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.

A love story…chapter 1

So I know I have a blog tab where I (very briefly) share the story of me and Brett and how we met and started dating, but the reality is much more detailed.  So, I have decided to share our full length love story for anyone (anyone?) who may want to hear it. (For the cliff note version, feel free to check out the “Our Love Story” tab) I feel like one day, when the details start to get hazy, it will be fun for us and our children to be able to read the amazing story of how Brett and I became one.  It’ll be long, so I’ll plan on splitting it up into a few parts.  So here we go….

Chapter One-In which Christina transfers schools and meets a little, skinny blonde boy

To truly start, we have to go way back to my senior year of high school. That vital year where every 18 year old is attempting to figure out where they are going to spend the next 4 (or more) years of their life. My older sister, then a sophomore, had just transferred to Gordon College, a small liberal arts Christian school about an hour north of where we lived in Massachusetts. I applied and got accepted, thinking how fun it would be to go to the same school as my sister. Thanksgiving came and we traveled up to PA to spend the holiday with my mother’s parents. While there, we went to look at a house currently for sale on the lake where my grandparents lived. This is nothing new for my parents, as we tend to not go anywhere without walking through a random open house or calling to see a house on the market. They’re house lookers, as am I (side note, even now whenever we pass an open house sign I make Brett stop so we can walk through. Doesn’t matter where we are going or what we are doing…) Except this time; this time was different. My parents were looking for a change, my dad’s job allowed location flexibility, and my grandpa’s health was declining. So before I knew it, my parents had put an offer on the house and, hello, they were moving the family to PA after I graduated high school. Which left me freaking out. What was such an easy college choice before (a school where my sister currently went PLUS only an hour from home? Win, win) would now be a school 8 1/2 hours from home. And this homebody girl didn’t think she could handle that. In a rush I quickly and randomly applied to 5-6 schools in PA, within a few hours of my parents new home, and once I got accepted, my mom and I traveled out to visit them all. Long story short, I picked a school, University of Pittsburgh, had the freshman roommate from HELL (seriously, a story for another day), became increasingly depressed, and applied to transfer to Gordon for the start of my sophomore year, basically beginning back where I originally started. Little did I know that 1 year of delayed start would make all the difference in the world.

Gordon College. A small, private Christian school in a very wealthy area of the North shore. It was a breath of fresh air coming from Pitt (seriously, I will have to share the stories of my freshman year someday soon, they’re just too good not to…..) Gordon had this wonderful (said very sarcastically) program for all freshman and transferring students to get to know each other while at the same time enjoying in God’s great earth. Either A. You could go on a week long camping and hiking trip called La Vida, 2 days of which you spent totally solo or B. You could take a semester long Discovery course complete with bunches of super fun ropes courses and team building activities and ending with an overnight camping/hiking trip. Honestly, I’m an outdoorsy girl…to a point. I’m all about hiking and camping is super fun and what not, but I’m just a bit neurotic when it comes to bathrooms and being able to ummm….do my business. So the one night trip vs. the week long very intense, solo “finding yourself” no bathroom in site experience was definitely a no brainier. Add to the mix that my new college BFF was also planning on being in the same Discovery class cinched the deal. Brett, on the other hand, was busy in the administrative office trying to use all his wit and charm to find a way out of doing Discovery OR La Vida. He failed. Obviously because God knew he needed to be in the class to meet his future wife. 😉

So. Discovery class started. Let’s be honest, whenever you start a new class (especially a small one) you always casually check everyone out just to see who you’re going to be spending the next 3 months with. That first day my eyes casually skimmed over a short, skinny blonde boy with long fluffy hair. Cute, not that you could see much of his face under that hair, but it was hardly love at first site. At the time I had a boyfriend (who was at a different school not too far from Gordon) plus I was taller than this little blonde boy, which lets be honest, is not a desirable trait when looking for a potential boyfriend. The cute blonde boy had a Vanderbilt t-shirt on, given to him by his girlfriend who was currently attending that school. My good friend Stephanie struck up a conversation with him, since she herself had just transferred from Vanderbilt. The blonde boy smiled. He had dimples, which I admitted to myself, did make him even cuter, and he casually chatted with Steph about the school. Throughout the semester I rarely spoke to the fluffy haired boy. He and Steph seemed to have created an easy going friendship, based on her having gone to the same school as his girlfriend, and they chatted often, with me adding to the conversation every now and then. At the time things were pretty serious (as serious as things seem when you’re 18 years old) with my boyfriend and I truly thought he was the man I was going to one day marry.

