Before we get started, since I have this fantastic public forum to do so, I would like to wish Grandpa John, my own Dad, a very special, & Happy Birthday, from all of us here in Crazy Town! Sending love & best wishes from the entire chain of command, & we hope you have a wonderful day! Unfortunately, we are not able to visit with Grandpa this weekend. As you read this, I find myself, along with my four children, in the lovely city of Rochester, New York for a cheerleading competition, hoping against hope that I make it home again without a single Griswald story to share! The last time we were here, in the very same hotel less than a year ago, we were not quite so lucky!! After checking in, & trying to hide the fact that we were putting a family of six in one room, since policy everywhere on the planet is to try to force us to pay for two rooms just because we have four rug rats ready to trash the joint, instead of the statistical 2.2, we unpacked & headed back out to find dinner. Upon our return, less than two hours later, we discover our key cards, that we had just used on check-in, no longer worked! As the six of us stood there in the hallway, laden down with take out food & our remaining luggage, I had a panic attack that we had been caught with “too many” kids, & thought they may have locked us out. The Dad wasn’t buying that theory because he’s not insane, but as he used the house phone to call the front desk, I chose to take the kids & wander off for a bit while he waited for someone to come up. We communicated back & forth on our cell phones, paying what I knew would be outrageous roaming fees for doing so, & The Dad informed me that the desk manager was having no luck either with our keys, so they had called for the master key card. This had taken a good 45 minutes by now, & I was getting rather irate, since I had a 2 year old in tow that had now made me take her to the public washroom in the lobby twice, while I was paying for a private one upstairs, equipped with her training seat, that we couldn’t use! It was well after dinner, we’d had a very long drive, the kids had been promised a swim before bed, & we had an early morning call time at the cheer competition for The Diva, with her hair & uniform to prepare prior to getting any sleep for the night. Oddly, the remaining luggage we had brought in with our dinner, happened to include mine & the kid’s swim gear, but the pool also required a key card to gain access….gee, I wish I, as a paying guest, had one of those!
Unlucky Number 13!
By now, upstairs, the master key had also failed, so maintenance had been called next, & The Dad was still sitting in the hallway at the room. I went back up with the kids, & the maintenance guy offered to take us down to the pool & let us in before he fixed the lock. We readily agreed to this, & off I went with the kids while The Dad waited out the repairs, given that HIS swim suit was locked in the room. Long story short, two hours in to our ordeal, & AFTER maintenance had pulled out the entire door panel lock/computer mechanism to over ride it with the equivalent of a code reader/control unit thingy, (that‘s a technical term, right?!), & STILL no luck, well….the only thing left to do was to actually BREAK THE DOOR DOWN to gain access, which, of course, they had NEVER HAD HAPPEN EVER BEFORE! Since we’re so accustomed to hearing this line, just about everywhere we go, our standard response has become the sighing/shrug/headshake, as we tell them it’s because they’ve “never met the Griswalds before!”. We’ve definitely learned to take these experiences in stride, & even enjoy a giggle or two at seeing the other party’s surprise & disbelief at some of the situations we find ourselves in! The Dad however, had the brunt of the misery, since he literally had to sit in a hallway the entire time….pulling guard duty over the room & our belongings once it no longer had a door, waiting for them to sort out where to put us, then having the pleasure of moving everything to the new room. However, before finally retiring for the night, I drew upon all the control-freak, power-hungry crazy that has made me The Mayor I am today, & raised some hell with the manager to ensure we were compensated for our troubles. Oh, & one more little note to this story, something The Boy pointed out at the time….the room was on the 14th floor…which, of course, is actually the 13th….& no word of a lie, it was room #1413.…which is really #1313!! You’ll notice we have the pictures to prove it…cause I just can’t MAKE this sh** up!!
You Have GOT To Be Kidding Me….
Now, the trip wasn’t a total loss…since, with 4 kids, the opportunity to travel is rare, we had chosen to take a few days & spend them in that afore mentioned hotel, taking in some of the sights, which included the National Museum Of Play. THAT was a fantastic day, full of interactive fun with my babies, silly role playing, which I never have trouble engaging in, amazing displays, & toys galore, dating back even before MY day! However, we weren’t quite through with our Griswald adventure….the day we were leaving to drive home, through the snow belt, we awoke to find blizzard warnings all over the local news, (again, I took a picture, no one ever believes one family can have such rotten luck!). As we DID traverse our way home, The Baby, then only two & completely unable to warn us, or have any aim or control over such a thing, decided THIS was when she would get that case of the flu I mentioned in a recent post. So, what should have been the last 1.5 to 2 hours of driving, stretched to more than three hours….barrelling down the highway, she’d throw up, we’d pull off, stand out on the shoulder in the freezing, dark night digging through the luggage for clothes to change her in to & tearing the truck apart to find ANYTHING I could hold under her face to throw up in & whatever I could use to clean her up with….drive, she’d throw up, we’d pull over, get out, dig through the luggage, & do it all again!
Laugh It Up Chuckleheads!!
So as you get your chuckles out of one of many Griswald stories I will share here in Crazy Town, bear in mind that this was written prior to my departure, (since I am NOT paying those roaming fees this time around to blog from my cell phone nor can I be certain I will have the time or the WiFi available to me to use the laptop), & cross your fingers that I make it home adventure free this year…unless of course, you’re all sick, twisted bastards that so enjoy my misery, you’re hoping I do gather more material for Crazy Town! MY hope is that the Griswald curse will not apply this time around, since I‘m travelling without The Dad! And on that note, I’ll leave you to your weekend as I pack my entire house & empty our bank account to ensure I’m covered for any & all possible Griswald moments I may encounter, navigate across the border & through a strange city to cheer on my cheerleaders, & try get the most out of a rare journey beyond Crazy Town & an even rarer opportunity to give my kids a weekend in a fancy hotel….even if it HAS been previously tainted by the Griswald curse, broken key cards, & busted down doors!
Signed, The Mayor!
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