In the last episode of Lost in the Swamps (Anyone else hearing those guys from the Muppets saying “LOST…IN…SPACE! when I say that?) we were, interestingly enough, lost in the swamps. Well not so much lost as we knew exactly where we were, we were just not where we wanted to be.
The sun is hanging low in the horizon when we finally reach the outskirts of Houston, coming in from the East side. (Remember, Galveston Island is south of Houston, yet we entered Houston from the East, we’re real bright like that) The kids are still hungry and plotting mutiny as we pull into a gas station. The Mother Ship needed refueling.
I went in with our children who sang the Halleluiah Chorus when their feet stepped out onto the land. Because I am a good and kind mom I offered to buy them a snack in the gas station. I knew that it would be a while before we got to the hotel and could eat the picnic we had packed for our lunch-that-never-happened. Once we all went potty and had picked out our snacks Sir D came into the gas station. He told the kids to put back their snacks, we’re almost there and he didn’t want to pay for snacks when we had a cooler full of food in the car that we can eat as soon as we get there. Clearly, Sir D lives in his own optimistic world of time.
I put the disgruntled children back in the Mother Ship, threw more apples and peanut butter crackers at them and we headed off.
Keep in mind, it is now rush hour. Which in Houston is anywhere from 3pm-8pm as it turns out. We drove our way, ever so slowly, through Houston and found the Space Center. YIPPEE! We know where we need to be…tomorrow!
We know that the non-smoking hotel room we booked is only 5 or so miles away from the Space Center. It seems, whoever measured the distance from the Space Center to the hotel, does not use standard American measurements and must inhabit his own world of distance. I do believe it was 15 miles and we did them all going approximately 5 miles per hour.
At long and merry last, we found the hotel. I believe it is 8:30pm. We have been in the van for a sweet forever and we just want some stinking food!
We go check in and the lady gives us our keys, or the stupid plastic, credit card things that pass for keys these days. We head up the THREE flights of stairs (that are outside the building because it is a classy place and all) all with our belongings for the night and the blessed cooler. It is now quite chilly since the sun has gone down and the wind has picked up and we are all dressed in shorts and t-shirts, but we are almost there, we are on the threshold, dinner and a bed are right on the other side of that door.
Oh, Lord have mercy on us all…the key will not work on the door. Sir D tried it. I tired it. Even the boys tried it. NO Workie! Sir D sent Bob back down to the front desk which, if it were any further away from where we were, would have been in another hotel, to get the check-in girl.
Bob comes back up the three flights of stairs sans the check-in girl. He says the check-in girl said to hold the door just so, put in the card, turn the knob, pull the card out, do the hokey pokey and turn yourself about, and viola! The door will open.
If you’ve read this far I think you know that didn’t work.
Sir D, who is trying really hard to hold it together and be happy and optimistic and all ‘WE’RE ON VACATION! IT’LL ALL BE OKAY! DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY!’ is starting to show cracks in has happy armor.
I however finished pretending there was anything remotely fun and vacation like about this day, and am just ready to go home.
I said to Sir D, that if we get in the car now we can be home in 4 hours. I’ll help drive. I just want to go home. Houston is hell and I don’t want to be here anymore. I do believe there may have been some sniffling and lower lip protrusion.
Sir D, who is no longer feigning glee replies, “We have made it this far. We are on the 1 yard line. The rest of our vacation is on the other side of that door and we are not giving up now!”
Because he thinks those sports analogies always work, he grabbed the keys from Bob and headed back to find the check-in girl.
I sat on the steps and wept. (not really, but I felt like it)
Back comes Sir D with the Check-in girl. She holds the door just so, puts in the card, turns the knob, pulls the card out, does the hokey pokey and turns herself about, and the door does not open. (I have to say that was some real vindication right there.)
She pulls out her master key, puts it in the lock, turns, and like magic, the door blessedly opens. My bed! I can see it! Praise the Lord and pass the cooler! But wait, not so fast…what is that horrible odor?
My friends, I am sad to say our day did not end there, we were not as it turned out, at the one yard line. There were literally miles to go before I slept.
Tune in tomorrow.