Monday, April 02, 2007
The Weekend: My Turn to Bitch
Ah yes. Another weekend gone, a new list of villains to vanquish!

This weekend, Prince Charming and I took Bunny Boop to a new waterpark/hotel. We were meeting his family there.

Please note: I actively campaigned for other, alternate locations. But my opinion doesn't mean squat. So, I made us some reservations at the chosen venue. The website seemed to indicate that only the suites had microwaves and refrigerators, so I booked us a suite. We needed the fridge and microwave for the feeding of the child, you see.

So, we arrive at the destination of the mother-in-law's choice and find that our suite is much smaller than I had anticipated based on the website. Nevermind, though, it is only one night, right?

We change our clothes and then head down to the waterpark - which wasn't so much a waterpark as it was a swimming pool, two slides, a baby pool, and a hot tub. But again, whatever. What was odd was the water temperature. Ordinarily the water in these places isn't quite so cold. In no time at all, Bunny's lips were blue and it was time for a warm-up. We stayed in the park for about an hour and a half before heading back to our rooms. The rest of them hung out a while longer. Eventually, we all met back in the mother-in-law's room.

That's when I got to listen to the bitching. She didn't have soap or shampoo in her room! You wouldn't believe how many times I had to hear that. I mean, is she incapable of picking up the damn phone, calling the front desk, and requesting some damn soap? This is why these people drive me crazy! Bitch, bitch, bitch, but don't do a damn thing to fix the problem.

Here's another example. Prince Charming and I had lobbied against this location because there are no restaurants that one could visit for, you know, eating food. Sure, they offer a continental breakfast in the lobby (ickypoo), but beyond that your choices are the BP gas station or the bar.

So, we are all sitting on the floor in mother-in-law's room, listening to the soap bitching, when someone gets the bright idea of calling the gas station to see if they make pizzas (lots of kids to feed). Of course, they pull out a yellow pages and begin to look for the phone number. And they can't find it. Four people searched the phone book for about 25 minutes, bitching about not being able to find it. Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. "Why don't you call the front desk for the number?" I said.

"Now that's an idea!" one of them said, like I was a freakin' genius. I personally don't think I'm a genius for suggesting it, but it could be that by comparison, I am.

Then I got to listen to more soap bitching.

The front desk will have to call us back with the number, we learn. It is now 6 pm and Bunny Boop is both hungry and tired. So I feed her. She sits on top of her father's cooler and I sit on the floor. I clean her up when she's finished and then it is time to take her back to our room. The waterpark has exhausted her and she is ready for bed. Mother-in-law doesn't want us to leave, but I am firm that I am not going to disrupt the schedule, my own supper be damned. (They are still no closer to ordering food).

Bunny and I curl up on the bed for quiet time. Prince Charming comes to the suite and asks me if I want pizza (not particularly) or a burger (better). He has to go to the bar to order and pick them up. I am fine with this, figuring that Bunny will be asleep by the time he returns.

But I was wrong.

Ten minutes after he leaves, when Bunny's eyes are starting to droop, there is a pounding on the door. It is the sister-in-law to inform me that everyone is being evacuated for a tornado.

Lovely. I pick up Bunny, her bear, and a blanket along with my phone and key to my room. Then we make the trek to the basement of the hotel. At that point everyone was still congregating in the hotel lobby. And when I say everybody, I mean all of the hotel guests and staff. They aren't actually ordering people to the basement yet. However, I am unwilling to try to make it down the stairs with Bunny in the hurry of an emergency, so the sister-in-law and I take the kids to the basement and claim an alcove. Bunny is very tired, but the other kids are there so she isn't a complete grouch. Ten minutes later, the evacuation is called and everyone who had been congregating in the lobby is sent to the basement, as is the wedding reception that was going on. The basement is now cram-packed with bodies.

I am very uncomfortable, but then everybody is. My discomfort, however, comes from three sources. First, Bunny is now overtired and doesn't want to be held by anyone but Mommy and sometimes not even that. She doesn't understand why she can't get down or much of anything, really. The second source of my discomfort is the heat. I am wearing sweats. Bunny is wearing fleece pajamas with feet, and I am carrying her very large blanket. And then there are the 500-600 bodies that are crowded into the space. It was exceedingly warm and not in a way that smelled good if you know what I mean.

The third source of my discomfort is really the reason for this post. I can put up with my in-laws. I can put up with a substandard hotel. I can even put up with grease or grease as supper options. But irresponsibility bordering on stupidity? That is where I draw the line.

What happened is this:

The hotel management and/or staff decided to pour booze on the smouldering embers that were this potential blaze. There is barely room to turn around, but the staff are carrying cups and pitchers of beer to keep the people happy. As soon as I see them, it pisses me off. Who the hell thought this idea up? This is incredibly stupid. If you have an emergency situation of the sort that dictates the emergency evacuation of 500-600 people, including children in their pajamas, the addition of alcohol is irresponsible.

I recognize the fact that it was mostly done to keep the people happy. Unfortunately, had the worst case scenario come to pass, I would have had to deal with a bunch of sloppy drunks in an emergency. Which charmed me not at all. The last thing I want to do is try to pick my way out of the rubble with my child clutched to my chest, all the while other people are suffering from incomplete clarity. Is it just me or was the addition of alcohol irresponsible on the part of the hotel? Those who were already drunk (from the reception) were boisterous, loud, rude, and generally shouldn't have been around so many children. Or maybe the sum total of the assholes were all standing next to us. I don't know.

A tornado is not like a hurricane. I realize that folks in those environs close up shop and shutter the windows then hunker down with some liquor and party. Tornadoes are not the same. For one thing, hurricanes can batter the windows for hours - days even. With tornadoes, the devastation springs upon you suddenly with little warning. Instead of battering a building for hours, the brunt of a tornado is felt in moments. You need to have your wits about you so that you can find cover and/or dig out.

After about 25 minutes the all-clear was sounded and we returned to our room. The building is still standing. It was about 9 pm at this point. I'm starving. Bunny is distinctly unhappy. I have to give her some milk and open up the windows to get her cooled off enough. Prince Charming returns to the hotel from the bar about 5 minutes after we get back to the room, having missed all of the excitement. Bunny finally goes to sleep at 9:30 and we eat.

We go to bed in a very uncomfortable bed that leaves me with a stiff neck and back the next morning that is still lingering on as I write these words.

So, to sum up:

1. We will not be returning to that establishment. There are better choices for that sort of activity much closer to home.
2. The in-laws, in future, will be more likely to hear of my displeasure and I will be quicker to tell them to pick up the damn phone and call the front desk for the number/soap/towels. I don't like having to listen people bitch about accomodations that were their choice that I actively lobbied against.
3. The hotel may get a strongly-worded letter on the irresponsibility of pouring drinks in the huddle as we wait for the worst.
4. My neck hurts. And it is making me grumpy.


posted by Phoenix | 10:29 AM


At 1:56 PM, Blogger Caltechgirl said...

holy cow. Let 'em have it.

At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Christina said...


What a crappy weekend.

Very sorry...


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