Monday, August 30, 2010

Adventures in Traveling

Strap yourselves in folks.  This is a long one.

That's what she said.

Sorry.  Couldn't help myself.


The husband and I love to travel.  I'm not exactly sure why.  We don't have the greatest track record.

For our honeymoon, we went to Jamaica.  We got to the airport at five in the morning for an eight o'clock flight, only to find out it was delayed due to mechanical problems, to later to find out the flight was canceled indefinitely.  "So you're never going to Jamaica?" I said.  We took turns sleeping on the floor, were herded on a bus to the Miami airport, and were solicited by swingers.  We finally boarded a plane bound for Jamaica and arrived seven hours later than we were supposed to. 

The rest of our honeymoon was pretty uneventful.  I did confuse a hot towel with an egg-roll.  I was pretty pissed about it.  We arrived at the resort and I was STARVING.  A woman came up to us with a tray of rolled things and said something that I didn't understand, you know, because they don't speak English in Jamaica.  I believed the rolled things to be egg rolls, because, what else would a resort in the Caribbean serve guests upon arrival than Chinese food?  I think I don't really like egg-rolls, but I am starving so gimme gimme.  I pick it up and guess what?  It's a hot towel.  What the hell am I supposed to do with this?

So other than a canceled flight, a confusion over egg-rolls, and oh yeah, a raging UTI, our honeymoon was amazing.

A month after our honeymoon, we traveled to Alabama for our friend's wedding.  We were once again leaving our hotel room at an ungodly hour when the husband said, "I can't find my wedding ring."  We tore the room apart.  No dice.  "We have to go," I said.  "But it's my wedding ring," the husband said.  "We'll get you a new one.  We are not missing this flight.  The tickets were $500 a piece.  Let's go."  The husband was all torn up over the fact that the symbol of our love is gone forever, but we made our flight.

P.S.  We did end up finding the ring, but flash forward three years and he loses it again.  This time is stays lost for two years and counting.  I, of course, wear both my engagement ring and wedding ring at all times.  Nothing adorns the husband's finger that shows he is a taken man.  When we go out, we like to pretend I am married to someone else and he is my lover.

Let's see, what else?  Oh yes.  There was the time we went to New Orleans.  The husband is a huge Saints fan.  HUGE.  His uncle, who lives in Louisiana, got us tickets to a game and mailed them to us.  This time we were flying out of the Orlando airport.  We were sitting in the airport, humming with excitement. Our plane was about to board when I turned to the husband and said, "Did you grab the tickets?" 

"What tickets?" he says. 

"To the game," I said.

Have you ever seen a grown man go from looking healthy and vibrant and full of life to looking like death?  I literally watched the life drain from his face.  I went into survival mode while the medics resuscitated the husband.   I called my poor mother, who lives an hour and a half away from our house, and asked her to drive to our house, get the tickets and overnight them to our friend's house in New Orleans.  She did, because she loves us way too much, but when she gets to FedEx they are closed.  So is UPS.  She drove three hours round trip for absolutely nothing.  Love you, mom!

It almost didn't matter whether we had the tickets or not, because our flight was thisclose to death.  We pretty much flew through a hurricane and I was sure our plane was going down any second.  We survived, but our friend who was picking us up from the airport, almost did not.  He hydroplaned across four lanes of traffic and crashed into some bushes.  He didn't tell us this and when we got to his car and saw that it is completely covered in leaves we said, "What'd you do?  Drive through a jungle to get here?  Har. Har." 

"No.  I almost died," he said. 

Oh. Uh, oops?

In case you're wondering, we managed to get tickets to game.  The Saints lost.

Then there was the time we got to the airport two hours early - I don't remember where we were going - and decided to eat at one of the delectable airport restaurants.  We finished eating, decided to hang out for awhile.  The next thing we know, we hear our names over the loudspeaker.  “Paging Mr. and Mrs. Dumbass.  Mr. and Mrs. Dumbass, please come to the counter.  You got to the airport two hours early. Your plane is a hundred yards away and you’re about to miss your flight.  Hurry up Mr. and Mrs. Dumbass or we’re leaving without you.  Dumbasses.”

