had the audacity to charge our personal credit card on the 1st of October for 153.90 and then credit us for 153.90 on the 2nd of October. Now our personal card should never been charged a dime in the first place. (((Rage Building again)))
Hmmmm, do you suppose this is the comp. night in some sick and twisted way?

Good Lord in heaven they serve to work my nerves down to the bitter ends.

David, Sorry to disappoint you with no horse pictures, But, as you might well know water and digital cameras don't mix. This show was rain during the times I was there. I did take a movie of the Claims class but thought it might be to long and boring for the blog.
As far as the hotel, Well, I'm still thinking on this one. Maybe a call to the headquarters might be a better approach.

O.C.Lady-She did apologize, but I felt no sincerity at all, First I know that I caught her in lies, So that right off the bat gave me an insincere feeling about her.
And you are bossy, LOL, I did tell the gal at the desk that. All she could do is try to avoid me because of the nature of the problem, She just wanted me to go away.

Hammer-thanks for the backing and I will.

B-thanks for the visit and come back again, I totally know what your saying the room was paid and how dare they, But they did anyway.
I'm still thinking on a solution to this problem. It's not over.
Hey I'd like so info on the WUB, do you write on specific topics as a group?

B said...

Hey Sweeti, you are indeed sweet. :)

I was just randomly picked to join WUB due to my Unity Project blog. In all honesty I have yet to post a topic as the others have been so much better than anything I can think up to add *blush*. If you are interested in contributing I could contact them and ask if I can add you to the group. Just email me and let me know.

As for the hotel, they should send you a letter explaining the outcome and whether that charge reversed was their so-called comp night or not. Really bad business going on there, and no excuse for it either.