Everything is a compromise in life. There is good and bad to everything. Those who say there is no down side to something haven’t used it/done it long enough or don’t have enough knowledge to know the down side.
Last weekend the wife and I escaped the kid for a night at a hotel. We stayed at a beautiful place my wife wanted to visit because she loves pools. This place (La Cantera Hotel in San Antonio) has amazing pools with great views. We watched the sun set over the mounts (really hills) while sitting, just the two of us, in the hot tub. There was another couple up the hill but we were alone. It was awesome!
But where do I put my gun? Extra ammo? A knife? My flashlight? I could have brought a bag, but then I’d have to keep an eye on it. This hotel is a family place and I expected to have lots of kids running around. And the rules say no bags or coolers. Should I wear something funny looking in the pool that looks out of place so I can carry something? I don’t know, and don’t have a good answer for you. In the past I’ve taken a bag and kept my gun in there. But that can become a problem when my wife doesn’t have her CHL and she is sitting with the bag that has my gun in it. Technically that’s illegal. So what then?
I don’t know. But here is what I compromised so we could have a good time: I valet parked my truck. I didn’t leave anything in it, but in an emergency or if I’m in a hurry I can’t just run out to the parking lot and leave. Next time I might bring my extra set of keys and know where they park my car.
I didn’t bring a long gun. It’s hard to get a rifle into a hotel, especially with a lot of people walking around without anyone noticing. This is a high-end hotel. It’s been my experience that the more expensive the place is, the more offended they are about guns. Also, this is a “resort” and most people don’t want to know anything about the outside world when they are on vacation.
I let them assign me a room. Normally I’ll scout the location and ask for a room in a curtain area. Normally close to my vehicle or some other tactical area, like well lit or away from something else.
We where also given a room on the sixth floor. For this hotel built on a mountain is like the third floor. But that’s still too far to jump. I like the second floor if given the choice. Hard to climb up, but I can still get down. Also, just for your information, most fire departments don’t have ladder trucks that will reach beyond the sixth floor.
Once to the room we put our stuff in and left. I didn’t hide much and left my phone in the room. I was on vacation and didn’t want it. Normally I will strategically place things so if someone comes in while I’m gone, I don’t lose everything. I will leave my iPad out and hide my guns.
We went to the pool without anything. I took my room key, credit card, hat and sunglasses. I wore a hat with hook and loop fasteners on it with a 17th Irregulars patch. The hat put me in this world but I had nothing to defend myself with and made me a target for someone that’s looking for a gun. I was also at the pool after dark without anything to protect myself or even be able to call for help. But it was nice to be without my electronic leash.
I never did take a walk around the property or look on Google Earth. Knowing what’s around is a big help if something goes wrong. You don’t want to check the map if you are in a hurry.
At night I didn’t set an alarm or anything while we slept. I normally at least improvise hotel security with something (like that post). And the next morning when my wife and I where having private time, house keeping was trying to come in. The private sign is always a good idea.
We ordered room service at night and I let someone into our room without me being armed and really verifying their identity. I really shouldn’t have done this one, but was so into having fun that I made a stupid mistake. Luckily this wasn’t the time.
The next morning I did the same thing at the pool. I should have brought a bag with my stuff in it especially after getting the lay of the land and knowing that I could get away with it.
But it did allow me to write this post in style.
In the end, know what risks you are taking and think before you act.