And who can forget New Orleans part two?  We once again got tickets to the game.  But there will be no leaving them behind this time.  We checked and double checked and triple checked that we had them.  We once again flew out of Orlando, which is a good deal away from where we live.  We left the house with, what we thought,was plenty of time to catch our flight.  We stopped on the way to get some coffee, some breakfast, use the fine facilities at the Seven Eleven, take our sweet ass time.  We finally got on the road again.  Twenty minutes later, we checked the clock, did a little math, and realized there was no effing way we were making our flight.  Well, technically we'd make the flight.  But we were checking baggage.  You have to arrive forty-five minutes before departure in order to check baggage.  We arrived forty-three minutes before departure. 

For just a mere $50 per ticket (in addition to the cost of our original tickets) we caught the next flight out.

In case you're wondering, the Saints lost.  Had they won, they would have gone 14-0.  But the Dumbasses showed up and ruined their perfect season.  We are pretty much banned from the Superdome.

That leads me to the most recent traveling mishap.  Our five year anniversary to the Turks and Caicos.  This story deserves its own title.

The Wrong Side of the Airport

We have a very early flight out of Miami for our non stop flight to the Turks and Caicos.  We decide to drive to Miami the night before our flight and stay in a hotel close to the airport where we can leave our car for the week.  The husband books a room at the Days Inn.  We don't need luxury, we just need clean and convenient.  The husband says he wants to get to Miami by 11:00 p.m. so he can get a good night's sleep for our flight and the first day of our fabulous vacation.

Well, work catastrophes ensue.  I get home around eight, finish packing, drop off the dogs and we get on the road at 10:30.  Um, yeah, I'm not a rocket scientist or anything, but I'm pretty sure we aint gettin to Miami by 11:00.

Other than being tired, and getting more and more tired, the trip goes smoothly.  We arrive at the Days Inn and are confused. You could say we were Days'd and Confused. Ha.  Haha. Hahahaha.  I should do stand up.

There were cars.  And people.  Lots of cars and people.  Everywhere.  The people are hanging out by the cars.  Sitting on the trunk.  In beach chairs.   Um, Miami's version of tailgating?  Possibly.  But tailgating for what?  It's one thirty in the A.M. and they're at a hotel. 

We finally maneuver into the parking lot of the Days Inn, which looks like a retrofitted gas station with a bunch of rooms stacked on top. There is nowhere to park.  Because of all the cars.  And people.  And tailgating.  A futile conversation ensues between the husband and the security guard aka shriveled eighty year old man, in which the husband says, in English, "Where should I park?"  The security guard responds in Spanish.  The husband responds in English.  The security guard responds in Spanish sign language.  The husband:???

I tell the husband just to leave the truck in front of the lobby door, which is pretty standard protocol.  If we're wrong, well, we'll just look like we're here for the tailgating.  

It is during the where-do-I-park/what do-I-do/what-did-you-say conundrum, that we realize the reason for all the people is that the Days Inn is attached to a night club.  Duh. How could we forget that Days Inn are known for their bangin nightlife?

As the husband goes inside to check us in, I try to figure out what kind of club it is.  They offer valet parking and security, so, obviously a high-class, up-scale establishment, right?

Oh look, there are a bunch of men.  Aren't they...pretty.  And look at those clothes!  Impeccably dressed.  Ooh, those two are a little flashy.  Maybe even a little...flamboyant?  Hmm, I think those two are fighting.  Is one of them crying?

Oh, I get it.  It's a gay night club.

Wait, here come some ladies. Hmm, that's an interesting outfit.  Did she skin a leopard and hot glue its epidermis on top of hers? 

Oh look, some of them are going to stop in front of the hotel window that also serves as a mirror.  How lucky for me, sitting behind them in the truck, that I get a view of both the back and the front. 

Excuse me miss, you forgot your pants.  Oh. That's not a shirt, it's a dress?  I'm sorry.  I didn't realize.