The semester ended, as did my contact with Brett. From time to time I would see him around campus, and we would smile and say hello (especially if I was with Stephanie, who, let’s be honest, was the friendlier one of us both). Time went on and I didn’t think much about the little blonde boy anymore. More months passed and my sophomore year ended. I went home to PA for the summer, spent 2 1/2 months working in my town’s public library (because I’m cool like that) before coming back to Gordon for the fall of my junior year. A few weeks into the new year, while walking to chapel one day, I heard a “Hey! Christina!” I turned and there stood a much taller, much shorter hair, cute blonde boy with dimples. He smiled and hugged me and I thought “oh boy….”

To be continued….

Sometimes….

  • Even though I’ve lived in Florida for about 1 year, I’ll get this random rush of excitement when I’m outside walking around and breathing in the ocean air, thinking I’m here on vacation. And then I have to remind myself that I live here.
  • While working at the hospital I’ll have our therapy dog and then I’ll have to go to the bathroom. So I’ll bring her in with me and she’ll just sit and stare at me. And then I’ll ask her to please avert her eyes, but she totally won’t. And it’s hard to go with her looking at me like that.
  • I wish I could tell parents at the hospital to please stop bribing their kids with the promise of McDonalds. “Don’t cry during your IV and I’ll get you chicken nuggets and french fries!!”
  • I sit in our family room at night with hubs and plan our future family vacations. And I get super excited about them because I just know they’re going to be the greatest things ever.
  • I wish my hair would stop turning grey.

My parents are coming tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited. Okay, so they’re really not coming to see us, they’re leaving to go on a luxurious week long cruise on Saturday. But we’ll get to see them on both ends of the trip, so that’s good enough for me.

Tomorrow’s Friday! Ready for a relaxing weekend.

Happy Thursday.

Kids, Could they get any cuter?

One of my much-missed cuties from my nannying days

Every once in awhile I meet a child at the hospital who says or does something so cute or charming I want to tell them, “that, right there, is the reason I do this job.” Today I was lucky enough to get the motherload of all cuteness and charm in the form of 2 brothers.

Both boys came to the hospital ready for back-to-back scans. They charmed me from the moment I walked in, seeing both of them snuggled up together in one hospital bed. We quickly got off on the right foot, becoming BFF’s after they rallied through their IV’s and were rewarded with basically the coolest prize ever for a 3 and 7 year old- getting to become pirates. You would think me bringing them pirate rings, eye patches, bandanas and “real” pirate gold was the most amazing thing in the world. And it was, obviously. Our friendship blossomed over the course of the day with some cowboy and indian play, coloring, and Wii action. Then came the conversation that brought it all home.

Coming back from lunch I heard the three year old was done with his scan, awake and asking for me. The conversation that followed:

Me: Walking into room
3 year old: “There’s my pretty girl!!!!”
7 year old (blushing): “Why would he say that?!”
3 year old: “Because….(to me): I love you.”
Me: (heart melting): “Thank you, I love you too!”
7 year old (really blushing now): “Mom!! Why did he say that?!”
Mom: “Because he thinks she’s pretty! Don’t you think she is pretty?”
7 year old: (giving me the up and down look): “No.”
Me: Dying laughing
Mom: “What! Why are you blushing then? You don’t think she’s pretty?”
7 year old: (sighs) “Mom, I already have a girlfriend.”
Mom: “You can have a girlfriend and still think another girl is pretty!”
7 year old (big sigh): “Mom, that’s called cheating.

My heart could not take these two sweet nuggets. Seriously, could my job be any better?

Welcome 2012

Happy New Year everyone!
Christmas in PA was wonderful, full vacation recap coming soon. For now, to ring in the new year, I give you a quick, abbreviated recap of 2011. Which was a pretty great year, if I do say so myself.

January:
Brett and I had been engaged for 6 months and living in VA. I worked at an adoption agency, he worked at a church. Then I got the fateful call saying I got the child life position in FL. I said yes and Brett and I prepared for the big move down south.

I also seem to have 0 photos from this month.

February:
Brett and I travel to PA to celebrate my 25th birthday and take our engagement pics

We also travel to FL to look at apartments and plan our big move!

March:
I started my job as a child life specialist at a children’s hospital in south Florida

2 weeks after moving to FL I traveled back to DC to watch my sister run the National Marathon and surprise my mom for her birthday.

April:
Brett and I settle in FL life and begin to explore our new town. We also celebrate Brett’s first FL birthday!

May:
Traveled back to PA for my wedding shower and to celebrate 2 of my sister’s birthdays. Last time home as a single woman!

June:
Happiest month of my life so far. The love of my life and I get married in NY!

