I have never been so happy about fake fruit in a bowl in my life as I was last night.
Remember last year, we ended up at a hotel after our Christmas Odyssey? A year later and we're at a hotel again.
But let's back up. You know how a few days ago I posted about our traveling travesty? Our plane ride back was pretty much exactly the same. Happy, cheerful girls, on permanent maximum volume for the entire three hours, plus the half hour we waited on the tarmac.
We finally get off the plane and wait forever for our bags. We go out to the shuttle area at area 35. Our shuttle will arrive at area 3. That's a long walk with two toddlers, let me tell you. So, we're waiting at the area for what seems like forever.
My husband says to me, "This is the last time we use a hotel parking service. Back to car lots for us. This is ridiculous." Actually, it was the best thing that could have happened to us.
Bags are in the trunk, girls are strapped down. In the passenger seat, I plug in the navigation on my phone. My husband turns the key. Nothing. He turns it again. The car is completely dead. It's 10 p.m., we're two hours from home after spending six hours traveling so far, and my car is dead.
Okay, think. No problem. I'll just call Triple A. I'm on a family plan. Or...I was on a family plan. Did it expire? I don't even know. I've got the card still. It says 2011. It should work.
"Hello, are you in a secure location?"
I explain that we're stuck at the Comfort Suites Inn. I give my account number. It's deactivated. Expired in March 2011.
Can I renew it? I kind of need help here.
They transfer me to the "home office," which is in Connecticut. I have to use my maiden name and my mother's address, because, yes, at 29, I'm still under my mom's Triple A. (This is why it had expired. I was going to get my own, you know, being an adult and having a family myself, but I never got around to it.)
I can't renew it. My mom has to. No problem. Call my mom. She doesn't answer. Twice. Call my stepdad. He doesn't answer. Call my sister to see if she knows the house number. She doesn't answer. Call my brother. You guessed it. He doesn't answer. It's 10 p.m. on a Sunday night, do you know where your family is?
Meanwhile, we've moved the whole circus inside, and thank God we parked at a hotel. Meeting us inside was a cheerful lobby with decorations and people still moving about...as opposed to the dreary, dismal inside of a car self-service park. The girls immediate took to a bowl of plastic fruit on a sitting table and played with it for an entire glorious hour.
I'm waiting on a callback from my mom. My husband has spoken to the hotel staff and they went outside to try to jump the car. But they can't reach it because there are other cars parked on all sides. I call my mom again. She answers.
"Can you reinstate me on your policy, Mom? We're stuck in Orlando and my car is dead. I need Triple A."
"Am I going to have to explain why you're living in Florida?"
"I don't think so. Just try to put me on and don't mention my address. They won't ask you when setting up the account."
She does it. It works! I call again, and Triple A is on the way!
58 minutes later...Triple A is still on the way. Ugh.
They eventually show up and talk my husband into buying a new battery from them, which they install. I put all the fruit back, we pack up, and finally, we're on our way.
Why is traveling never simple?
Oh, and the reason the battery was dead? We'd left the reading lamp on after following directions to the hotel five days ago. Fail.
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