June 20, 2006

To recap our 5-day stint at Bellevue’s charming Extended Stay Hotel, let us embrace my friend the bullet point:

• Number of blankets encrusted with human filth provided by hotel: 1
• Dollars charged for the “service” of having disgusting blanket removed and a non-crunchy blanket supplied, plus new towels: 10
• Number of towels provided by hotel after this “service” was performed: 0
• Resemblance of hotel clerk to ubiquitous Simpsons wage-slave: uncanny, down to the voice break (“I’ve gotta ask my manager, ma’am”)
• Number of times Riley bumped his head into various metal furniture trying to navigate the .001″ of floor space: several hundred
• Parts per million of contamination likely crawling on floor space: I don’t want to know I don’t want to know I don’t want to know

In summary:

We moved to a Silver Cloud Inn on Saturday, which in retrospect we should have done immediately after noticing our Extended Stay blanket had last been washed in 1987. The Silver Cloud offered a full suite with kitchenette, soft towels, two (!) televisions with HBO, a wide expanse of sparkling clean carpet for Riley to practice crawling on (he’s at this stage where he gets on his hands and knees and rocks back and forth, it is both weird and cute), and bed linens thankfully devoid of stains or pubic hairs.

(Much, much better.)

If you are visiting Bellevue and looking for a place to stay, and you’ve ruled out my house due to the spiders and rats and slimy-nosed Labs and all, I highly recommend the Silver Cloud Inn. If you are with a well-known NBC evening news show looking to do an exposé on hotels that charge $90 per night yet apparently do not employ actual cleaning personnel, I’d like to point you to the Extended Stay. Enter at your own risk, though.

All in all, we spent a full week away from the house while the flooring people worked and various things went wrong. First there was a horrific amount of staining revealed when the carpets were pulled up, probably from some kind of deadly mold that slithered over from the Extended Stay back in 1987, during that big blanket washing event. Boards had to be replaced, and instead of the “Natural” finish, we chose a stain to help cover up the damage. Everything took longer than expected, so instead of coming back on Thursday as we had planned, we did the majority of our move-in yesterday afternoon. And let me tell you, the only thing that’s even more awesome than moving every single piece of furniture out of the house is moving it back IN, with the added benefit of applying little felt doohickeys on the bottom of everything beforehand.


(AFTER) (Notice they managed to remove that nasty cat-shaped stain!)

The house looks great, except for one remaining problem: certain areas of the floor are now shiny – as if the floor is still wet, but it’s not. The contractors have scratched their heads and called manufacturers and no one can exactly figure out the Shiny Floor Issue, but they’re going to try and fix it today with an “alcohol wash” which probably means they’re going to sit around and have a beer while they count the piles of money we now owe them.

Hey, have I mentioned lately how tired of the remodel I am? Good thing we now have to replace all the baseboard trim in our entire house in addition to the remainder of the work in the bathroom, because we wouldn’t want the end to be in sight, or anything.

Random factoids about having your floors refinished:
• The sanding process will leave behind a thick layer of wood-dust on every object in your house and when you turn the blinds in your infant son’s room to darken it so he can sleep, you will dump a pile of dust directly onto his sweet, trusting face
• The same dust will make it painfully apparent you’ve been living with kind of, um, a SHITLOAD of cobwebs
• The clothes you left in the closet will forever smell of solvent, as though you got dressed and doused yourself head to toe with OFF! mosquito spray
• “Swedish finish” sounds totally pornerrific

In final news, an excited dog + hardwood floors = COMEDY GOLD.


38 Responses to “Heh heh heh, “swedish finish””

  1. angela on June 20th, 2006 4:07 pm

    i love the expression on dog’s face in the before picture. he just wants to love you! that is the sole purpose of a lab’s life.

  2. Katie on June 20th, 2006 4:18 pm

    I am totally freaktastically horrified of hotel rooms! I call the bedspreads, “the nasty” and quickly fling the nasty off the bed and into a corner off the minute i enter the hotel room, using only two fingers. I also pull back the blanket under the bedspread because I KNOW they don’t wash those every time either. I am never never never going to an Extended Stay America. Evah.

    The floors look great though!

  3. Jessie on June 20th, 2006 4:47 pm

    Glad you made it out of the Extended Stay America alive. I was worried!

    Also comedy gold? A cat that gets a shopping bag handle over it’s head and then freaks out.

  4. JenE on June 20th, 2006 4:57 pm

    I’m glad you’re back in the house. I envy you for your hardwood floors! One day, I’ll get some of my very own. I travel about 20 days a month for work (have for the past 5 years), and I’ve seen it all – except a hotel that charges you (directly) for doing a basic service (laundering linens) they OWN.

  5. Tricia on June 20th, 2006 5:17 pm

    The floors are faboo, but you have GOT to get rid of that chandelier with the big globes on it.

  6. Anais on June 20th, 2006 5:26 pm

    Glad to have you back! I’ve been looking forward to an update. That Extended Stay sounds like a real hell hole. It makes spending a night being chased by Michael Myers sound like a dream vacation. I cracked up like an idiot when I saw the picture of you flipping them off. As a matter of fact, I nearly choked on my Starbucks Frappucino. Ha!

