Monday, October 30, 2006

Urban Blight

My oldest child will be four in less than a month and we
have never stayed in a hotel room with him despite the fact that we travel
quite a bit. Now I know why. We left on Sunday morning to drive down to
Orlando for our weeklong foray into Disney-style debauchery. We spent the entire day in the car but, as
all of us are relatively accustomed to long car trips, things went relatively
well. We arrived in Orlando in time for
a late dinner and checked into our hotel room. Our reservations on Disney property did not start until Monday night so
we were forced to spend Sunday night confined to a hotel room together. I was dreading that much more than I was the
11-hour car trip.

We went to dinner with my parents and brother (also
traveling with us) and then went back to our hotel room. The hotel was on International Drive, right
across the street from a ridiculously large miniature golf course. The second my son saw that giant pirate ship
his energy level hit the roof. Kids
seem to have some sort of adrenaline switch that is triggered when they lay
their eyes on expensive tourist traps. He was out of control and the energy spread like wildfire into the veins
of his sister. They were both bouncing
off of the walls and too excited to sit still. We decided to take advantage of the hotel’s pool to wear the kids out so
they would sleep well that night. We
had a busy day in the morning and needed our kids to be well rested. We had a good time in the pool and, as soon
as the kids started showing signs of being tired, we dried them off and put
them in their pajamas. We followed our
evening routine, even adding some stories and an extra glass of milk but, alas,
it was to no avail. The kids were in
plain view of each other and still reeling from all of the urban blight on
International Drive.

At 11:00 pm, the scene in our hotel room was not
pretty. My daughter was standing up in
her Pack N Play, singing an incoherent baby-tune and bouncing up and down. Every once in a while she would stop, smile,
wave and say, “hi.” It was completely
irresistible and, despite my frustration, I was enjoying her serenade. My son was all over the bed, standing,
sitting and rolling around on the polyester comforter. He did not want to sleep by himself and kept
egging his sister on. My husband and I
were at a loss. We decided, finally, to
call in reinforcements. My parents and
brother were staying in the room next to ours so we took my daughter in there
where she proceeded to run around, treating the room like it was a baby
obstacle course, laughing every time she fell or someone looked at her. My husband and I then took turns lying in
the dark hotel room with my son, listening to him complain about the “scratchy
blanket.” An hour or so later he fell
asleep. Twenty minutes later my daughter
followed. Seven seconds later my
husband and I crashed in the second full-size bed, shivering because the
pathetic excuse for a blanket was so thin and worn, not to mention scratchy.

The kids woke up at 7:30 sharp, bright eyed and ready for
their day. We checked out of our hotel
room and drove towards the mouse ears vowing never again to endure the torture
of a night in a hotel room. Next time
we will bring the tent.


  1. I really enjoyed hearing about the start of your week of adventure. It sure brings back memories, some 20+ years later some of them are plesant and humerous, some..... not so much. Can't wait to hear more, Oh, and the tent idea never worked for us, I still remember; "Daddy, can you turn down the sound??" (in reference to the crickets)

  2. We stayed have done the same room thing several times and I always need a vacation from my vacation! As I have said before my boys have a parasite and host relationship and they feed off each other, I see you have had a taste of this realtionship! Glad you are back safe and sound. See you wed. and elizabeth will have her pig tails in so her and tatum can match!

  3. Papa Dale-
    I'm so glad I could bring back some positive memories of you and the family! It's my pleasure. Bummer about the tent. I guess it's time to invest in a Pop-Up.

  4. Melinda-
    Parasitic relationship, huh? I guess that is what I have to look forward to. I can't wait to see Elizabeth's do!

  5. I hate scratchy blankets too. I through the bad spread on the floor and grab another blanket from the closet when I stay in hotels. Did the extra milk make the pee-pee buzzer go off?