Pardon me ma'am, but your nipples are showing.  What?  They're supposed to?  I'm so embarrassed.  I really should keep up on the latest fashion trends. 

How about I just sit here, keep my mouth shut and watch you all dig your underwear out of your butts, (honestly I'm surprised you're wearing any) fluff your hair and adjust your boobs for maximum nipple exposure. 

I'm starting to think this might not be a gay club.  Ladies, and I use that term oh-so-loosely do not spend this much time primping to attract a token gay friend.  They're here!  Those men.  The ones who forgot their shirts.

I guess this is just your average Days Inn night club. 

Wait, is that girl with her parents?  Is it family night?  I am seriously confused.

I go into the lobby before my head explodes.

"They booked us at the wrong hotel," says the husband.  The husband is not pleased.  "I knew this was going to happen.  When I made the reservation, I confirmed with the guy at least ten times, that our reservation was at this hotel."

We get back in the truck, and before we pull away, I look through the window (that the “ladies” were using to adjust their boobs), at the stain-covered purple couch, a variety of arcade games, pin ball machines and pool table.  Cool games room, right?


The sign on the wall?


Sure.  Why not?

The drive to the other Days Inn Airport Hotel was just lovely.  Broken bottles curbside, sketchy characters posted up against chain link barbed wire fences, bars on windows, dilapidated buildings good for only two things: drugs and sex of the lonely perv, streetwalker variety.

Suddenly there is a loud pop and the truck wobbles, interrupting our picturesque ride.

Great, I thought.  Flat tire in the ghetto.  Bring on the robbing and raping. 

Normally there would have been much more hysteria to my thoughts: Oh my gosh!  What was that?!  We've been shot!  Aliens landed on the roof!  We ran over a dead body!  What?  Just a flat tire?  What a relief!  Wait, no.  That's even worse!  Now we'll be stranded here and we'll be robbed and raped and murdered.  Must find paper to write final note to loved ones!

But I was much too tired for that hysteria, so it was more like a very deadpan: Yay.  Flat tire.  Robbing.  Raping.  Good times.

The husband and I quickly realize we do not have a flat tire; we are dragging something.  Even better!  Now we get to pull into the parking lot of one of buildings of ill-repute and remove said object from vehicle.  I look around in the car for a sharp object to ward off the robbers and rapers as the husband removes the ginormous vacuum cleaner box that is lodged all up in the business of the front right tire.

We survive with minimal robbage and raping and are on our way.

"No!  No!  This is not what I wanted!  That is why I wanted the other place.  I specifically asked for the opposite of this!"  There is much yelling and fury coming from the husband as we pull into the new Days Inn.  All the doors of the hotel rooms open to the outside world, which is not exactly the safest thing, even in non-sketchy environments, but considering our surroundings, we're pretty much guaranteed some amount of rapage and stabbage to the throat.

Once again, there is no where to park.  We ask the "security guard" where to park.  I say "security guard" because in order to understand the caliber of this guy you need to imagine the dumbest person you know, cut that person's level of intelligence in half, then remove half of that person's brain.  That is the level of wherewithal we are dealing with.

The husband: Where should we park?

"Security guard": (stares at us and waits a full thirty seconds before answering.  Lest you think thirty seconds is not a long time, the next time someone asks you a question, look right into their eyes count to thirty and then answer) Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

I'll spare you fifteen lines of h's as long as you understand just how long the "uhhhhhh" went on before he finally says, "you can leave it right there."  He then turns his attention back to his iphone, or blackberry or whatever it is in his hand that has him so mesmerized.

"Don't worry honey," I say, "with him on the job, we'll be okay."

The husband laughs, but not that ha ha-that-is-so-funny, kind of laugh, but that ha ha-is- this-honestly-my-life-right-now, kind of laugh.  He goes inside and I wait in the car. 

An aforementioned lonely perv and streetwalker walk by. 

Two men with slicked back hair and glittery shirts walk by.  (Can anyone tell me at what point it becomes okay for men to where glitter on their shirts.  You wear that in the fifth grade, I'm pretty sure you get beat up at recess.  But ten years later, a skin tight black shirt with a glittery serpent is perfectly acceptable attire for a walk in the ghetto at two in the morning?  What. Ever.)

