Previously if you had asked me how I exhibit spontaneity I would’ve shared how just recently I carelessly said “Sure let’s do it!” to my new GYN during my physical when she offered to throw in a pap. Reckless.
I’ve been known to change my menu choice minutes after the order is taken then have to hunt the server down to ask more questions about the new selection in painful detail to whomever I’m dining with. Nine times out of ten I usually go back to my original selection.
Getting an oil change? Yep, sometimes I’ll say “throw a tire rotation in too” just because I’m crazy like that. Crazy like a granny.
For a glimpse into my world here’s how I approach travel be it an overnight jaunt or a week away:
- do boatloads of research
- plot out our hour by hour vacation itinerary
- compare room sizes by plotting out measurements on my living room floor
- side by side pool pictures noting depth, ladders, slides and clarity
- pull up various travel sites and check out all possible restaurants in a 25 mile range
- make countless bookmarks & phone calls to hotel management
Yep I actually do call and ask for painful details on hair dryer power, distance to kid friendly restaurants, availability of feather pillows, room fridge space and on and on. And yes, all of this even for a one nighter.
So this year life has just been nuts and one morning working out I had the epiphany: “SEIZE THE DAY!” I’m throwing necessities in bags and grabbing the free hotel night coupon that was about to expire. Carpe diem y’all! And we were off. Well after a return trip back home as I had forgotten my phone. Then we had to stop for gas doling out countless threats to stop whining about how much longer before we even left the neighborhood. Again.
I had thrown caution to the wind – so unlike me – I had just winged it on clothing and snacks – another thing not in my planning nature – we were headed to a hotel I had not even looked up – truly I was possessed by another woman. Oh my. Bless my husband that he never said “I knew this was a bad idea” when we merged onto a stopped at a standstill interstate. I mean it was a holiday weekend. Again. Not thought out.
Finally though after we found another route I thought the stars had aligned when we had spot on perfect behavior at a restaurant, great chatter touring Williamsburg, excited kids at Jamestown and a serious dual nap by the big un’s on the way to Hampton. Maybe I should fly by the seat of my pants more often? Throwing caution to the wind will be my new mantra! I am crushing being footloose and fancy free.
And then I saw the police cars at our hotel as we pulled up to check in. So apparently a good question to ask a hotel reservation representative when you are booking a room is “will there by any basketball tournaments in the area this weekend?” I will now broaden my scope to ask about any and all sports tournaments or other gatherings with massive amounts of tweens and teens guaranteed to be loitering, I mean gathering, together. Oh my stars. What had I done?
Beyond talking up the whole “we get to swim at the hotel” promise used as bribery with my kids with all day long, I had them dressed and goggled ready to go before I realized there was no way I’d allow them in that hotel pool with what looked like rejects from MTV’s Spring Break. Think lots of teenagers, think lots of teen friends, think no parents around and think hot tub. There was more skin than water. So we left that venue with two little meltdowns in tow.
Waiting for the hotel elevator was a lesson in patience. Someone was always hoping off at random floors for what I could only guess were shenanigans. And I’m not judging as I recall a certain Holiday Inn in Charleston back in the ’80’s overrun by basketball players, cheerleaders and team supporters all hours to the despise of mothers praying everyone just stop slamming doors and stop running down the halls when it’s freakin’ bedtime. Please Jesus!
Perhaps Karma, perhaps a rite of passage, perhaps a lack of judgement. And perhaps that would have been enough to stop me in my tracks from any future whim planning travel, but to seal the deal the only travel bug that bit me was the violent vomiting that started around midnight. Oh gracious, trying to throw up in a shared room to not wake the others is a skill set you can’t put on a resume but it has it’s place in the shared room hall of fame.
As I laid my head back down I quietly said “Please Lord let me be the only sick one.” Then I promptly heard that noise that you know needs a bucket. Stat! Sheets changed, mattresses pulled out in the hall, more sheets changed, more plastic trash cans rounded up, another shower and on it went as the doors slammed and footsteps rang out with the revelers in the hall.
We were packed and ready to go by 7:30 AM.
Because I want to make good memories and not just pukey ones, we zipped through Ft. Monroe and Yorktown on the way home with overly tired, very whiny, grouchy children. And adults. Oh what a difference a day makes. And to quote my husband “I like to the give the optimist in the family enough rope to hang herself every year with the family vacation dream.”
Next year I think I’ll just take the hotel certificate and burn it. Or better yet the kids and hubs can load up in the car while we find a homeless person on a rainy day who might like a hotel room, stock the room with food and new clothes for him or her then come home and camp out together where we roast s’mores and sing classic show tunes as we point out constellations and name our own family star while drafting our family mission and crest.
Once an optimist, always an optimist . . .