Everyone is jumping out of their skin at the moment because my sister-in-law and her three kids are up for a few days of the holidays, staying at my parents’ place – The Grand Hotel, Gympie.
Our kids gets so excited at the prospect of spending time with their cousins – it’s great to catch up and play. The only people who’s excitement trumps our kids would be Grandma and Grandad. They get to play too. With their kids’ heads.
“I really wanted fresh bread,” said Nephew13 to his mother.
“Too bad,” shushed his mum.
Grandad had already peeled the prawns for him. I know from past experience Grandma wouldn’t have thought twice about ducking down to the shop.
This is why my kids love staying with their grandparents. The service over there is excellent.
And so very, very different to when I was growing up.
When I arrived down at The Grand Hotel a couple of weekends ago I was told to tip toe because Master21, who was up for a few nights, was still in bed. It was midday. I distinctly remember in my early twenties being woken by a cup of water thrown in my face because I was going to miss breakfast. There’d have been no service awards from me.
You’ve heard of the after dinner mint? Old hat. One area my parents are pioneering in the hotel service industry is the idea of breakfast sweets. They do away with the notion of sprinkling a tablespoon of sugar over your cereal and hand out Chupa Chups.
The concept of ‘bedtime’ is also redefined at The Grand Hotel, Gympie. For a start, it’s no longer ruled by the clock. Many a time I’ll phone my parents when they’ve got a kid staying over to find they’re still awake long after The Workers have gone to bed.
“We were just heading in,” is the standard response for this one. Meanwhile I can hear the crinkling of potato chip packets in the background.
We’ve even caught Grandma sleeping on the floor of her room because one of her grand kids wanted to sleep in the big bed.
Then there’s mealtimes. The concept of lunch and dinner are just guidelines. The kitchen is always open. Grandma has even introduced the idea of after dinner dinners.
Feel like eating something different to what everyone else is eating? Well don’t for a moment think you can pick something else from the menu. No way. Uh-uh. That would be ridiculous because we don’t have menus here. Just tell the head chef what you feel like. They’ll soon whip it up.
So surely, in a hotel with this sort of five star service, a loaf of fresh bread isn’t too much to hope for. Which were my Nephew13’s thoughts exactly.
“You just eat the prawns Grandad peeled for you and be happy,” my sister-in-law admonished her son.
Nephew13 looked around the table but nothing had changed. This wasn’t right.
“Maybe if I say it louder,” he told his mum. And then, before she could forbid it, he repeated his request. “I really wanted fresh bread!”
And sure enough, Grandma’s voice came from the direction of the kitchen.
“Fresh bread? I’ll get the bread maker out!”
Yep, things have changed a lot from the ol’ bed & breakfast I remember. Lucky sods.
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