A man and woman walk by.  The man carries a 32" flat screen tv on his shoulder.  Did you know Best Buy was open at two a.m.? Yeah, me neither.

The husband finally returns with one of those baggage cart thingys.  "Good news," he says, "they have rooms inside this building."  Yay!  Our chances of being raped and murdered have dropped significantly, but are probably still pretty high.  I'd say on a scale of one to ten, our chances were now a seven as opposed to a ten point infinity.  We load up the cart and I wait outside while he parks the car.

He returns a few minutes later.  There's nowhere to park.  Shocking.

I go inside and ask the "security guard" what we should do.

He says, "Uhhhh.  Did you... Uh.... Did you see..."  And then he walks away and out the front door.  I follow him out. The husband sees him, looks at me and starts pointing at him.  "Ask him," he says. 

"I did.  I think you're supposed to follow him."

The "security guard" disappears into the abyss of the parking lot and the husband follows.  I am certain he is being led into a trap of rapists and murderers.

The husband finally returns sans truck.  "There were no spots.  I parked on the side of the road.  I told him we were leaving it here for a week and asked him if that was okay.  He said we should probably move it in the morning."

I look at my watch.  "What, four hours from now they'll be tons of parking?"  I sincerely doubt this and believe our only hope for finding a spot is catching the prostitute shift change, but I'm not entirely sure when that is going to happen, so the chances of us being able to move our truck in a few short hours are less than good.

We enter the lobby and look for the elevator.  There isn't one.  We have to carry our luggage up the stairs.  What, pray tell, is the point of the baggage cart thingy if there isn't an elevator?

The husband yanks our two suitcases, each weighing fifty pounds each, and stomps up the stairs.  This is the point where my extreme exhaustion turns to extreme giddiness and I can't stop laughing.  I try to get the husband to give me my suitcase. I can pull it up the stairs.  I was a pro at doing this during my two week senior trip to Europe.

The husband won't give it to me.  I worry that he'll hurt his back.  I try to get him to pull them up the stairs.  “Don’t talk to me,” he says.  I begin maniacal laughter.  We are both beyond done.

We get to our room.  Open the door.  There are fliers for restaurants all over the floor.

There is a smell.

Imagine the smell of the absolute worse bathroom you have ever been in, gas station, rest stop, whatever.  Imagine the stale moldy urine smell.  And multiple that by a gazillion and you will still not come close to how bad our room smells.

I begin gagging and have to breathe into my sweatshirt to keep from vomiting.

The husband and I stand in the room and immediately catch four different STD's.

"We can't stay here," I say.

The husband gets a pained expression on his face.  "I'm so tired.  We only have four hours until we have to get up."

I'm not sure why but I venture into the bathroom and flip the switch.  Nothing.  There's no light.  I pull the cord in the closet.  No light.  And no iron. 

Deal.  Breaker.

"We HAVE to go.  There's no iron. Go down there and demand our money back.  They booked us at the wrong hotel.  There’s nowhere to park.  It smells like pee.  There is no electricity.  And THERE IS NO IRON."

The husband gives a heavy sigh.  He knows we can’t stay here. But he’s so tired.  We both are.  “If they won’t refund our money, don’t argue, we’ll just call the credit card company and get it taken off our bill,” I say.

We leave the room, but before we go down to the lobby we decide we should reserve a room at another hotel first.  The husband begins looking up places to stay on his iphone. A poor bedraggled girl in a fast food restaurant shirt walks by. “People live here,” I hiss.

We wait for the iphone to load.

“This a by-the-hour hotel,” I say

The husband’s eyes go wide, “It is?!”

The husband begins scrolling through the list of hotels near the Miami airport. 

“Why are we doing this in the hallway?” I say.

We go back in the room and begin gagging.  “Oh right, the smell.”

The husband sits in the chair and begins dialing.  I lean against the dresser, the place I determine to have the least amount of semen.  It’s really not a question of whether it has semen, but rather, how much; the entire room, is no doubt, covered in it.

