Gary Conkling Life Notes

Mostly whimsical reflections on life

Confession: I Slept in a Trump Bed

I have a confession. We stayed in DC in the Trump International Hotel.

It wasn’t a conscious choice. All the other hotels were booked. The March for Science, you know.

But once we checked in, we were all in. I scrubbed my hair with Trump shampoo. I gargled Trump mouthwash (tastes like a bad pool drink). I guzzled Trump wine. (The Meritage from Monticello, Virginia had notes of Jeffersonian libertarianism.)

From the moment we were dropped off at the hotel entrance, we were treated like special people, even though I was wearing a pair of old jeans and a Yankees jacket.

Unlike the hotel’s namesake, everyone smiled. They seemed genuinely interested in us, even when there was a huge mix-up with our hotel reservation. Apparently we had three reservations. Luckily, we only had two cancellations. So it all worked out, and it didn’t take 100 days.

Our room was delightful. Large, comfy bed. Big widescreen TV. Push-button retractable drapes. Did I mention the Trump mouthwash?

It was hard to wander into the main lobby without an eager waiter offering coffee or a seat at the bar. When you asked for a table, a mini-army scurried to find you the “right” location. Once seated, you could scan the dramatic open lobby of what used to be the U.S. Post Office. The renovation has been tastefully done, with retro-looking seismic reinforcements turned into ornaments to the building’s past.

The old Post Office tower remains, offering a panoramic view of Washington, DC. We can see the upper half of the Washington Monument out of bedroom window. We also have a bird’s eye view of the Internal Revenue Service. I kept looking to see if there was a takeout window where you could get your federal income tax refund in cash.

One of the thrills of sitting in the hotel lobby is seeing, surprise, gold everywhere and celebrity-gawking. One day, I purposely wore  a shirt bearing a map of Hawaii just in case Attorney General Jeff Sessions wandered by. I wanted to see what EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt eats for breakfast that makes him so gassy.

(Update: After departing, we learned The Man Himself came to the hotel Saturday night to dine. We missed being frisked because we had already retired to our largely. comfy bed. A Trump Hotel driver said the President didn’t head back to the White House until after midnight.)

For entertainment, Carole and I walked a few blocks to the National Portrait Gallery to see the faces of America. We viewed all the presidential portraits and noted none of them had an orange hue, though John Adams looked as if he posed after sucking a lemon.

There was a section titled “The Faces of Battle” that revealed the complex expressions of men and women in the throes of war. We hope this section doesn’t enlarge any time soon.

It was sobering to wander through “The Struggle for Justice” exhibit featuring men and women who dedicated their lives to advancing justice. We hope this section continues to expand. until we reach the point of where equal justice prevails.

During our trip, which overlapped with the March for Science, the Trump International Hotel seemed strangely empty. There were lots of curious people who poked their heads into the vast lobby air for a gawk, but many more lonely tables and wait staffers. We didn’t see anyone wearing knitted brain hats and carrying clever signs like “Up and atom” or “There is no Planet B.” We may have been the only Democrat paying guests in the entire place.

You have to admit the Trump International Hotel is well located. A short stroll from the National Mall, close by great restaurants and next to a Metro stop. There is even a Starbucks, sort of. You have to duck out a side door to get there and walk all the way around the hotel to get back into the lobby, where the smiling wait staff eye you with your Starbucks handle bag. The coffee shop on the bottom floor in the back of the hotel appears to be a reluctant concession to addicted guests.

All good things have to end, as we check out tomorrow and head to New York, where we will stay in a hotel not named Trump. We will miss the smiling faces and wonder if they can keep up those smiles when the big man drops by for dinner. We will miss the large, comfy bed. And the Trump wine.  However, I’m stealing a bottle of Trump mouthwash.







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