We Should Have Stayed Home

With Jamie coming for a visit, I started thinking about some of our past hotel stays. I found a letter written by her during the The Summer of Awesome. Apparently, thirteen-year-old Jamie was happy with the accommodations, but not the service. I found this letter which she wrote, but never sent.

At breakfast, it took forever 4 our food to come. When it came, it was missing, but it wasn’t missing from our bill (u still charged us 4 it). Plus it took ages 4 my daddy 2 get some coffee, so try 2 improve on this . By the way, your crab bisque soup is FANTASTIC! Have a great day! (Only if u improve your service)— A CONCERNED CITIZEN.

It is obvious from this letter that we had been guests at hotels with better customer service, yet despite her displeasure, Jamie still found something nice to say. Yet I believe if we had stayed at this hotel after our visit to the Outer Banks, that letter may never have been written. I am positive none of you will ever forget that place.

We had been invited by Aunt El to visit them at the beach house they had rented with Shannon, but our plans were in jeopardy because of Hurricane Alex. I tracked its path during the days preceding our trip, and when I awoke the morning we planned to leave our Chapel Hill house, all indications were that the storm was moving out to sea. So we all hopped in our car (Dad wasn’t with us), confident that all would be calm when we neared the beach four hours later.

I had never been to the OBX, so I did not realize we would be crossing several bridges. As you know, my bridge fears have just recently subsided. If I had a crystal ball, we would never have left our house.

As we got closer to the coast, I began to doubt the forecast that Alex had left the room. The sky was gray and ominous looking, and the wind was increasing as was the rain. Hey, I trusted weather.com and my local weatherman!

If memory serves me correctly, we crossed more than one bridge before I announced that we could go no further. Although the bridges were close to the water (So if we drove off, we would have survived the plunge to the murky waters below us.), that also was the problem. The water we crossed appeared to be close to coming onto the bridge.

We stopped at a tacky souvenir/gas station where I asked for directions to the nearest hotel. “There is one right around back, ma’am,” I was told. Those were the days when being called ma’am was an insult, but I was too frightened with the weather and relieved that I didn’t have to drive further to get angry over being “ma’amed.”

Once we opened the door to our room, I wondered if it would have been better to face the storm. The room was so creepy that I was uncomfortable even using the bathroom. With nowhere to sit but the bed, we climbed on top of the bed fully clothed, and took out a deck of cards. We continued to monitor the weather, because I was determined not to spend the night at the “roach motel.” I don’t think we saw any bugs, but I am positive they were lurking about.

Thank goodness Alex did turn out to sea and we were able to continue our trip to the beach. We all got our “I survived Hurricane Alex” tee shirts. Do any of you still have yours?

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