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Momo Fali's: Just Call Us The Griswolds

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Just Call Us The Griswolds

My husband and I have notoriously bad vacation luck. A few years ago, during Hurricane Charlie, we were at a hotel in Virginia when it started raining in our room at about 2:00 AM. It had nothing to do with the hurricane though. It was due to the yahoos upstairs who left their shower running, then went out for the evening. I heard one drip coming down near a window, and by the time maintenance got there it was like we were in a downpour. Everything was soaked. We had the displeasure of moving the kids and all the gear that comes with them, to another room in the middle of the night.

During the huge blackout of 2003, we were stranded in a hotel in Cleveland. Not only was there no electricity, but there wasn't any water either. No ice, no flushable toilets, and no gas in our car to get the heck out of the blackout area. AND, to top it all off with a big, fat cherry on top, our daughter was very, very sick with what we later found out was viral meningitis. Ahhh...good times, good times.

A few months ago, my husband and I were at a hotel in Indiana when an alarm went off at 4:00 AM. We were on the 11th floor, and for an hour we heard this over and over, "There is an emergency in the building. Please stay where you are until you receive further instructions." I sat on the edge of the bed, with my shoes on, ready to run out the door as soon as that voice told me to do so. Thank goodness, she never did.

A couple of days ago we woke the kids at 5:45 AM for our last family trip of the summer. It started raining halfway into our drive and never stopped. We were supposed to go to an amusement park, but instead we ended up walking around Wal-Mart for hours before we could check into our hotel. Woo hoo!

At about 11:30 that night, my husband and I were watching TV in our hotel room, with the kids sound asleep in the bed next to us, when the electricity went out. A few minutes later a fire truck arrived and parked below our 3rd floor window. I barely had time to picture myself fashioning a ladder made of hotel-room bedsheets before the fire alarm went off. We each grabbed a kid, some warm clothes, and the car keys, and evacuated the building with all the other guests. It was cold, it was raining, it was a nightmare. We sat in our car until 2:30 AM before they let us back into our room.

The ride home yesterday was literally hell and high water. We had to drive at a snails pace to get through the massive amounts of water on the road. But, as we would go through the mini-lakes on that little two-lane road, our daughter would laugh out loud. She thought it was FUN! I was clutching the door, constantly checking that seat belts were fastened, and telling my husband to be careful...and she was laughing.

I suddenly thought about how our son had slept through the entire debacle the night before. Neither one of our kids heard the blaring alarm. And, how my daughter, wearing her Daddy's big sweatshirt, was perfectly content to lie in his arms in the front seat of the car while there were firefighters running around outside. They had no sense that anything was wrong or that there was anything to worry about. As far as they were concerned, they were safe and sound, and Mommy and Daddy would take care of everything.

And, with that realization, I finally found myself with a smile across my face.


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