Savannah and the Great Hotel Debacle

Two weeks ago I embarked on my first girls weekend (and sans Leah weekend) with my two good friends Katie and Christine to travel up to Savannah to see our friend Shannon get married on an absolutely GORGEOUS April Saturday. The trip was an absolute blast. Not only did I have an awesome time exploring downtown Savannah and Tybee Island (where our hotel was) with Katie and Christine, but the wedding was beautiful, the bride was glowing and the cake was delicious (and, let’s be honest, that’s the part we all look forward to the most, am I right??) Although the weekend was a huge success, we had a bit of a rocky beginning. It has become one of those stories that we now tell to friends and family, laughing and adding in “oh and remember this?” details as we talk over each other, each wanting to share the funniest parts, but in the moment it was anything but hilarious. And with that I give to you: The Great Hotel Debacle.

Setting: Ocean Plaza Beach Resort on Tybee Island (about 25 mins outside of Savannah).
After a long 7 1/2 hour drive from South Florida, we pull up in front of the hotel around 9:30 pm, tired and ready to check in. At this point we’re already looking forward to crawling into bed and finding a good chick flick to watch until we fell asleep. Katie runs into the lobby and checks in, comes out with the room key, and we set off to the room. As we walk I’m already complaining that it’s a first floor, over looking the parking lot room (aka cheap) because I’m convinced that someone will break in and kill us during our sleep. (You never know). We arrive at the room, I have the key. I scan the key, it works, and I begin to push open the door. Immediately I notice a Hawaiian shirt hanging in the open closet. “Hmm…that is so weird,” I think to myself, as I continue to push open the door. Suddenly, the stench of strong liquor wafts out and the worry starts to set in. I push the door open a little more and see two people, completely passed out on the bed. “People! There are people in there!” I hiss to Katie and Christine, as I slam the door shut. “Quick!! Let’s go before they come out!” My friend Christine exclaims, as we go running down the hall, back towards the lobby. (Side note, they never did come out or even seem to realize strangers had entered their locked room. They were really passed out). We go back to the front desk. “Umm, so there are people in our hotel room?” Katie tentatively says to the front desk staff. “What?!” The woman exclaims with a bewildered expression on her face. “Drunk people. In the room you gave us?” Katie explains. “What?!” the woman asks again. “Yes…..drunk people” Katie patiently says again. “How did this happen!?” The woman asks. “Umm….I’m not sure?” Katie starts looking concerned at the staff’s ability to know what is going on in their hotel. The assistant manager comes out. She too is equally perplexed at the thought of people in our room, and yet she doesn’t seem too concerned about actually checking to see who they are and how, in fact, they got in there. “I’m sure it’s all fine….” she nods. Then comes the kicker, they are booked at “100% capacity” (lies). “Umm, okay…so, where does that leave us? With the drunk people in our room and all?” we ask. No worries, the assistant manager has a plan! We will be staying in the Hospitality Suite for the night! (she says with a reverence that shows just how lucky we are!) And then they will put us in a normal room the next day. Well, okay, great! Fancy us! Let’s go! And then the assistant manager did something somewhat odd. She walked us OUT of the hotel and proceeded to lead us across the parking lot. We begin to get worried. Where is this special Hospitality Suite, if not the hotel? She brings us to a dingy looking office building across the parking lot. We walk into a dirty, dark, old elevator (a PRIVATE elevator! She exclaims). Our worry begins to heighten. She pulls out an old door key and starts fiddling to open a dirty door. We walk inside. And are greeted with….a conference room table? And through there, into a plain room with 2 double beds against the wall. No nightstand, no telephone, no television. Just two beds and two mismatched dressers. “Okay! Goodnight!!” the assistant manager all but screeches as she runs from the suite. We continue to stand in the middle of the room. Do we laugh? Do we cry? Are we being punked?? At this point we’re really not sure. Katie attempts to take a shower. The water comes out in 2 lukewarm trickles. We start to realize that this is not a joke, and that we really are expected to stay in this dirty room that we are currently paying almost $150 a night for. Katie points out some dead flies. Christine calls her mom, and after a good pep talk (no matter how old you are, you always need a good pep talk from your mother) we decide to man up and march back down to the lobby. We have rights, gosh darn it!! I do the talking, because, let’s be honest, I can really be a stubborn pain in the butt when I want to be. There is much eye rolling on the assistant managers part as I loudly (and quite passionately) explain how we can NOT stay there and that we are young women staying alone and safety is an issue, thank you very much!! And there is not even a telephone! Or a television! Or a PAD OF PAPER! It really won’t do. We somehow finagle a full nights refund. They explain again and again that they are “100% full” (lies. again). I exclaim that it is not my problem and they need to figure it out. They said they will see what they can do. 45 minutes later they call Katie’s cell: “A magical room has suddenly appeared!!” We get the key, go up to the 4th floor (no murderers breaking in there!) and enter a beautiful room overlooking the ocean. Which we all know they had the entire time, but never wanted to give us. And that’s how we ended up with an upgraded beach front room in which we stayed in 2 nights, but only paid for 1.
Moral of the story? Just because they call it a Hospitality Suite, doesn’t mean it’s fancy. Also, argue at hotels, you tend to always get your way in the end.

