As we all know by now, my vacations suck. They always have all my life. From the first time I went to Disney when I was 5 and came down with the flu and strep throat and almost died, right up till this past May when I took the kids to NYC and spent 2 days lost in the subway. This vacation is no different. I guess since I expect nothing, I am never disappointed. That is my consolation.
Someone gave my 15 year old two free tickets to a Broadway show. That means I have to figure out how to get us to NYC and back…on zero dollars. This is sort of my specialty…well, that and having sucky vacations. I wonder if those two things are connected….???….nah….Anyway, how do you get from Upstate NY to NYC you might ask. Well, through Connecticut of course! I’m a sucker for a road trip. And New Haven CT is on the ocean. Drop the dog to the boarders and off we go!
I had booked us a hotel, a wicked cheap hotel, in New Haven CT. The plan was to drive to CT, tour Yale University, hit the beach, go back to the hotel, sleep, get up, take the train into NYC, window shop, then, my 15 year old, and her buddy who is already in NYC, go see the show while my 11 year old and I do other free NYC stuff, get the 15 year old after the show, take the train back to CT, to the motel, sleep,get up, drive home. Ta DA!
We were right on schedule. Drove into a really sketchy area, but that’s par for the course with me. No matter where I go I always seem to be able to find the scariest part of town. It’s like my super power…Generally, we just go THROUGH the bad part of town but not today! Today, we follow the GPS and it leads us right to an Econo Lodge straight out of an episode of CSI. But we won’t judge a book by it’s cover…or a motel by it’s crime scene tape…we go into the lobby, such as it was, and check in. Get our key, push down our misgivings and fears and head to our room. The chipped paint is something I could overlook. My house needs a paint job desperately so…I get it. The weeds growing up through the cracks in the parking lot…my driveway is really weedy, the cigarette butts littering the walkway…well, smokers can be careless…the old lady who fell on the stairway and decided to not get up…we all have those sort of days don’t we?
We got to our room, opened the door and were greeted by the most horrific smell. Now that is saying something as I lived with Spencer who was trying to kill me with his farts. But this smell, this was something special. It was cheap incense with an underpinning of urine and a subtle hint of old blood…Truly it was unique. And spine tingling terrifying. We came in, shut the door and my 11 year old said “Hey! At least there’s a microwave!” which was not plugged in and just sitting on the floor next to the door making a sort of weak whining sound. I had to pee so I used the restroom. It was a pee-while-squatting sort of sitch…ladies know what I mean. I came out, told the kids to put on their suits. We had to get out of this nasty nasty room. So, we headed to the ocean.
It was overcast and chilly. But the kids jumped right in and swam. There was a little water park and a light house that we couldn’t touch and a carousel that we weren’t allowed near and the best part was when the truck came to clean out the porta potties that were UPwind from where I was sitting. Connecticut is filled with incredible scents…
Maybe it was the breeze from the ocean, maybe it was the breeze from the porta potty but I had a brilliant idea whilst sitting on the beach…we would go to Walmart and buy pillows and some quilts and put them on the beds and sleep on them thereby protecting us from the communicable diseases and bed bugs! So, I google Walmart and of course there are 3 within 5 miles of each other and me! Makes sense right? We drive to the one that is closest to our hotel. But ya know, I get a better idea on the way! Let’s just find another hotel! And I look to my left and there is a Days Inn! I go in to check to see if they have a room for us and we get the last one! But, before we went in, we sat in the car and debated getting a new hotel because like I said, I am doing this on my good looks and I’m not sure my looks are good enough for a Days Inn. We get out of the car, my 15 year old in her red bikini bottoms with her white see thru cover up, my 11 year old in her swim suit and jean shorts which immediately fall to her ankles when she stands up and me with my wild hair and no make up…we are lookin GOOD! We would like to see the room first please…being all discriminating consumer like…He opens the door and it doesn’t smell like death, there is nothing in the microwave and the toilet seat isn’t crusty…it’s like Heaven on earth.
So, we drive back to the other hotel, check out, step over the chalk outline of a body, get back in the car and GO GO GO!!!!
The kids learned many lessons today. The least of which is to always check the Yelp reviews before booking a 50 dollar a night hotel. I could tell you how hard we laughed at ourselves and our situation today. It takes a special kind of silly to be able to laugh at this sort of stuff I know. So, although I would not recommend this route, especially if you are on a budget, I will say that we can find the fun in just about anything up to and including a motel with an active on site murder investigation!
Check back tomorrow for our adventures in NYC…