Thursday, July 2, 2009

Welcome to the Hotel Cinderella

"Cobwebs on the ceiling, an appalling lack of ice.
Denise said, "We are all just prisoners here. Did you bring some rice?
And in the guest room chambers, you can really feel the heat.
If you're too tired to climb the stairs, you can use the seat!
Welcome to the Hotel Cinderella..."--(sung to the tune of Hotel California)

Last week we took a trip to PA to help my friend, Denise, with the kids while her hubby and oldest son were attending Creation '09. Wow, what a trip that was! It was a lot of fun, Denise and I laughed a whole lot. The kids had a great time and I was very proud of Alex, Hannah, and Shauna, as they really pitched in and helped with the younger kids, the housework, and the cooking. It was also a lot of work and sort of gross at times, but that all somehow contributed to the fun. What follows is my account of the week. Everything I'm about to tell you is true. Seriously, this all really happened!

This was no ordinary hotel that we stayed at, this really was the Hotel Cinderella! First of all, they had no air conditioning, which I already mentioned in another post, but I will go over it again. The a/c broke the day before we arrived. I got a message on my cell phone, when we were about 30 minutes from arrival, telling me that I might want to turn around because the air was broken and wasn't going to be fixed until at least the next day. Since it was a little too late to turn back, we pushed on and got there just in time for our 3 pm check-in time.

At check-in, we were informed that a neighbor would be over, any minute, with some fans for us to use until the a/c was fixed. Being the fan obsessed person that I am, I had actually brought two fans with me. I think those were the first things we unpacked from the van. We all crowded around my little 8 or 9 inch fan, while we waited for the neighbor to bring his fans over. A few hours later, just as I was about to pass out from heat exhaustion, the fan-guy finally arrived. With him came two box fans, apparently manufactured in the 1940's. They were complete with layer upon layer of dirt, dust, and grime, all of which promptly blew into our faces and around the room as he plugged them in and turned them on. After we rubbed our eyes enough to actually see again, we promptly noticed that these fans had none of the safety features of today's fans. For example, the grates on the fans, even in the spots where they weren't broken off, certainly didn't meet any safety standards. In fact, not only could adult fingers be easily inserted, entire little hands would fit through, as well. Hmmm, this was going to be very interesting. We needed to use the fans, as we were melting from the heat, but we really weren't in the mood to pack tiny amputated fingers in ice, for transport to the nearest emergency room. Oh, wait, I forgot, they don't HAVE any ice at The Hotel Cinderella!

A few minutes after check-in, after I had unpacked all of the meals and other food supplies that I had brought and was still waiting for the relief of the fans, I was informed that the Hotel occupants were hungry! Good thing I had a dinner already prepared, that didn't need to be heated in the oven. We enjoyed our pulled pork sandwiches, as rivulets of sweat ran down our feverish cheeks.

Oh, I just remembered! Immediately upon check-in, I was informed that Nick had taken ALL of the chocolate with him. Are you kidding me? No fans AND no chocolate? I thought this was supposed to be a 5 star hotel!

As I prepared to retire to my stifling hot guest room, (the one that didn't have clean sheets on the bed), I went into the guest bathroom. My visit to the guest bath followed the visit of a 4 year old hotel occupant. I was delighted to find that not only did I have to bring my own toilet paper over 300 miles, but my tiny bathroom was fully equipped with a large puddle of urine on the floor! Yep, every traveler's fondest wish, the privilege of cleaning up a puddle of pee left by a 4 year old (girl by the way!) who apparently has a few aim issues. There was also pee all over the toilet seat. Oh, hold on, it gets even better than this. After I finished cleaning up the pee, brushing my teeth and putting on my nightgown, I sat down on the toilet. So far, so good...I finished, pulled up my undies and realized that I felt wet! Ugh, The Hotel Cinderella has a cushy toilet seat. Apparently, Mr. Cushy Seat had absorbed some of the pee and decided to release it when I sat down! This was the icing on the cake. Not only did I have sweat running down my back and legs, but now I had an, oh so lovely, ring of toddler pee on my behind!

Speaking of pee, one of the hotel occupants is being potty trained. Apparently part of the training involves him picking up the full potty and flinging it and the contents across the room. So, not only was I cleaning up pee and sitting in pee, I was also getting pee pee showers. And just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I was expected to cheer and clap for the little Potty Chair Flinger!

Things got a little better as we began to get accustomed to the heat. We hung out on the deck, while the kids swam in the pool. We waited most of the day for the a/c repairman. We were starting to get worried and thinking we would have to spend another hot, sweaty night without a/c, when he finally showed up. Luckily, he was able to fix it rather quickly. The only problem was that while he fixed the a/c in most of the house, for some reason, it STILL wasn't working in the guest room! So the guests at The Hotel Cinderella spent yet another night without a/c. Did I mention that they had no ice and no chocolate at this hotel? Don't worry, though, they had an abundance of old, dirty, broken fans! Oh, and did I mention that in addition to no ice and no fans, we had to drink our warm lemonade out of Elmo cups and sugar containers?

