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Posts tagged ‘child guests’

Painting with Marley – and One Curious 3-Year Old

A surprise visit from a property owner’s pet iguana reminded me of an old iguana friend.

 

“Marley” and I met in June of 2007. On the walkway between Engineering Department’s doors and the back of the building.

 

He measured at least four feet in length. weighing over ten pounds. And, he blocked my path. Refusing to budge.

 

I stood and stared. Captivated by this amazing, and beautiful, creature.

 

His scales glistened in the bright sun. Showing off a kaleidoscope of hues in green, blue, red, and orange. He had a “third – parietal – eye” on the top of his head. A tall-to-short row of spines – “dewlap” – that ran down his back to the tail. Behind his neck, I saw these small, “spoke” like scales. And, then there was a very large round scale on each cheek.

 

It was my first very close encounter with a Green iguana. Considered a 21st century descendent of the prehistoric Polychrotid lizard.

 

Getting back to Marley. The name I gave him in late 2007, after crossing his path at least weekly.

 

One morning, our meeting was not exactly friendly. I’d needed to leave a freshly-coated exterior corridor, on the second story to help my boss move something very heavy.

 

Upon returning, I found claw marks in the damp, unset paint. And, Marley lying, leisurely, at the top of the steps that I’d rolled out less than a half-hour earlier.

 

The frustrating point came next. No matter what I did, the iguana would not move. Even when three young guests, in swim trunks, appeared at the foot of the steps.

 

My first instinct: Protect the three boys. Position myself between them and the iguana. That worked fine with the two older children.

 

The youngest, however, ignored me – and the WET PAINT signs. He ran onto the wet surface. Toward the iguana.

 

“AN’MAL! AN’MAL!” he shouted happily. “AN’MAL! Come here.”

 

Well, the “an’mal” raised on all fours. He swished that tail a couple of times. Then, he jumped from the second story landing, to the ground beneath. Scurrying toward the nearest clump of dense bushes.

 

The youngest boy following closely behind. “AN’MAL! AN…..’MAL!”

 

His big brothers chased after him. “NO, DAVID.” “Stop, Davie.”

 

I took off running after all three boys. My greatest concern was for their safety. The second concern: Marley.

 

Suddenly, alongside me appeared this lady in a dripping wet swimsuit. The boys’ mother.

 

In a flash, she had all three sons corralled, and following her back to the gazebo in the pool area.

 

Lucky for me, the iguana’s claw marks in the paint were easy to lightly smooth out with a No. 2 steel wool pad.

 

The first thing next morning, I re-coated that section of the concrete corridor. Guarding the area for fifteen minutes longer than necessary. Until the special coating had dried completely.

 

Moral of the story: Watch out for four-legged creatures and two-legged boys when painting open, and public, spaces.

 

Footnote: The last time I saw Marley was the afternoon of April 19, 2013. He stood on the hotel’s side of the fence. He peered toward the nearby, swampy pond. And, “Charlie,” a resident Alligator, floating along like an old log. Only the top of his snout and beady eyes above water.

 

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Lucky is the painter that can work in the midst of nature.

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Here’s hoping that you have a great month, everyone. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Creative Couple Retrofits Hotel for “21st Century Fifty-Plus Year Old Guests.”

On a return flight from London, a relative sat next to the new owners of a South Florida independent hotel. They had settled for coach seats on the “next flight,” rather than wait for “first class” seating the following morning.

 

The couple spent much of their flight time looking at color chip books from paint and stain/varnish manufacturers. Their attaché also contained photos of wallcoverings and swatches of fabric.

 

By the time the plane landed at New York’s J.F.K. Airport, the couple had chosen their color scheme for the hotel property. Also, they’d set a “tour and lunch” date with my relative and her spouse.

 

What fascinated me were the couple’s plans for upgrading the hotel. Especially considering the fact that both husband and wife were in their early forties, versus over 50.

 

Here’s the list of plans that the couple shared with my relative:

 

  1. Target market: Guests 50 and older.
  2. High WI-FI connectivity property wide.
  3. All amenities included, and available to all guests.
  4. Acoustical ceilings throughout.
  5. Guest room amenities: Two armchairs, reclining/revolving; adjustable queen-sized beds (phase-in); carpeted bathroom floors, bathtub rails and seats; one-way privacy window shades.
  6. Dining: Dining room and buffet, all meals; “Surf and Ale Pub”®; indoor/outdoor café; F & B Deli and “S & S Snack and Pack.”®
  7. Property-wide public phones and phone service.
  8. Front-Social lobby: Seating clusters; firm-cushioned, 2-seat sofas, arm chairs; reading lamps.
  9. Corridors: Firm-cushioned “park seat” settees.
  10. Small library: For reading, writing, computer use, quiet games.
  11. Billiard and Game Room.
  12. Connectivity and computer room in each building.
  13. “Techy Show and Go Shop.”®
  14. Small movie theatre.
  15. Gift shop: All merchandise home-crafted or home-made.
  16. Exercise and Massage room in each building.
  17. “Children’s Day and Short-Stay”® guest areas: Indoor activity/game/movie room; outdoor playground.
  18. Outdoor bird and nature sanctuary, with pond.
  19. Outdoor amenities: Pool and spa, two tennis courts, three garden parks; small European-style wood/wrought iron game tables; “under-roof” Boule courts, shuffleboard courts, outdoor bowling; archery range; golf putting range.
  20. Small 3-chair Hair and Barber Salon.

 

By the way, all preparation and finishing products used on the property will be odor-free, fume-free, allergy-free, toxin-free; also quick-drying. All surfaces and areas will be smooth, with minimal reflectivity.

 

What the hotel would not be offering to guests and visitors:

 

  1. Full-service restaurants
  2. Special kidsuites and children’s sleeping areas.
  3. Room service
  4. Basketball, volleyball, and racketball courts. (A nearby park offers all three.)
  5. Clothing, shoe and jewelry shops

 

“We want to accommodate the 21st Century 50-plus year old guests.” The couple said that they want to offer this group of guests what they need at a tropical hotel.

 

“Then, we want to “nudge them out of the hotel’s doors.” And, into their neighbors’ restaurants, shops, galleries, stage theatre, etc.

 

“Why have a full-service restaurant in the hotel, when we have at least five in the neighborhood? Within easy walking distance. Even for the 50-60-70-80 plus year old guest.”

 

This couple’s philosophy coincides with a trend that more hotels, spas, inns, and other lodging businesses are following.

 

Their focus: Provide accommodations and amenities that guests need and expect.

One of their aims: Be a good business neighbor, by sharing customers.

Their bottom line: Streamline operations, contain costs, and expand capital reserves.

 

By the way, the couple has a waiting list of over 250 couples, ready to sign in as inaugural guests.

 

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Have a great day! Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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