Life Lately…

1. I went to a Paint Party to celebrate one of my good friend’s upcoming wedding. Has anyone ever done one of these before? I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive when I first heard of the idea (partially because I am probably the least artistic person I know), but the night turned out to be a blast!! We brought wine and food and spent the night drinking, eating and laughing with friends while our instructor walked us step-by-step through the painting. And now my beach masterpiece is hanging in our back den! It was such a fun night and I definitely want to go back for another event!!

2. Our boss took the child life team out to lunch last month to celebrate March being child life month! My friend and I attempted to split that huge sundae between the two of us. Let me just say, as much as I LOVE ice cream, there was no way in heck we could finish that monstrosity. We made a pretty good dent though!! I know I say this all the time, but I LOVE child life and I am so incredibly grateful to work with the crazy group of women up there (and more…since not everyone is pictured…)

3. I made some amazingly delicious buffalo chickpea quinoa burgers the other day! It’s tough (if not impossible) for me to get Brett to eat any type of veggie burger, but when I saw that this chickpea “burger” was made with a healthy helping of buffalo sauce, I knew I had a chance! (Hubs does love his buffalo sauce). I thought they came out AMAZING and they received a thumbs up from Brett, which is not an easy feat. Let me know if anyone is interested in the recipe….

4. So we are officially getting a puppy!! Brett’s brother and his wife have two adorable golden retrievers who hadΒ  puppies a few weeks ago. Brett and I have been having the “dog talk” for awhile now, and golden puppies are just too cute to pass up. We have to wait a few months, obviously, but hopefully the new member of our family will be here early summer! Before we decided for sure, Brett wanted me to bring home my hospital’s therapy dog (who I’m a handler for) as a “trial run” to see how Leah reacted. I think it’s safe to say that Leah is pretty crazy about dogs, especially when it comes to feeding them crackers and trying to get them to drink out of her sippy. I also enjoyed some good cuddling with my favorite golden (who doesn’t know that she may soon be replaced for that number 1 spot…..)

5. Summer is officially on it’s way to Florida! I feel like winter lasted about 5 days this year (that one week…when it was gloomy and 50 degrees…) before it decided that it was time for summer. Which is fine with me. Because we are all about water play these days and are enjoying warm days at the playground and in our backyard!

6. The whole family attended a friend’s 1920′s themed birthday party. Brett is not one to dress up for any “theme” events (and to be honest, I’m not a huge fan either) but when I found out that a friend was having a 1920′s themed party I was pretty excited, mainly because I knew I had the most perfect dress. Brett was a little harder to convince to dress up, but in the end he was a good sport and I thought he looked quite dapper in his seersucker pants! (And Leah was obviously a doll in her pearls and feather headband…)

7. Lately Leah has been VERY picky about what pajamas she wears. Clothes during the day, she could care less about, but as soon as it comes time to change into her pajamas, she’s suddenly the most opinionated toddler in the world. The past few weeks she has been on a mismatched kick, and it just HAS to include her “Me-Mouse” shirt and “Eeeee Eeeee” pants. As you can see, she also likes to pair the outfit with her fancy Easter hat. Every night she asks “Me-mouse? Eeee Eeee?” And heaven forbid this lovely pajama outfit is in the wash and she becomes quite distraught. It’s so funny to see her little personality come out these days. One things for sure, she is a girl who knows just what she wants and she sticks to it!

8. The gorgeous weather means that we have started our evening beach tradition back up. Leah just loves strutting down the boardwalk and, as you can see from that first picture, everyone gets a kick out of watching her. This girl has a personality, that’s for sure. And unlike her mother and father, she seems to thrive being in the spotlight! Evenings at the beach are my all time favorite part of the day (and weekend) and I’m glad to start up this tradition once more!

9. Leah has figured out how to use the computer and there are many days when I’m busy in the kitchen and I peek into the back den to see Leah checking her favorite blogs or writing an important email…..

