They say planning is good. I’m not sure who they are because we rarely do. In cases like ours it’s better to not plan. Remember this? Planning might have helped there. You know, reading up on unmanned train stations and such.
But for the second take of the trip to the Crescent City, I’m pretty sure planning would not have helped. Having a plan B, maybe. A visit with a psychic to get a heads up on the events that would occur, definitely. A therapy session on acceptance; you betcha.
The funny part? Just the week before embarking on this vacation extravaganza, I had dinner with the amazing J.B.O. I interviewed her all about her vacation planning abilities, which I’ll be posting later. I should have taken notes.
It started as all our trips do. Waiting in the airport. We grabbed a bite to eat and lounged at the gate. When we got in line to board, half the passengers had already buckled into their seats. They were comfy; we were excited. Seven seats on the first flight out. Let the pre-trip begin!
Until the CSA announced there would be a delay due to a mechanical issue. They deplaned the seated folks and we left our spot in line to go back to lounging. It was another two hours before we all got to board the plane.
It should have been a premonition of things to come. But we didn’t give it another thought. You’d have thought we’d never traveled with us before.
The happenings continued as soon as we got to our hotel of choice: The Doubletree. The staff must have seen us coming or misread our profile because I swear they took one look at us and made a unanimous decision. “The Millers? Oh yeah. Put ’em in the back forty. We’ll see if they can hack it.”
It only took about twenty minutes to walk the two miles to our rooms. Once there we tired the key cards in the door of every room assigned to us. Ain’t none of ‘em worked. We debated walking back to the desk. I opted for calling instead…it was so far away. One of the kids asked if I was going to yell at them as I dialed the number to the hotel. For the record, I DON’T YELL!
The woman who answered said she was going to ask me a dumb question. I hoped she wasn’t having trouble with her key card because if she was about to ask me for help, it would have been a really dumb question. I had a feeling this wasn’t going to end well.
But she didn’t. She wanted to know how we had the key in the slot. Still a dumb question. Like when IT asks if your computer is plugged in and turned on. Full disclosure: we had the key card in upside down and sometimes when I call IT, the computer is plugged in, but I don’t always have it turned on. I thanked the lady, who was very sweet, and told her we just weren’t that bright. She didn’t disagree. Twenty minutes to walk from the front desk to our rooms and twenty-five minutes for the staff to add “idiots” to our profile.
*For the record: I still don’t know which way the card should be put into the slot –either with the heart/care facing down or the little carrot-arrow facing down. And the DoubleTree staff were great -professional, helpful, and willing to e-mail me this picture of their key card when I couldn’t find one online.
Over the course of the evening, one of the boys got separated from us. He caught up again a couple blocks later at Sharp’s where we’d gone for dinner. The hubby forgot to bring a key card with us and upon return to the hotel, had to ask the clerk for another one.
Our older daughter and I went on a quick trip to the gas station, only to forget we didn’t bring a key with us and got locked out of the maze of hotel doors on our way back to the back forty. Our family members did not respond to our SOS texts either. Some kind stranger took pity on us and let us back into the building. And eventually the kids got to spend some time at the pool/hot tub combo.
By morning we were not refreshed because we rarely go to bed on time when traveling. Sleep might have helped us be prepared for what was to come. But we had our guard down. The universe did not disappoint.
We’d warned the kids about the hotel departure time. I sent out a reminder via text at 10 minutes ’til. The son who’d been late to dinner the night before missed the shuttle. Calls from hubby to him were intercepted by a Spanish speaking guy Thanks GCI.
He managed to get on the second shuttle and still arrived at the airport on time, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t put me on edge. There’s only one flight from SEA-TAC to NOLA on the airline we use. We could not miss it.
Our younger son was looking moody. When I inquired, he said he needed some water. I told him to be patient, that we’d get breakfast and a drink on the other side of TSA. He didn’t comment. I should have known that wasn’t good…I’d raised this child better than that.
Once we were reunited with the shuttle-missing son we made our way through security. Hubby chose the shorter/faster moving line. Two points for him. The boys on the other hand chose the slower moving/longer line. The rest of us waited somewhat impatiently for them…only to learn they were the reason for the delay.
Apparently our younger son was in the hot tub too long the night before. In all of his partying hard, he got dehydrated. And near fainted in line. His older brother kindly diverted the need for medical attention.
“He’s fine. He’s just tying his shoe,” he told the lady behind them when she asked about our boy’s well-being. I guess Cabe didn’t see Trev drop to the ground a few seconds earlier. “He really did look like he was tying his shoe,” he told us as he relayed the story to us. I guess he missed the pale, sweaty face, and the glassy eyes.
We got him some orange juice and his color started to come back. It was an odd kind of entertainment for the rest of us. The other kids started laughing and their lack of sleep moodiness started to fade into the background. All in all, it was a good moment for the family. Don’t judge us…some kids tantrum; mine faints. We all still put on our pants one leg at a time.
I made a mental note to plan better for the next trip: drink more water, sign up for key card lessons, pack smelling salts. Did I mention this was just the pre-trip?
Would we ever make it to the Big Easy? Check back next week and find out.
Have you ever experienced a traveling mishap? Lock yourself out of the hotel room? Miss a shuttle to the airport? Or worse? Share about your travels in the comments below!