Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Definition of Crazy

So, here's a descriptions of our Thanksgiving road trip, thus far, to NYC. On the first leg of our trip, we made 356 miles in 6 hours. This is not to bad considering the four stops for potty breaks, the one for food, and my mandatory stop for STARBUCKS. In general, traffic was working in our favor. The kids however had to be separated midway through the trip (i.e., two kids, two separate rows). Shortly before midnight we make it to a city named Carlisle at the junction of I-76 and I-81 in Pennsylvania . It's a pretty busy town since it's right off the Pennsylvania Turnpike and it's a major junction for New York "to and fro" traffic. During the day the roads are a madhouse. Again, another thing in our favor... getting in at midnight, much of the traffic had died down. All that was left were Greyhound buses and 18-wheelers. I'm not going to say getting here wasn't without any hiccups or frustration. I'm just going to say that the kids and I are glad to just finally be out of the car.... well, at least we thought we'd be. Our first stop in Carlisle is the Holiday Inn. We arrive with hopes for a warm bed, TV and WiFi. Unfortunately to my dismay I find out that regardless of what rewards / membership card I have the best rate I could get for a room is $69 before tax, WIFI extra and no breakfast. WTF?!?! Am I in the twilight zone? Luckily, Donna the receptionist was kind enough to call over to another hotel to see if we could get a better rate. Enter the Ramada Limited. $49.00/night with a "Donna Approved" breakfast suitable for the kids. SCORE! The Ramada was less than a block away, so no big deal. Check-in ran smoothly, they accepted my "Thank-You" rewards membership, my AmEx, took my signature and gave us a room key. The dreaded room key to room 324. Yes... third Floor room, in the heart of the complex. First floor rooms w/ outside access were sold out. The stairs are on either end of each wing. Path of least resistance? The elevator. So, here I am carting 3 bags with two kids in tow through the lobby, past the food area, to the elevator. SIGH... (For future note, there is something when it comes to kids, elevator and button pushing. Their is a science when appropriating the correct amount of button push per kid at what time. If someone figures it out, please let me know.) Yet, I digress. We get to room 324, slip in the key... what do we get? We get a red light. No sweet sound of the bolt sliding to the open position, no welcoming click, nothing... just a cold silent red LED blink of being denied. Insert card, again... red light... three or four more times, varying the speed at which the card swipes... red light, red light, red light. UGH... So, luggage and kids in tow... back to the elevator, back to the front desk... we get a new card. We do this exercise thee more times. Yes, you read right... three!!! At this point, I'm beginning to question my sanity. Vivian is beginning to think her dad's gone nuts. "Daddy, are you sure it's room 324?" As a last ditch effort, I give the key to both Vivian and Christian to try. The thought here is that they are more gentle, innocent... maybe the powers that be will grant them access to our room. NO LUCK. FUCK!! Crazy - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. 5th time around, ROTC girl shows so mercy and escorts us up to the room with a Super Duper Master Key. (Why ROTC girl? Well, I didn't get her name, b/c at this point, I'm exhausted, discombobulated and in disbelief; however, for some reason or another, I did learn she has the same pink duffel as Vivian and she's in Army ROTC at the local college) Standing by room 324, what happens next? ROTC girl is denied. "Hmmm?! You're not insane," leaves her lips. "Let me get you in another room." At this point, I'm numb. Even if I wanted to argue, I resolved myself to the fact that I deserved this b/c I was being cheap. I should have just not accepted Donna's initial offer of $69/night + tax + $19.99 WiFi + $20 breakfast. My fault for being cost conscious. Sigh... so, here I am... 45 minutes after check in, we're now in room 327, dressed warmly in our PJs and enjoying some late night cartoon network and free WiFi. Yeah, at least the WiFi is free!