  7. Magpie on June 20th, 2006 5:43 pm

    Another fun factoid about that sawdust: you’ll be contending with it for the next six months or so. Enjoy!


  8. Melanie on June 20th, 2006 5:57 pm


  9. Kristin on June 20th, 2006 7:32 pm

    Your description of the Extended Stay America gave me skeevies on top of skeevies.

    Your floors, even with Mystery Shininess, look fully worth all the chaos.
    Beware of washing the floors with newly crawling babies: Nolan has had some skids on our hardwood that almost sent him shooting, shocked and baby-slick, out the front door.

  10. Lesley on June 20th, 2006 8:15 pm

    Some wool or silk Persian throw rugs would look lovely on that floor. Strategically placed, they would over up the shiny bits too or you could opt for a large area rug that would leave the periphery of the wood floor exposed. As someone who has lived with verathaned oak floors for 13 years (and who has sanded and verathaned) I can only wonder if the people doing the floor alternated shiny with mat. Otherwise it makes no sense as freshly sanded floors shouldn’t have any stain or old verathane on them.

    Btw, I think this entry should be a google-bomb for anyone looking for a review of that first hohell you stayed at. I hope hope hope the owner/manager stumbles across your farewell finger to that dump.

  11. Lesley on June 20th, 2006 8:17 pm

    P.S. Any chance you have videographic evidence of that comedy gold you mention?

  12. Kate on June 20th, 2006 10:19 pm

    Wow. That post was COMEDY GOLD. Thanks for making my not-so-faboo day a little brighter.

  13. Shannon on June 20th, 2006 10:32 pm

    Enjoy the shinyness of those Swedish Finished hardwood floors because in about one year, you’ll be asking various sources how to get that shinyness back AND NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO TELL YOU. I speak from experience.

  14. Pete on June 20th, 2006 11:22 pm

    Welcome back home.

  15. Kay on June 21st, 2006 2:20 am

    The floors look great! I just moved into my first house with hardwoods and thought I would hate it. But I quickly found out it was the best thing ever! Even with a small baby and a dog!
    I picked up one of those $30 Hoovers that have a floor and carpet setting, I don’t have to sweep, ever! It gets the job done and we go barefooted and have clean feet! I know, amazing news for hillbillys everywhere! ;) We do have area rugs by our bed and a large one in our living room but the rest we left alone!

  16. Thursday on June 21st, 2006 3:53 am

    You will find wood-dust for the next five years at the very least. You will find tumbleweeds of dog and cat hair roll around the corners of the rooms within 24 hours. You will find vacuuming far easier. You will get really panicky about things dropping on the floor for about 2 months until devil-may-care attitude creeps in. You will find the floor changes colour after about a year where furniture’s on top of it.

  17. Amy on June 21st, 2006 5:09 am

    I’ve been a loyal reader for more than a year now – I found you through Chiara’s journal. You never fail to make me laugh, and I can sympathize with all your joys and fears about being a mom. Hardwood floors – a blessing and a curse. When we moved into our new house with all hardwoods, suddenly their was dirt and dust everywhere. I told my friend – I never had to clean this much in the old house with carpet, she said – the dirt and dust was all still there, just absorbed into the carpet. Well, sometimes ignorance =bliss=less cleaning. But, just a few quick swiffers and the occasional squirt of hardwood floor cleaner/polish and we are all set.

    Hardwood floors are not dog friendly. Our girl is a 90 pound 10 year old arthritic lady. She has scratched the floor a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean I’m already saving for the future when I can have the floors sanded and redone and mentally noting small breed/mini dogs as future pets. Also, being arthritic, there’s no resistance for when she tries to get up so she falls a lot. ALso, those tumbleweeds someone was talking about – be prepared. They will be big and they will be everywhere. When the sunlight shines on our floors, I see a fine to thick coating of dog hair. Then, if we turn on a fan, all the tumbleweeds gather for the dance of the tumbleweeds in the hallway. Then, for added fun, my almost 2 year old daughter will bring me a tumbleweed and say “dirt” and I nod and say thank you baby, I”ll put that in the trash and reafirm my status as crappy housecleaning mom.

    I will say though, that I love my hardwoods. And I do love a couple of strategically placed area rugs. Which for some inexplicable reason have discolored the wood underneath securing their permanent residence in their current locations (bathmats also discolor the wood, who knew?)

    An unasked for tip – the dry dust swiffer can be your best friend but damn if those dust cloths aren’t made of gold and they cost a lot when we should use them every day. Get the swiffer stick and buy those super expensive Viva Paper towels. They are only super expensive if you actually use them as paper towels, but when used to swiffer, they really last and they do a darn good job.

    Good luck!

