Saturday, October 9, 2010

SIR, It's 447 Ocean Avenue!!

At LAX a couple settles in to the backseat of my taxi giving their destination as, 'The Ocean View Hotel' in Santa Monica.

She reads from her Blackberry to confirm, "Yes, it's the Ocean View Hotel, At 447 Ocean Ave. in Santa Monica."

They turn to each other and restart their conversation. It becomes obvious that they meet at the airport  (maybe for the first time) and are headed to the same meeting or conference.

I'm familiar with Best Western's - Ocean View Hotel on Ocean but the address given seems off.  Most hotels are located within blocks of the Santa Monica pier (around 1600 Ocean).

At what I hoped was an opportune time, I interrupted their conversation to confirm, "It’s the Best Western's Ocean View Hotel, right?"

She responds as if I've insulted her in some way, "It's not the Best Western. It is the Ocean View."

I reply, "I'm sorry, I only know of the Best Western - Ocean View, but it's located at 1447 Ocean."

"Didn't I tell him the address?" She says looking at her companion,

"I'll look it up again - Yes, it's the Ocean View at 4-4-7 Ocean Ave."

"Okay." I reply, "It might be a new hotel that I'm not familiar with, I'll go to that address."

They resume their conversation but the coincidence of 1447 & 447 still nags at me.

At a stop light, I search for Ocean View Hotel on my GPS and get 3 hits but nothing at 447 Ocean.

Maybe it is a brand new hotel, so I decide to try a Google search. I say, "Ocean View Hotel Santa Monica, CA" into the Google application on my IPhone.

She hears this and says to him, "He still doesn't know where he's going."

I feel her shooting needles with her eyes at the back of my head. I glance in the rearview mirror and see a cold stare.

Google only shows the hotel at 1447 Ocean - but I say nothing because I don't want to set her off. Besides, it's only a 10 blocks difference...

Mistake #2 - As we drive by the BW's Ocean View at 1447 Ocean, I pointed it out.

"Sir! We've told you at least four times it's NOT 1447 it IS 447!"

"Yes, I just was pointing it out - thinking it strange"..... - (she cuts me off as I try to draw their attention to the 1447 & 447 coincidence)

Both talk at almost the exact same time.

She says, "Just take us to our hotel!"

He says, "Okay, good to know, just in case."

I drive away from the pier 10 blocks North to 447 Ocean. The transition from the business district to a residential district was complete as I pulled in front of 445 Ocean.

I interrupted their conversation and pointed out the window, "This is the 400 block of Ocean but I don't think any of these buildings are the Ocean View Hotel."

She looks outside and says, "I'll call the hotel to get the correct address."

I ask, "Is the phone number you have the same one I have for the Best Western (310) 458-4888?" (Reading off my GPS)

After a grunt she says, "Why didn't you tell me you had the same phone number when we discussed the address? This whole fiasco could of been avoided!"

"I'm sorry. I'll take you back to your hotel."

She pays the fare adding $1.00 for a tip. After I unloaded their bags the gentleman follows me to the drivers seat and hands me $40 saying,  "Thanks! And I'm so sorry."

After thanking him I leave.... but my mind recalls a similar event that happened umpteen years ago..... (More on that later)

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic!!! hahahahaha! oh you are one of the good drivers!! I love it when passengers get what they deserve especially when drivers keep their calm, I don't know if I would've been so calm.

    I bring it up that you are one of the good ones, as you've made me feel better about my fellow cabbie after I just read a post from this guy:
    I'm leaning more and more to thinking that this guy just isn't one of the good ones, he seems to overcharge, or take long ways, every argument he seems to get into with passengers seems unjustified, I'm sure he has his heart in the right place, i just wish he'd set his mind right.

    But you, ahh you seem to know how to handle a situation.