He calls hotel after hotel after hotel.  All are booked.

Finally, he reaches the Hilton.  It’s a regional call center.  After the guy on the phone asks us our name, address, social security number, date of birth, weight, favorite ice cream and plugs our information into a complex mathematical equation, he says, “Okay, we have a room.  It doesn’t have a king bed though.  Only two fulls.”

“That’s fine, we’ll take it.”

“Okay.  Ooh, but it has a handicap bathroom.”

“Uh, sir, we are currently sitting in a pool of stale semen and our bathroom doesn’t have electricity.  A handicap bathroom will be just fine.”

We gather our stuff, only have to put up a minimal fight to get our money back, and at the instruction of the husband, RUN to our car.

“Hurry,” he says, “Come on, run.  We have to get the bags in the car as quickly as possible.”  Now in order to understand just how funny this is, you have to know the husband.  He is the calmest, most rational, never has he feathers ruffled, kind of person.  So any time he appears slightly, uh, ruffled, it is hysterical to me.

So as we are running to our car, dragging our luggage over an uneven, potholed parking lot, I am laughing hysterically, but inside I’m also slightly terrified because it’s basically like we’re wearing a sign that says please rob and stab us and leave us for dead.

We get to the car and the husband can’t get the suitcases in.  It was like one of those cheesy horror movies where the dumb girl is being chased by the crazy killer and she runs up to her house and is fumbling with her keys and she drops them and picks them up but can’t find the right one, and then finally she does, but it won’t go in the hole. 

Well that’s exactly what was happening, except the keys are luggage and the hole is the truck and instead of a killer coming after us a car is slowly driving up to us.  This is it, I think.  This is why you shouldn’t joke about being raped and stabbed and robbed and murdered, because then it will actually happen.
The car and my heart simultaneously stop.  The window rolls down. 

You know how, in the cheesy horror movie, the dumb girl stares right at the killer coming toward her and she doesn’t run? She’s frozen.  And she’s like. “Oh hai.  Are you here to kill me?  How about I make it easier for you and just stand here?”  Well that’s what I am like.  I stand there, ready for men in glittery shirts with mean tattoos to run out and take our stuff and stab us.

But, instead of killers, a man and woman are in the car.  I am too terrified to speculate whether they were a lovely couple or a lonely perv and streetwalker.

“Are you leaving?” asks the boyfriend/husband/lonely perv.

I breathe a sigh of relief and say yes.  Thankfully, the husband has gotten the luggage in the truck and we can be on our way.

The neighborhood continues to get worse.  We turn a corner and it gets a little better.  And then worse again.  We turn again.  And it’s better.  Much better.  We are on the other side of the airport.  We turn down a palm tree lit drive, and the heavens literally part and angels begin singing.

However, I am not excited yet.  We booked our reservation through a “call center.”  I’ll believe we actually have a room when they hand us a key.

We go inside the lobby.  We meet Albert.  Albert, I will forever remember.

The husband says we have a reservation.  I am ready for a fight.  I am ready to scream at Albert that the guy on the phone said we have a room.  With two full beds.  And a handicap bathroom.  But I refrain from screaming, because I’m polite like that, and thankfully, Albert says, “yes, here we are.”

He begins doing whatever it is you do when you’re checking guests into a hotel and starts chatting it up.

“How’s your night going so far?”

Me: Just peachy.

The husband: This is the third hotel we’ve been to.

Albert: Oh, did you go to the Hilton West and the Hilton Garden Inn first?

Me: Ha, I wish we had started there.  The hotel we just came from didn’t have electricity.

Albert: Oh.  Well we’ve got a great room for you.  It’s a really nice room.  You’re going to love it.

Me: If it has a bed, we’ll love it.

Albert continues solving complex equations on the computer.

Albert: When are you checking out?

The husband: Uh, in three hours.  We’re catching a flight.

Albert: Oh where you going?

The husband: Turks and Caicos. It’s our five year anniversary.

