"This is amazing!" she whispered with astonishment as I brought in our small suitcases. That was when I knew that this was a wonderful idea, for I had realized earlier in the week that my fiancée had never been in a suite-style hotel, so I had decided to surprise her.
"Next weekend, we're going somewhere Friday night," I had said.
"We go somewhere almost every Friday night," she had countered. "Sometimes out to dinner, sometimes a movie, sometimes a play, sometimes a drive up into the mountains..."
"This time, it will be something a bit different," I had said. "You'll need to pack an overnight bag."
"It isn't camping, is it?"
"No," I had replied with a laugh. "No camping."
As the door to the suite locked behind me, I set the suitcases down, smiling to myself as I watched my fiancée slowly move around the front room, admiring everything, touching everything, opening everything. "This is a hotel?" she asked softly, the amazement still very much evident in her voice and upon her angelic face.
After so many business trips and so many nights spent in suites such as this one, I found that I was rediscovering the situation through my fiancée's enthusiasm. While I had purposely not brought my laptop with me, I marveled at the length of the Ethernet cable protruding from the wall. The television cart was of a sturdy stained oak, its doors opening to reveal a massive television with a remote control. The sofa was nicely cushioned in a dark gray, and I instantly envisioned the love of my life curled up on the sofa like a sleeping kitten. The coffee table had a nice flowering plant I could not identify as well as several area guide books and a Room Service menu. The main table supported an elegant lamp and a telephone, and was large enough for two people to sit and work or eat, with a pair of tall-backed leather chairs for comfort.
She disappeared into the bathroom and turned on the light, and I instantly heard a "Wow!" waft past my ears. I approached and stood in the bathroom doorway, watching as she ran her fingertips along the edge of the Jacuzzi, then turned her attention to the wide sink and the various soaps, shampoos, and lotions provided by the hotel staff. When she finally opened the frosted glass door to the shower, her eyes grew wide at the sheer amount of space within the shower, easily three times the size of the shower in our small house.
"Do you ever get used to this?" she asked, barely looking at me, her wide eyes instead darting around to drink in the scene.
"Yes," I admitted, "but I'm essentially seeing it in a new light through you."
She grinned, clearly proud that I was living vicariously through her initial experience with a hotel suite.
She stepped back out into the corridor, and marveled at the counter and cabinet with built-in refrigerator. Atop the counter perched a coffee pot, several large packets of regular and decaffeinated coffee, and all the usual additives. She opened all the doors and drawers of the cabinet, marveling at the space within. Opening the refrigerator, she fetched a bottle of Evian from amongst the selection of beverages within. "These all come with the suite?" she asked, glee evident in her voice.
"No," I replied, "they charge for consuming any of these things. But don't worry about it. Drink what you want. This weekend is about a new experience for you."
With a wide grin, she went to the bedroom, stopping in the doorway to turn on the bedroom light. I followed her, and noted that her gaze was fixated upon the king-size bed, immaculately prepared with five of the thickest pillows I had ever seen placed linearly along the headboard. A large cushioned chair was placed in a corner next to a tall reading lamp. A large armoire was ready to accept clothing for the traveler on an extended stay. There was even a tall digital alarm clock with so many functions and buttons that it could have passed for a mini-computer.
"This is so amazing!" my fiancée squealed, turning quickly and flinging her arms around me in a tight, ardent hug. "Thank you!"
Her kiss, her ebullience, her appreciation made the expense worthwhile. We had only traveled five miles, to the other side of the small city, but stepping into the hotel and especially into the suite had allowed her to effectively step into a different world, the world I had inhabited at least one night per week for the previous four years.
"Welcome to my world," I whispered, and she kissed me again.
The expense was indeed worthwhile.