Then traveled to Costa Rica for our honeymoon.

July:
Hubs and I realize that summer in FL is HOT. And we escape to our island as much as possible.

August:
My parents came down to FL for our first married visit.

Then we traveled to Long Island for the second Becker summer wedding of hub’s brother.

September:
The running/yogurt club is born. Suddenly, running has never been more fun.

October:
Brett and I quickly realize that fall in FL basically equals 24/7 rain.

I decide to “adopt” a street cat and name him Figaro. I then dress up as same cat for Halloween.

November:
This was probably our busiest month. It started off with a fun visit from my sister (where she too decided to take the plunge and move to the sunshine state! The big move comes next week!)

Then hubs and I jumped on a plane to VA for Brett’s good friend’s wedding. There, we get to experience fall and see the gorgeous leaves for the first time this season.

We ended the month by traveling to Long Island for a Becker style Thanksgiving.

There, we made a quick trip into NYC to visit our “city of love.”

December:
Brett and I get our first fake Christmas tree and do our best to make our FL apartment look festive.

Then we got the exciting news that my big sis got engaged!

We ended the year with a trip to PA to celebrate Christmas with my family.

This has been one exciting year and I have a feeling that 2012 is going to be even better!

Happy New Year!

Hardcore falls.

Running club kicked butt tonight. Shannon and I were totally killing it until about a mile from the finish. There we are running along (in the dark) and suddenly I hit a ditch. While Shannon screams I did an impressive roll, while simultaneously smashing my elbow, hip, knee and scrapping up both palms. Feeling the burn I just jumped up and moved on, finishing the run with dirt streaks down my arms and legs. And yes, now I might be too much of a baby to clean out the impressive amount of dirt embedded in my palms, but those few minutes, I was totally hard core. And we celebrated our impressive run with chips and salsa instead of fro-yo. It was a welcome change.

Yesterday hubs and I went over and signed the lease on our brand new house-apartment. We are totally psyched, although the thought of moving all of our furniture makes me feel a little less enthused.

Here is a pic of our new front door. And yes, I love the door knocker.

Happy almost weekend.

That time I spent all night in the ER…

I work full time at a hospital. Which means that I generally like to avoid the hospital completely on my time off. So it’s going to take a lot to make me actually head back there a mere 3 1/2 hours after I get off work.

Unfortunately for me, that’s exactly what happened on Thursday night, thanks to my lovely ovaries (feel weird reading about my ovaries?? Well then you just might want to stop reading now).

By Thursday I had been feeling pretty extreme pain in my right lower abdomen on and off for a few days now. But hubs had been awesome and he made me a heating pad out of a pair of his socks and some rice (which, FYI is super easy, cheap and effective!) and this was working just fine. As a matter of fact, me and mister sock were growing quite attached over the last few days, he even curled up with me in bed at night to help me fall asleep.

Husband was, of course, a little worried about my pain where as I was all like, “oh yes, totally normal, ha ha, it’s not a big deal that I can’t even stand up straight without passing out with pain..all is well!”

Then came Thursday night. After a 5 mile run with the running club (I’m still not really sure how I made it through that…) I was about to throw up and pass out from pain and nausea at the same time. I casually asked the girls how to know the difference between ovarian cramps and something a little more extreme, like appendicitis. “Ha ha, no worries! I might just be dying as we speak!”

About an hour later, after trying to convince hubs that I really was okay, as I doubled over in a hot shower (because there was no way I was going to the ER all sweaty and smelly) I finally gave up and headed to the ER. (There may also have been a panicked, crying call home to my mom. Really, you’re never too old for your mother’s advice).

After spending 9 hours in the ER, here is what I learned:

  1. Although we tell kids that an IV feels like a “mosquito bite” we are totally lying. It feels more like it actually is, getting stabbed with a large needle.
  2. After they take 6 large vials of blood from your body, and you haven’t eaten a meal since noon, you most likely will almost pass out when you next stand up.
  3. The three cups of contrast they make you drink before a CT scan is really not that bad. I have spent HOURS trying to trick convince kinds to drink this stuff, but had never really tasted it myself. Next time I’m totally telling them to buck up and chug and stop being a wimp.  (Kidding. Maybe)
  4. Men know nothing about ovaries. Thus, when a doctor tells you that, after having a large cyst burst, you might feel some “discomfort” will make you want to punch them in the face.
We finally left the ER close to 6 am with some strong pain meds and a “oh by the way, you have 2 more cysts that are getting ready to bust as well. Have fun!”
Ovaries, I know I need you, but really, right now I don’t like you.