Part two of Lost in the Swamps left us standing on the threshold of our hotel room; tired, cold and hungry. Sounds like a typical family vacation, doesn’t it?
Once the 12 year old check-in girl used an actual metal key to open our door, we were so happy we could have cried in fact I think some of us may just have shed tears.
Sir D was the first in the room, (don’t think him too unchivalrous, he was holding the cooler full of heavy food). He paused about 3 feet in the door, just behind check-in girl and says “What’s that horrible smell? We asked for a Non smoking room?”
The poor overwhelmed 12 year old check-in girl replied sheepishly “This is a non smoking room.”
Sir D replied that he was pretty sure that stench was the smell of smoke, and further more, smoke from something that was not legal in all states save California.
It was bad my friends. It was as if Pepe Le Pu had hosted a little party in there with his aromatic friends and they had been doing a little smoking of the not-quite-legal variety.
“We can’t sleep in here.” Sir D states calmly and matter of factly to the check in girl. All I can think is; O Heavenly Day, we’re going to die of starvation in Houston!
“Do you have any other rooms?” Sir D asks.
“Well, this was our last non smoking room; I can show you the two smoking rooms we have left.” Sir D just stared at her.
“I am not sure you can keep referring to this room as a Non Smoking room.” He states. She smiles. They chuckle.
“HAY! I AM WAISTING AWAY HERE! AND THE CHILDREN ARE ALREADY ON DEATHS DOOR! CAN WE NOT STAND AROUND AND CHUCKLE?” My brain screamed, but since I had been praying all the way from Galveston for the Lord to put a guard on my tongue, it did not actually make it out of my mouth.
Sir D took one look at me (because perhaps I whimpered instead of letting those words out) and sent us ALL back to the van. He and the check-in girl were going to go check out the other rooms and see if any of them smelled less like a skunk party.
On my way down the stairs, Sir D stopped me and told me to eat some of the peanut butter crackers.
Once I got in the car I tried to remember when the last time I had eaten was. I was having trouble. The brain was a little foggy. I recall eating a late breakfast at about 10am right before we left the beach house. I recall drinking lots of diet coke and bottled water. I recall throwing food at my offspring all day; but I could not recall actually ingesting any of it myself. Hummm, perhaps I am experiencing low blood sugar. This would explain my lack of ability to deal with life in general and my inability to think straight, and my incredible need for a bed at 8:30pm.
I grabbed some peanut butter crackers and ate them myself this time.
Feeling slightly more alert, I was somewhat prepared for what Sir D had to say when he got in the car. I could tell by the look on his face that the news was not good.
Apparently the skunk party had used several rooms; all of them were the only ones left. Odd coincidence don’t you think?
We got in the van again, only this time we had no real destination. We spent the day in the van driving, driving, driving, but at least we had a destination, a place to aim. We are now without hope, without direction. We are all going to die in Houston. (Yeah, the peanut butter cracker did not help as much as I had hoped.)
Sir D drove closer to the Space Station so we could find a hotel. Even thought the 12 year old check-in girl said we’d have better luck finding a hotel on the moon since it was Spring break, Sir D was undaunted. It was not so much that he really wanted to go the Space Center tomorrow as he did not want to drive the 4 hours it would take to get home, tonight.
He pulled up to the Motel 6 that was just down the street from the Space Center. I did not believe they would have a room, and anyway…eeeeewwwww! It’s a Motel 6 on Spring Break.
Of course, they did have a room. The check in lady (this time she was over 12) gave Sir D the keys to all three of the available rooms and we got to go check them out ourselves. We pick the best of the three.
It was not great but at this point, who cared? We stuck our stuff in the hotel and Sir D said we were going to eat at the Chinese buffet the check in lady had told him about since it was now 9:30 and I think he knew I was beyond preparing even a ham sandwich at that point. (I’m bet he’s re thinking the cost of those snacks in the gas station right about now)
We ate. Ann did not have an allergic reaction which was a huge blessing. We did ask the manager to point out what had no dairy but let’s just say there was a bit of a language barrier. She ate mostly fresh fruit and meat.
We got back to the hotel room, spent an eternity taking turns with the single sink and potty. And finally, blessedly, we got into bed. I think the floor would have been more comfortable, but surely I’m tired enough that it won’t matter.
Turns out, all that diet Coke was not a good idea.
I laid in that yucky bed (thought we had brought our own sheets and blankets so I wasn’t totally grossed out) and thought of all the news shows I’d seen about bed bugs, and drug resistant staff bacteria, and all the other things they find in hotel rooms. I listened to Sir D snore like a train. I listen to Eve flop all over (I’ll never understand how she can move so much in her sleep.
Then I listened to the people upstairs walk, and walk, and walk. Good grief, were they training for a marathon? Then they finally settled down and got in bed. The noises I started hearing then I am unable to describe as this is a G rated blog. I was just glad my kids were sleeping soundly.
We did survive, we did sleep, we did get to eat, and we did not die in Houston. We even managed to get to the Space Center and have a fairly good time the next day.
However, I don’t think I can ever return to Houston. I think Houston simply holds to many bad memories. I get twitchy just thinking about it.
And I want you to know, I boiled those sheets…twice.