10. We have unofficially started pre-potty training over here. A few months ago, during an IKEA trip, we picked up a potty because it (like everything that is IKEA) was awesome and cheap and we thought “why not!?” For awhile Leah just enjoyed dragging her potty seat around and sitting on it (fully clothed) while she read a book or 2. Now, every once and awhile, she will point to the potty and ask “pee pee?” So we will pull down her diaper and let her sit on the potty while we run her bath or while she eats her snack. We really aren’t officially training yet, but I figured that it’s at least good for her to get to know the potty, and get used to sitting on it, so when we do “get serious” about it (probably after she turns 2) she will be ready to go!

11. I spent my first weekend away from Leah, traveling north to Savannah with some great friends to see our gorgeous friend’s wedding. (Much, much more on this later). It was so tough to be away from Leah, but I also had a blast! Since I nursed Leah well past one, that was always my excuse not to travel without her (and I liked having that excuse!) but now that we aren’t connected anymore (literally) it definitely does give me more freedom. I had such a great time on my girls weekend, but it was definitely nice to get back and kiss those squishy cheeks again!! (Leah’s of course…not Brett’s….haha ;-))

Whew!!! A lot has happened in the past month when I (unintentionally) took a break from this blog! Life is just moving so fast these days, I feel like I’m scrambling to keep up! Much more to come on my trip to Savannah. Happy Tuesday! :)

18 months

Somehow my little baby is already a year and a half. I’m not really sure how that’s possible. One minute I’m waking up at 3 am, wondering if I will ever sleep through the night again, and the next, I’m chasing around this kid who seems to have mastered the arm cross and the attitude of a teenager over night. There is so much I want to remember, to forever lock in my memory, about this fun and vibrant age:
~The way she runs with her arms swinging across her rotund belly.
~The way she says bye to everything, even giving the bathwater a “buh-bye wa-wa” when she gets out of the tub.
~The way she cups my cheeks in her hands and stares into my eyes and you can just see her love.
~The way she licks any new food you try to give her and her “no dank dew!” when she inevitably decides that she doesn’t like it.
~How crazy observant she is and how she can look at a family picture of my family from 15 years ago and still point out “mama!” “papa!” “gama!” “Lolo!”
~Her insane and undying love for Elmo and Minnie Mouse. Followed closely with her beloved baby she sleeps with nightly, “Baby Meme.”
~Her little parrot voice repeating everything we say.
~How she can go from being deliriously happy, to full out drama queen break-down, in 2.5 seconds flat.
~Her crazy streak of stubbornness and defiance that causes her to slowly put one finger, while staring directly into your eyes, onto an item that you just told her not to touch.
~Her love of peanut butter and her desire to eat it on anything, all day, everyday.
~Her love of music and how I melt when I find her “singing” Twinkle Twinkle, ABC’s and Wheels on the Bus, alone in her crib.
~Her ability to count to 3 and her need to jump or step off of anything once she shouts “three!”
~Her adorable “whoops!” and “uh-ohs!” and “oops!” that are exclaimed every time she trips or falls.
~Her claim to have a “boo boo!” on any body part, at any given time, as she holds up her knee/finger/foot/etc for a kiss.
~The way she throws up her arms and yells “Hooray!!” whenever she is happy or excited.
~Her exuberant “ta da!” she gives when she does anything out of the norm, even if it’s just balancing a block on her foot.
~Her overall genuine sweetness and gentleness towards other people and animals.

This girl has me and her daddy wrapped around her finger, and she knows it! This past 6 months have been so fun, seeing her personality really blossom, and we can’t wait to see what the next 6 months have in store. We love you, Leah Grace!

The Fabulous Adventures of Leah and Meme

If you can’t tell, we had a BLAST with my sister, brother-in-law and baby Milly (or as Leah affectionately calls her, “baby Meme”). Besides cheering me on in Miami during my half marathon, we enjoyed some water play in the driveway, visits to the local farmers market, the playground, Jaxson’s Ice Cream and the beach and we had some great conversations around the dining room table. It’s so tough when family lives far away (in their case, Vermont) and I love, love, love every second we can spend together, although it’s never enough. It was also so much fun to see Leah and Milly interact with each other. The last time we visited, Milly was only a few days old and spent most of her days sleeping. Now, at 10 weeks, she was awake and alert and was so interested in watching Leah talk and play. Leah was extremely affectionate with Milly and I almost melted when I witnessed her cupping Milly’s cheeks with both hands before kissing her on the mouth. She was just so incredibly sweet and gentle with her and it made me proud to see how much of a big girl she is now! I think someone is ready to be a big sister!! ;) I’m so thankful that they made the trek down to south FL for a few days and we can’t wait until we get to see them again! (Although, I think it would be easier if they just moved to FL already!) We miss you baby Meme!!