Thursday, February 11, 2016

Making the Party Happen

Spoiler: This blog post ends with the line "And that is how I smuggled 40 coney dogs past MotorCity Hotel Security."


So, as you all know, Eric turned 40. To celebrate, we had a party for Eric in Michigan just before his birthday. It was so super cool to see how many people came out to help Eric celebrate.

I arranged to have a party at the MotorCity Hotel and Casino, and made the whole thing "Detroit" themed. Because we have the BEST family and friends, my cousins Matt and HeatherAnn came all the way down from Toronto to join in the fun, and Matt's parents George and Adele came over from Windsor. A number of the Jets came from around Metro Detroit, my parents and sister came, and our college buddies Hannah and Chris joined in too, which meant we crammed 25 or so people into the sitting room of a hotel junior suite. Eric was a gracious host and took my aunts down to the casino for a bit, then went down later with the cousins. I think a grand total of $15 was lost and $12 was won by all party-goers, because we're high rollers, obviously.


Because it is "us," it wouldn't be a day without some sort of something...


We got to the hotel early so I could set up. I hadn't told Eric about everything I was planning for the party - mainly that I had ordered a boatload of coneys from one of Detroit's originals, Lafayette Coney Island. I had a more detailed conversation than you might imagine with the manager at Lafayette, about how many coneys I needed for the party, and how his team would individually package the hot dogs and buns, and provide coney sauce, mustard and onions in their own trays on the side, would give me plates, napkins and plasticware, and additionally would make me up a tray of Greek salad with the dressing on the side. I also had loaded up on other Michigan-based drinks and snacks for the party, and the trunk of our car was basically full of party supplies.


We got to the hotel and checked in. I tried the "$20 trick" with the front desk clerk, but apparently, I am not good at bribing, nor was she good at understanding that a tip meant she should look for an upgrade for me. Matthew Sartin, I know you're shaking your head right now. She literally looked at the money, and said "is this for your deposit?" I said, "no, that's for you, but I'll take it back if you don't want it..." and that's the last I saw of my money, and there were no upgrades or other perks offered. Good think I had actually reserved a suite and hadn't bet on tipping my way up...


Anyway, I needed a dolly to get our stuff from the car to the room (Which was beautiful, by the way. View of downtown and the bridge in one wide sweep.) However, luggage carts come with an obligatory bellman. Mike, our smooth talking helper, was more than happy to come outside with us.


And then warned us that the hotel doesn't allow you to bring in food and drink.


Say what now?


Yep, the hotel doesn't allow you to bring in food and drink.


Mike to the rescue with the suggestion that we place our refreshments in suitcases and he would be more than happy to walk them in on his cart for us, directly past security who was checking each person attempting to access the elevators to the hotel (since its attached to the casino, and, well, they want hotel guests only. Sort of, since most of MY guests walked right by and got on the elevators without having to show a key.)


This is how 10 days' worth of clothes for two people ended up loosely piled in the trunk of HailNo, which suddenly looked a whole lot like a laundry truck.


Because I can pack a bag like nobody's business (I "may" have a little experience in this area), I got more beverages into that suitcase than a frat-boy in a dry lodge. My "overly large day bag" contained less "essentials" and more "potato chips." Mike had no problem loading these bags onto his cart and delivering it to our room, then going and finding me 5 pounds of ice and creating a "homemade cooler" out of the bar sink for us. The hotel might have had restrictions, but their star employee sure didn't.


However, as you might have noticed, this list did not include the entrees. I left Eric and ran to the diner to pick up my order. Fortunately, they had boxed the hotdogs (in their individual clamshells) in two large, generic boxes, so it was only the 18 by 28 pan of Greek salad that had to be hidden in the suitcase to make it up to the suite.


Let me just say that again. I put salad in a suitcase. Then I went and found my new best friend, Mike, and together, we smuggled 40 coney dogs past hotel security.


Where I promptly found that the diner had forgotten to give me the coney sauce.


Seriously?


Back to the diner, picking up HeatherAnn on the way, who I ran into in the lobby, sending Matt upstairs with Eric (and they behaved themselves. This is what happens when you both turn 40. You no longer cause the trouble you did not too many years ago.) HA and I ran back to the diner, grabbed the coney sauce, and plates, which they also didn't give me, and raced back to the hotel to sneak in that distinctive smelling liqui-solid concoction up the elevators just as guests were arriving.


It took a bit of time to realize that the diner also failed to give me Greek dressing. By then it was too late and we ate it anyway.


Now that I think of it, somehow I got a torte cake for 25 people up as well, but I think I just carried that thing with impunity.


When the party was over, Eric and I cleaned up and smuggled the leftovers back DOWN to the car in the suitcases, since it was 0 degrees outside, which turned HailNo from Subi to laundry truck to refrigerated vehicle. The cooler I brought stayed chilled not just overnight, but all 20 hours back to Colorado.


And that, my friends, is how I smuggled 40 coney dogs past the MotorCity Hotel security.

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