Me: So far it’s starting out just like our honeymoon.  They canceled our flight to our honeymoon.

Albert with big smile: Well we’ve got a great room for you.  It’s the Presidential Suite.

Me: Uh, huh, yeah sure.

Albert: It overlooks the Lagoon.

Me: I’m sure it does.

Albert continues to go on about how great the room is.

The husband: Are you serious?

I give the husband a look: don’t believe him.  He’s messing with us.

Albert: I love it when they unlock this room for me.

He hits some buttons on the keyboard.  “Yep, we’re at ninety percent capacity.”  He writes our room number down: 1332.

The husband and I exchange a look.  Maybe Albert isn’t bullshitting us.  If we are staying in the Presidential Suite then it would be on the top floor.  The 13th floor could be the top floor.

Albert continues to talk.  “You’re going to love this room.  It has two stories.”

Me: Are you serious?

Albert: No.

Oh well.  No Presidential Suite. Would have been cool, but who cares.  We have a room where we won’t be raped and stabbed, won’t smell like urine, and will only be mildly covered in semen, because let’s face it, all hotel rooms are covered in some amount of semen.

We go to the car, grab our bags and head to the elevator.

“Do you think he was serious?” says the husband.

“I don’t know. I didn’t think he was.  But then I did.  But then he said he was kidding.  I don’t know.”

We get in the elevator and see there are fourteen floors.

Definitely no Presidential Suite.  We don’t blame Albert for joking around with us.  He’s at work at three in the morning.  He’s allowed to have a little fun with the guests.

We get to the 13th floor, go left down a hall of dark wooden doors.  As we walk down the hallway, we see that there are no wooden doors at the end, just a big white panel of wall.

Finally we stop at room 1332.  There are double doors. 

The husband and I look at each other.

The husband inserts the key.

He opens the door.

There is a coffee table surrounded by cushy chairs.  To the left there is a sectional.  To the right there is a dining room table.  Further to the right is a kitchen.

We continue left to the business center.  One that, shockingly does not contain a pinball machine nor pool table. 

Across from the business center is a bathroom with a shower.

We continue further left to the bedroom.  King size bed.

On the other side of the bedroom is another living area.

We go into the bathroom “area.”  To the right is a walk-in shower.  For two.  With more shower heads coming out of the wall at various heights. That can be turned and manipulated in any direction to hit any part of your body.  ANY part, ladies.

To the left of the shower is a sink. And to the left of that is your “traditional” bathroom with a sink, shower, toilet, and, of course, a phone.

Um, so, yeah.  We gots the Presidential Suite. And yeah, all four of its balconies overlook the lagoon.

I immediately call the front desk and ask for Albert.

“Albert, this is really unacceptable,” I say.  “We were expecting something much  nicer.”

He laughs, “If there is anything I can do for you, just let me know.”

“Albert,” I say, “this has been a horrible night.  The hotel we were supposed to be at didn’t have our reservation, we had to pull over in the ghetto to remove a box that was lodged in our car, we gasped for air in a semen covered room and were nearly knifed on our exodus from the Cum Hotel.  We are completely and utterly exhausted.  The only thing we could possibly want right now….

…is a threesome.”

That is where I will end the story.  But let me just say it was a wild three hours before we had to leave to catch our flight.



But seriously, it was one of the wildest nights of our lives.

As we sank into the plush sheets of our clean bed and breathed in the urine-free air it was hard to believe that just one hour ago we were faced with the rare but coveted opportunity to curl up in a bed once enjoyed by prostitutes and drug addicts.

We were only mildly disappointed.


  1. Kelley,
    I am loving your blog and so glad Tab introduced me to it. Your writing is hysterical and it will be no time until you have thousands of followers!
    How is it possible you've been married for 5 years? Congrats. Hope you are great.

  2. Hi Ashley!

    Thanks so much for becoming a follower! You made my day. I love your blog too! After seeing your kitchen renovation, I was inspired to give our place a face lift. You are so talented!

    Hope everything is great with you too!

  3. Did you know you can shorten your urls with Shortest and make dollars from every visitor to your short links.


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