Living the life of Eloise: Breakfast-room burrito

As a young reader, I loved the Eloise books, written by Kay Thompson, about the adventures of a six-year old girl who lived on the top floor of New York’s Plaza Hotel. My life in was about as far from Eloise’s as could be. There were no hotels in Pender, Nebraska, Eloise’s mother let her have a dog, Eloise was self-confident, ordered room service, and was allowed to be impertinent. Little did I know that eventually I would lead the life of Eloise and learn a thing or two about long-term hotel stays.  

  • Is that cheap, black plastic radio flashing 12:00 in loud red numbers? Hold down the “Time” button and the “Hour” button at the same time, scroll to the correct hour, do the same for minutes. 
  • Is your room too hot? Hotel thermostats are notorious for being deceptive. You think you’re in control, but you wake up at 1:53 am, sweaty and hot because the air-conditioner isn’t working. You set it for 65, sure enough it says 65, but “THEY”, the ones actually in control, have set the building’s temperature to suit the bottom line—therefore it’s never cool enough. Try this: 1) hold down the display button 2) Press off while continuing to hold down the display button 3) Release off, but continue to hold down display, and press the up button 4) Release all buttons 5) Scroll for your desired temperature. Or, try this: hold down both the up and down arrows at the same time and a wonky “bp”, meaning by-pass, displays. Set the temp to your liking and go back to sleep. You’ll have to do it every 24 hours, but it’s a small price to pay for a cool sleep.
  • Can’t sleep because the light comes into your room through the gap in the curtains? Use a trouser hanger to clip them together.
  • Speak up if there is something broken in your room.
  • Always tip the housekeepers, the maintenance man (he’s probably the one who can Jimmie your window open), and don’t forget about the breakfast room workers. Those people are the ones who can make your stay more pleasant. 
  • Pack duck tape, a screwdriver, and a electric plug extender in your suitcase. Duck tape covers the awful LED light on the smoke alarm THEY installed right above your pillow, duck tape can be used to make an acceptable refrigerator shelf, hang a wall clock, repair a cracked coffee machine, or fix the hem of your pants; a screwdriver may open your window if the maintenance man refuses, tighten a wobbly fan, or prop up the window you forced open; and there are never enough electric sockets in a hotel room.
  • Use your empty suitcase as a laundry basket. That way, you can roll right on down to the laundry room. And don’t forget to pack a handful of dryer sheets.
  • You can make passable coffee if you add a packet of Starbuck’s Via to a hotel cup of coffee.
  • Sneak food from the breakfast room in paper coffee cups to use later—hard-boiled eggs, a few packets of cream cheese or peanut butter, yogurt, nuts, or Craisins. I made a decent dinner salad once with breakfast Canadian bacon, hard-boiled eggs, Craisins, microwaved waffle pieces, walnuts, and a bag of lettuce. And, check out the Breakfast Room Burrito below.
  • Don’t hesitate to move the furniture around. I set up a little sitting area with a chair facing the view, a side table, and the cheap radio close by so I can listen to Fresh Air and Radio Lab.
  • Check the front desk around five at night, there may be cookies. 
View from our window
Mural at the hotel entrance 
View from the parking garage
Sacramento’s ride-share “Jump” bikes
Sacramento Memorial Auditorium
Breakfast-room burrito verde
  • Scrambled eggs, breakfast meat, butter pats, leftover rice, sliced or shredded cheese, flour tortillas, bottled tomatillo sauce, chopped cilantro (this may be a stretch)
  • If you have a burner, sauté breakfast meat and rice to reheat, microwave scrambled eggs
  • Lay rice/meat mix and eggs in the middle of the burrito, sprinkle with cheese and cilantro. Roll neatly as possible
  • Melt butter in sauté pan, brown all sides of burrito
  • Turn heat to low, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes
  • Microwave tomatillo sauce, pour over burrito
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2 Responses to Living the life of Eloise: Breakfast-room burrito

  1. Bea says:

    Such very helpful tips Marla! I especially love your thermostat hack!

    xx K

  2. Lara says:

    LOVING the breakfast food sneak! So clever 🙂

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