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    Don’t stay at the Bellagio

    September 15, 2008

    Long time, no post.  It’s a long story.  It’s really depressing but tomorrow there will be a video that’s funny.  And incriminating.

    Ten days ago I showed up in Vegas.  My dear friend Wendy arrived for the trade show before me and she and her friend Lisa picked me up at the airport.  They dropped me off at the convention center to set up my booth.  Which I did.  Then I took a cab to the Bellagio to check in.

    About halfway there, I realized I had no wallet.  Don’t worry.  I was smart.  I had all my money and id and credit cards in the SAME PLACE so if it was gone, it was gone.  I found enough money to cover my cab fare and stumbled into the Bellagio.  I explained my dilemma to the nice guy behind the counter.

    Bellagio Barry:  Ma’am.  We must have a government-issued identification and a credit card to check you in this evening.  Where did you leave your wallet?
    K:  Hi, Barry.  If I KNEW where my wallet was, it wouldn’t be lost.

    Yes, I said it.  But that has to be the dumbest thing anyone can say when someone loses something.  Seriously.

    BB:  Ma’am.  I can’t let you check in.
    K:  Barry, I can’t possibly be the first person to LOSE HER WALLET IN LAS VEGAS.
    BB:  We can’t help you.
    K:   Listen.  My husband can fax you a copy of my passport and a credit card guarantee.
    BB:  Ma’am, that won’t work.  We need originals.  We can let you stay for the night since you have one night prepaid but you’ll have to show the id and credit card tomorrow or check out.
    K:  It’s  Saturday night. It’s 9:30 pm at my house.  That’s not possible.
    BB:  Sorry.  I can’t help you.

    I kept it together until I got back to my room.  I ask you, Internet.  Is this any way to treat a pregnant woman? I called my husband and I was hysterical. A tree had fallen on the road about 60 seconds before he drove down it with my mother and kids earlier, so he was already in a funky mood. Something about nearly killing everyone. He asked for the number to the front desk. He said he would take care of it.

    I called room service.

    RS: Ma’am, you are cash only. Will you be paying with cash?

    So now I have 4 dollars and I can’t afford a bottle of water at the Bellagio. Wendy calls and offers to bring me money. I tell her that Derek is fixing everything. He calls back to tell me that he CAN send a credit card and the front desk doesn’t understand why Barry told me that I couldn’t. I stop crying. I have tweeted it all and I get 5 calls from the internet, offering to wire me money. Chocolate Fountain Fairy Godmother tries to get some guy she knows in Vegas to bring me money. I try to break into the minibar while I wait for Derek to get the form and fax it back.

    Except they forget to fax the form. He has to call back twice. I break into the minibar and help myself to the $12 cashews. I call my husband crying again. He calls AGAIN and they send him the form. It’s 2 1/2 hours later. Too late to eat. I go to bed, excited for breakfast.

    I wake up at 5:00 am and order room service, only to find that I am still cash only. I tweet this bad news and call my husband. Who is livid. He stayed up past midnight to get that form to them and they didn’t put it in the computer when they got it. I call the front desk. They tell me my CC authorization is for room only. I tell them to look for the form. They tell me they can’t help me. I tell them I am pregnant. They say they are sorry, but they can’t help me. I say I haven’t eaten since noon the day before. They say “sorry” and tell me they will authorize it with room service. Room service calls me 10 minutes later to ask if I have remedied the situation. The front desk has failed to call them. I call the front desk again and they are sorry again. Room service calls again and the girl finally shows me mercy and says she’ll send breakfast.

    Two breakfasts arrive. CFFG has managed to convince someone to take HER credit card over the phone for food and my order has gone through as well.

    I eat. I pack my bags. I call Susie Sunshine and ask her to book a room at the Renaissance with her credit card so we have a room when she arrives later on that day. I check out of the Bellagio. But not before I ask for a manager.

    Christina: You were scheduled to check out tomorrow, Ms. Hammond.
    K: ACTUALLY I was scheduled to check out on THURSDAY. But I’m leaving today.

    I recounted my story and Christina does her best to not look horrified. I tell her that I understand people lie in Las Vegas. I understand that everyone is trying to pull something over on everyone else. But I was NOT trying to pull anything over on the Bellagio. I was just trying to figure out the policy for guaranteeing my stay so I could eat my damn $17 burger in peace.  Did I mention that I am a PREGNANT WOMAN with no food?

    I was clear. I never asked for ANYTHING for free. I was asking how I could pay in lieu of a lost wallet on a SUNDAY in Las VEGAS. She acknowledged that the system was broken. I clarified that it was broken THREE TIMES–incorrect info at check-in, repeated failure to fax the form to my husband for hours and then failure to put the authorization in the computer. This isn’t the Day’s Inn, people. For heaven’s sake, it’s the damn Bellagio. She comped my breakfast and my nuts. I would have just liked dinner when I asked for it.  She asked if I would fill out a comment form.  I told her that the Bellagio could just check it out on the Internet.

    I was supposed to get together with the awesome Marge from Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas but I never did manage to get my act together. I didn’t even call her. Sorry, Marge! I was a wreck!! Next year?

    I promise it will only be rainbows and unicorns from here on out.  Just had to kick some Bellagio ass, if you know what I mean.

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