Thursday, February 14, 2008

It's SNOWING. . . .

. . .in West Virginia! Apparently it is snowing back home in Tennessee, too. I've been traveling in Morgantown, WV with my husband on business this week. We rented a car and drove up here Sunday evening. We stopped in Wytheville, VA for dinner and met up with our son, Brad, and his sweet girlfriend, Caitlyn. They both go to Virginia Tech and we were glad to see them. West Virginia is a beautiful state and the drive here was very pleasant. It was 15 degrees on Monday morning we woke up and we were COLD! I've worn my cuddle duds (long underwear) every day this week just to stay warm. (I also have a huggy hubby to keep me warm when he isn't busy working!) We've had three days of snow and flurries and have enjoyed every bit of it since we don't see that much snow down South.

We stayed at the Hotel Morgan, a beautiful historic hotel in Downtown Morgantown that has been recently renovated. The downtown area has unique shops, restaurants, & businesses. The first evening we were here we ate dinner at Maxwell's, which is a local favorite. Steve and I had a very nice Valentine dinner last night at the restaurant on the top floor where we could see the whole city of Morgantown & West Virginia University. Yesterday a friend took me to an old glass factory that has been turned into a mall filled with antiques, shops, and restaurant. Cute!

Our room was very nice with a king sized bed, chair & ottoman, desk, TV, and all. What is interesting is that we had a handicapped room, which is set up for someone with a wheelchair. The doorways were wider than normal. The bathroom was very spacious and had all the handrails and safety items that a physically handicapped person would need. The sink was not in the bathroom but was in the main area so that a wheelchair could fit under it. There were two peepholes on the door, one for a regular person and one for the handicapped. But, there was one small problem. . . the TV had NO close captioning! There was no menu or CC option anywhere on the TV. It must have been an older TV that wasn't up to date with the close captioning requirement. This "missed detail" was an example of how the normal hearing population try to accommodate the disabled but forget about those who are hearing impaired. I also forgot to mention that the room is on the THIRD floor. Wouldn't a physically disabled person need a room on the first floor? If there was a fire or emergency and the elevators weren't working, how would a physically disabled person get out? I'd be curious to know if the hotel has a plan to "Go to Room 306 in case of emergency."

Anyway, I stopped at the front desk and explained to them that I was hearing impaired. I asked if there was some way they could switch out our TV with another one in the hotel that had close captioning on it. There was no response for a while so I changed into my exercise clothes and went down to the lower level to the fitness room. There was a TV in there that I could watch while I rode on the bike AND IT HAD CLOSE CAPTIONING!!!! After I got done exercising, I stopped at the front desk again and asked about the TV, just in case I missed them while I was downstairs. They said they couldn't find one and offered to move us to a different room. We were already settled with our bags and all and didn't want to change but I did tell the clerk that the TV in the fitness room had close captioning. The clerk told me that I was welcome to take the TV from the basement to my room if I wanted to. I thanked him but said that I couldn't do it (actually I cannot lift anything more than 20 pounds for health reasons!). Later, I heard a knock on the door and it was the guy from the front desk bringing me the TV from the fitness room! He switched it out in a matter of minutes with no problems. Even the remote control that was in the room worked with it, but I still had to push the menu buttons on the TV to access the CC. I really appreciated the extra service and told the guy that he deserved some points for going the "extra mile" for me (but he lost some when he told me to move the TV myself)!

Yes, I can hear with my implants but there are times when we appreciate the close captioning feature while watching TV. If Steve is talking on the phone, I can mute the TV and still understand what is going on. Or when I have curlers in my hair in the mornings because I cannot wear my processors. I like to watch the morning news and weather while getting dressed. We're so used to having the close captioning when the TV is on that we miss it when it isn't there. Also, the voice and sound quality from TV is not always that great and is hard to understand sometimes without a little help.

We've had a busy week working with one of our clients but I enjoy traveling with Steve. And we are thrilled that we get to spend Valentine's Day TOGETHER! That doesn't always happen since he is on the road a lot. Happy Valentine's Day to all of you who read this!

Later. . .As we were driving home, I looked at our receipt for the hotel. Steve had checked a box for "hearing impaired" when he made the reservation. I asked him about it and he said "Yea, the fire alarm on the ceiling was set up to have a flashing light in case of fire." So, I guess it was "a hearing impaired room" after all.


RLM said...

Many thanks for sharing your exquiste experience in WV lodging.

Yea, I also recently faced the same problem with my hotel accomodation in Point Pleasant, WV for my business visit. The hotel people were incredibly hospitable and friendly how to resolve the lack of captions on the hotel room's tv set.

The hotel techinican figured out the menu button for CC on the tv set, not on the remote control.

So you could see how friendly and thoughtful West Virginians could be all about.

Unlike the perpertuating stereotypes about WV in many people's minds about West Virginians generally are hillbillies.

Many horror films like "Wrong Turn" and "My Bloody Valentine" would scare off other people from coming down to WV.

Thanks again for sharing your experience in WV with all of us. Smile!

Robert L. Mason (RLM)

Jim said...

I travel on business and often I run into this problem... especially when asking for "wake up" calls that I needed some sort of a light flasher or something related.

Enjoy your trip.

:) Jim

Abbie said...

I always hated hotel rooms that lack the close captioning. I am glad you had such a pleasant experience!

Happy Valentines day to you too!

Tales from the CI Gal said...

It snowed here in Tennessee. Did my snow dance and had a wonderful snow day.

Enjoy the trip.


Anonymous said...

Glad you got the TV with CC. If we do not ask for it. They forget us. Gee we have 30 million people with some degree of hearing loss. Wish all of them would speak up. Glad you had a fun trip. Whoa sounds tooooo cold for me. Hugs Molly from FL

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a business trip/mini vacation. I'm so glad you decided to go along and then have such a wonderful time.

Jennifer said...

It sounds like you have been having a good week! I think, though, if it were me, I'd wanna spend it someplace warmer ;)!
I'm glad you got your problems with the TV resolved. I still depend a lot on closed captioning...and when I go to a hotel and am paying through the nose for comfortable accommodations, I want to be able to understand the TV! :)
Have an awesome ya, dear friend! :)

Karen said...

Way to go on the advocating!

Silas1216 said...

Laurie, Glad that you and Steve had such a wonderful visit to WVA Just remember that WSU Rules
Take Care,
Craig & Nova Kigar
Classes of 79 & 80

Sam said...

"Or when I have curlers in my hair in the mornings because I cannot wear my processors. I like to watch the morning news and weather while getting dressed." curlers???????? Isn't that something we saw back in the.....60s???? I am so glad I am not going to Reno!

Laurie said...


Don't let my curlers stop you from going to Reno!!! I set my hair with hot rollers and they will melt my processor and parts if I wear them at the same time!