So, let's see, what are some of the other highlights of this hotel? Oh, I know, we brought our own cereal, but there was no milk at the hotel. The hotel has Christmas lights on the tree in the front yard, even though it is June. The house across the street, not to be outdone, also has Christmas lights on their bush. They even appeared to be blinking, although I couldn't be sure because the window was covered with grime from the fans! Some of the things the hotel management expected the guests to do: bring food, do all the cooking and serve all the meals, clean up after all the meals, bring their own ice, make two gallons of lemonade per day, bring their own booze (which the adult guest REALLY, REALLY needed, but had to drink warm because of the no ice fiasco!), bring their own paper supplies, including paper towels and toilet paper, clean the house, supervise the kids in the pool, re-set blown circuits, fix air vents, and many other things, too numerous to mention.

Of course, I haven't mentioned the hotel amenities, have I? Well, ummm, hmmm. Oh wait, I know! They had clean towels for the guests! Of course, the guests had to get the unfolded towels out of laundry baskets, but at least they were clean. Oh, and there is the roller coaster attraction. Well, it isn't actually a roller coaster, but they do have a lift chair to ride up and down the stairs. There is a pool at this hotel, but the guests had to clean it themselves. By the way, Alex thinks the hotel management should invest some of their hotel profits into a skimmer with a long handle, since the small butterfly net he was forced to use wasn't very efficient! I mustn't forget the poolside entertainment. Yes, People, we had box seats at a naked baseball game! It doesn't get better than that. The pitcher and the batter were both completely naked. Luckily, the batter wore a football helmet because the pitcher's ball throwing aim was about as accurate as her peeing aim!

And then there was the sight seeing! Yep, I got to see the pig-hating next door neighbors having dinner on their deck. That was quite interesting, as the three of them said not one word to each other during the dinner. I guess they care for each other about as much as they care for Denise and Nick's pot bellied pigs! We also got to tour four thrift stores and the local Giant grocery store. Talk about excitement. The highlight of the thrift store rounds must have been the lady trying to fit her huge shopping cart into the 2 foot by 2 foot dressing room! Or was it the lady in the Mennonite thrift store that was giving me dagger looks for entering the aisle that she was already in? Or could it have been the barefooted, dirty faced little brats who were running around the toy section, hitting each other and anyone else who got near with pretend swords while their chain smoking mom screamed at them from several aisles away? Okay, that was an exaggeration. The mom wasn't actually smoking in the store, but since I could smell cigarettes on her from across the store, I'm sure she would have been chain smoking if it was allowed!

Quotes of the trip:

"I put my googles on and tooted and pooped in the family room!"--and unprompted confession by 2 year old, E.

Denise: "What happened to your eye?" (while noticing a scrape under E's eye)
"Alex hit me!"--E (Alex was downstairs helping to cook dinner when it happened!)

I almost forgot about the night that I went up to bed, only to hear Denise calling me from downstairs, "Michelle, there is a huge puddle of pee in the middle of the kitchen floor. Would you please clean it up?" What hotel guest wouldn't want to hear that? I was also told by the same proprietress that I needed to do all the dishes before retiring to my still hot as Hades room! Did I mention that one morning I had to take a cold shower because three of the hotel occupants decided to take a marathon shower together and use up ALL of the hot water? Of course, that wasn't such a bad thing, since I had spent the entire night sweating anyway! And one last thing, I brought the first-ever harvested zucchini from my beloved garden and it was used as a microphone by tiny hotel occupants who obsessively sang, "The Ebay Song" over and over and over and over and...

Now my story has finally been told. I would have told it while I was still at the hotel, but I had trouble getting any computer time (as evidenced in this post) and I was afraid of repercussions. Looking back on it, though, I'm not quite sure what repercussions I was worried about. After all, there is NO WAY they could have possibly done anything to make this hotel worse than it already was!!!! All kidding aside, we really did have a GREAT time! Denise, don't listen to what "they" say, you are the best hostess ever!


Denise said...

I can't breathe!!!! I'm laughing so hard I can't stand it!! I will make it up to you one day, I promise! I'll get Nick to take care of everything next time you come up!! :)

Mom of 7 said...

I think we are the only two people who will think this is funny!

Nick said...

Know you know what I go through every day! By the way, there was lots of very good chocolate, I just hid it well! LOL

Mom of 7 said...

NICK! How dare you hide the chocolate! Shame on you.

Jerry said...

Her mind is Virtually-twisted, she got the computer bends
She's got a lot of facebook links, that she calls friends
How they dance on the keyboard, sweet cyber sweat.
Some blog to remember, some blog and regret…

I think we are the only two people who will think this is funny! - Make it 3

Denise said...

Oh, and one MORE thing: In the interest of preserving the integrity of the fine Hotel Cinderella, I'd just like to clarify that the reference to three hotel occupants showering together was, in fact, just GracieGirl and E chasing me into the shower! It's all innocent, people...

Mom of 7 said...

LOL! I love it, Jerry!

Mom of 7 said...

Sorry, Denise, I didn't mean to make it sound x-rated! Even with shower sharing and naked baseball, the Hotel Cinderella is most definitely G Rated!