  18. Moxie on June 21st, 2006 6:20 am

    You should TOTALLY write a hotel review on Tripadvisor.com about your 7th ring-o-hell stay. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve booked hotels after reading their reviews and found them to be pretty accurate. I now have half dozen friends who do the same thing and they have had the same results. BTW…the hotel’s management does read those reviews, as I once got a thank you letter from a chain hotel (and a free night!) after I wrote an especially glowing review about their nice motel.

  19. Jem on June 21st, 2006 6:34 am

    I love Cat and Dog = PHOTO OP!!!

  20. MademoiselleCaroline on June 21st, 2006 7:11 am

    Yay for hardwood floors! It looks great. Now all you need is a Swiffer thingee and you’re in business. Hardwood cleans up like *that*. Double-yay!

  21. Ang on June 21st, 2006 7:18 am

    Welcome back! The floors look great! Can’t wait to SEE the comedy gold. : )

  22. Lisa on June 21st, 2006 8:36 am

    Oh, that wood dust. You’ll find it in your vents (hint: clean out before turning on the heat or else you’ll be powdering the house), you’ll find it in your cabinets, you’ll find it in your light fixtures, you’ll find it everywhere. We were Swiffering down the walls for a week afterward.

    Also, I realized we are sisters in suffering! The husband and I stayed in an Extended StayAmerica for TEN DAYS when our floors were being repaired/replaced/refinished. TEN. DAYS. I was so glad I had the foresight to pack our own pillows; I only wish I had thought to bring sheets and towels to the hotel that was charging us $90 a day.

    By the way … the floors look gorgeous.

  23. Orlandoann on June 21st, 2006 10:17 am

    Please see previous comment about Roomba…I swear you will LUV it.

  24. Sonia (DDM) on June 21st, 2006 10:20 am

    Please, please oh PLEASE? Video of Dog skittering about on the hardwoods?

  25. zu on June 21st, 2006 11:41 am

    The floor looks fantastic! :)

  26. Lisa B on June 21st, 2006 12:50 pm

    Soon the floors will have a nice “patina” from the dog claws (that’s what we tell ourselves it is, at least). If you have a long hallway that is also hardwood you can chase Dog up and down the hallway, listening to her skitter away. Four-paw traction doesn’t really help. :) We do it at least once a day, so enjoy the comedy gold!

  27. Lisa B on June 21st, 2006 12:51 pm

    Speaking of comedy gold, however: http://missmuddypaw.com/

  28. warcrygirl on June 21st, 2006 1:14 pm

    OMG, the windows!!!! Love them! We should have had our floors redone when we first moved it, now I’m afraid we’re going to have to have them replaced. GAH! Your floors look lovely. Videos of Dog’s Comedy Gold, please.

  29. CartwheelsAtMidnight on June 21st, 2006 1:18 pm

    Welcome back!

    I was beginning to worry you’d have to take a detour to the psych ward after that hotel stay.

    Floors look great. All that moving back in sounds like a drag though.

  30. Becky on June 22nd, 2006 6:45 am

    Perhaps the shiny spots have something to do with the mysterious lubricant? Just a thought.

  31. Rayne on June 22nd, 2006 7:11 pm

    The floors look awesome!

  32. justmouse on June 24th, 2006 7:52 am

    hehehe, i love dogs on hardwood floors! *snork* “tappity-tappity-tappity-scramble-scramble-claw-skid-THUD!” BAH HA HA! also, if for whatever reason i ever actually end up in your part of the world, i would TOTALLY come visit you. rats don’t bother me, spiders are dismissable, and i happen to find slimey snouts rather charming in a get-out-of-my-crotch! sort of way.

  33. Charles on October 27th, 2006 12:54 pm

    Choose an author as you choose a friend. Charles.

  34. Jim Lawrence on January 14th, 2007 2:17 am

    Google is the best search engine

  35. this is what we have to look forwar to? on June 11th, 2007 9:15 pm

    I googled something about floor refinishing and ended up here! Very funny stuff- can’t wait to start our floors!

  36. planetjanet on January 9th, 2008 10:21 am

    Just noticed this…great! A word of caution with your new floors. Don’t use any polish or wax – EVER. Use only a cleaner made for Swedish finished floors or a very dilute solution of water and vinegar. Swifers should be avoided. They work due to some chemicals that get left on the floor. In other words you will be coating the floor with something ver similar to anti-freeze! Baby, cat and dog will then get the stuff all over their paws and then like it off. Yuck, bad and verrry unhealthy. In a few years when the patina of your life is just too emphatic, you can have a screen and topcoat. Not only will it refresh your floors to the present beauty with less $$$ it will refresh the fine dust! Actually, try sheets in the doorways to contain the mess.

  37. Devin Hunter on July 3rd, 2008 10:04 am

    My Thoughts on New Victorian Suites

    I have recently stayed at New Victorian Suites in Lincoln Nebraska, and wanted to share with you guys my experience.

    I usually don’t do this type of thing, but they really surprised me in terms of the quality of service. The rooms were exceptionally clean, the beds and furniture were brand new just like you would find in high end hotels. And most importantly, they responded quickly with any sort of request.

    If you’re around Lincoln Nebraska any time son, consider New Victorian Suites.

    Devin Hunter

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