When I booked our travel for ALA we made the commitment to attend rather late in the process so hotels around the convention center itself were all booked up. I decided to go with a hotel a little further away (but still a straight shot down Harbor Blvd) and take advantage of the free shuttle they were offering to the convention center and Disney. So, the Wyndham Anaheim it was.
We arrived at the hotel around 11am after a pretty expensive cab ride from the Long Beach airport. I'd hoped we would be able to check in and drop our stuff, get organized and then head over to the convention center but we were told there were no clean rooms. No problem, we were pretty early for their 3pm check-in time. We were told to check in with them after noon, but since we had to get over to the convention center for set-up, we decided not to hang around. This is when we discovered that the shuttle ran once every two hours to Disney. We checked our luggage, and then decided to have lunch and grab the 12:00 shuttle.
In the dining room we were seated and then sat for several minutes while three different members of the staff congregated, studiously ignoring us, moving empty chairs around and talking amongst themselves. It got to the point that I was worried we might not actually be able to have lunch before the noon shuttle left! We did eventually get some service but we waited way too long and the food was really just not very good. Chris's breakfast plate was particularly bad, with bacon that seemed like it had been salvaged from the buffet service. Blech.
After set-up and a bunch of dinking around trying to get a rental car (because the shuttle didn't start running until 10am and we had to be at the convention center before the 9am opening every day!) we returned to the hotel after 4:00 to find that our room STILL wasn't ready. Not only that, but the luggage room was standing wide open and Chris was able to just walk in and take our bags out. I'd been lugging my laptop around all day because I don't like to leave it as checked luggage with hotels and this experience certainly reinforced my tendency. Anyone could have walked off with our luggage if they'd so desired and the staff wouldn't have noticed or cared.
The room itself is fine now that we're in it, but we're avoiding the hotel restaurant and asking nothing of the staff. Dining has, in fact, been the toughest part of the trip so far. The best breakfast I've had has been a McDonald's chicken biscuit and sugar-free iced vanilla latte. Dinner at Roscoe's Deli in Fullerton was just sandwiches but they were certainly good enough. Table Ten's grocery store cheese plate (selection of cheddar cheese, some supermarket brie--served icy cold, and blue cheese drizzled with honey for some god awful reason) was cute in a "Hey we've heard about cheese plates" kind of way. This has definitely not been a high-class dining adventure kind of trip.
Still, the main purpose is to show our wares to interested librarians, and for that, the trip succeeds.