The Big 3-0, or, Why You Should Stay at the Hilton on Your Birthday

by Britta on 11 January 2010

in European Adventure,Writing

Birthday Champagne, Strawberries and Cream

Birthday Champagne, Strawberries and Cream

The Hilton, ahh, the Hilton, is a great place to spend your birthday night. Anything you need, they’re there. If you need a corkscrew, here’s room service with a souvenir Hilton opener. If you break that one because it’s plastic and it won’t remove a synthetic cork, here’s room service again, laughing along with you because apparently that happens a lot, with another, metal, one. If you want to luxuriate all night in a bubble bath (in a tub where, incidentally, you don’t have to wear your shoes), there is some fancy bath gel waiting for you beside the sink. And if you want to stuff yourself silly at breakfast, with a full English along with French croissants and German pancakes, you won’t have to eat again until midnight-snacktime rolls around.

Of course, the Hilton might only be a little less grand if you haven’t spent the three previous days at one of the dirtiest, smelliest, unfriendliest hostels you’ve ever seen. And even that might not be so bad if the weather isn’t  atrocious and doesn’t leave you soaked with sleet and shivering after an ill-fated shopping trip into the center of Brighton, and so stuck at the hostel until all of your clothes dry and it stops hailing outside.

Brighton's Royal Pavilion

Brighton's Royal Pavilion

At the Hilton, a bottle of wine and strawberries and cream, plus a few squares of dark chocolate with espresso, go a long way toward rosy-ing the past. After a few glasses and dips in the cream, the kitchen you wouldn’t dare cook in for fear of salmonella or worse is pleasantly fuzzy, and the stoned South African who accosted you in the hallway wanting you to listen with his new headphones is remembered with more amusement than disgust. Nothing, however, will wipe the first five minutes of Shrek from your mind — from the opening credits to the part where Shrek’s swamp gets invaded by the fairy tale creatures and the DVD skips — no matter how much wine you drink.

But the best part about the Hilton is that it’s all yours. You don’t have to share. No one will snore in the next bed, no one will flip the lights on in the middle of the night, no one will commandeer the TV to watch the Star Trek marathon. And, you don’t have to pack a wet towel in the morning, nor do you have to strip your bed and put your linens in the wash basket. You’re alone, and it’s luxury.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

David Reynolds January 28, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Hey Britta, sounds like you got your moneys worth enjoying the luxury.

Sorry i was off travelling and had didnt know it was your birthday.
Hope you had a wonderful day.
Happy travels

Traci Harris Sanders January 29, 2010 at 6:14 am

Happy Birthday, Britta!! I’m going to start reading your blog now that I have the address 🙂 wOW, 6 MONTHS is a long time traveling. I hope you get your batteries recharged. Maybe there is a college library you can find to curl up in a couch near a fireplace with a good reading book for an evening? Thank you for making it too my wedding 🙂 Kelly and I are well. We’re going on a snowmachine ride tomorrow, yay!! This area has not had much snowfall recently, so it will be hardpack. Adventure on!! (when you’ve recharged your batteries)

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