The Trip to Shreveport...
I've already said how bored I was in the motel room in Arkansas two weeks ago, but after being home a few days I decided that going to Shreveport for a week didn't sound so bad. By Saturday, I had definitely decided to go. We planned to leave Sunday morning, but my brother called and asked if he were coming to his birthday lunch. That was the first I had heard anything about a birthday lunch. It wasn't actually his birthday, but with everyone's schedules the way that they are, sometimes the birthday lunch is off by as much as a month. Probably, Sunday was the best day for my sister's husband, and he has to out of town a lot too. So we didn't ask if it could be rescheduled or anything. We were just going to Shreveport, and it's not that far away, and we could leave after lunch.
So we went to Mimi's Cafe, which is a chain, but it's new here. Everyone said nice things about it, but I don't think that any of us had ever been there before. And it didn't seem like my brother's kind of thing at all. There was a big crowd and a half hour wait for the table, and then there was a bit of confusion and like three or four different people were waiting on us. Mostly, we were not overly impressed with the place. But, all six of us were together, which doesn't seem to happen that often.
Somehow it did not get through to the rest of them that we were going out of town that day. My brother reminded us to come on over at the usual time that night. Sorry, we're on our way to Shreveport. When? As soon as we go home and get a few things. And then my mom wanted something, after I've just said that we're going out of town, and she still doesn't get that we mean today.
So we go home and put the suitcases and the knitting machine in the car. And the place is a mess, and nothing we can do in the next hour or so will even make a dent in it, so we just leave all of it and look the door.
I bought some lottery tickets on the road, and I bought some different lottery tickets when we got to Shreveport. None of them won anything. Next time.
So the company only pays up to fifty dollars plus tax per night for motel rooms. They don't pay for meals, so we try to look for places with free breakfast. And if we go over the fifty dollar limit without a really good reason, we have to pay the difference, and taking your spouse along does not count as a really good reason. So we try to use the little coupon books that they give you at the tourist info places.
For some reason, my husband usually stays at the same place when he goes to Shreveport. But he doesn't like the place that much, and I didn't understand why he kept staying there if he thought it was a flea bag. It's not so bad, he says. There's a free hot breakfast.
But he doesn't like the place that much, for some reason that he can't seem to explain, so I look in the coupon book for a better place. There are two Days Inn coupons and a coupon for a Ramada Inn and a coupon for the place he doesn't like that much, and then maybe there are a couple more coupons that are out of our price range. The Ramada Inn has a free hot breakfast, a hot tub, and Internet access. Sounds good to me.
When we get there they say that we can only use the coupon for the first night, and that the regular room rate is about twenty-five dollars more. Since we plan to be there for five days, that's about a hundred dollars too much. So we head for a Days Inn.
The Days Inn doesn't have any non-smoking rooms left. The other Days Inn is about twenty miles away and we decide to skip it. There are plenty of other motels nearby, but this whole thing is starting to seem familiar to my husband, and we decide just to go to his usual place.
And it doesn't look like a flea bag at all. It's a pretty big place, and it has two outdoor pools and it's across the street from what used to be the Isle of Capri Casino. The lobby looks nice, and it has a Chinese restaurant. I just can't see why he didn't like the place that much.
So we go to the front desk and give the lady a coupon and she asks what kind of room we would want. So we would need a non-smoking room, prefer a king size bed and a micro-fridge.
Only weekly rentals come with a micro-fridge.
Okay, how much is the weekly rate?
$250.00 plus tax.
So I just think that's perfect. At fifty dollars plus tax per night for five nights, that's exactly the limit of what the company will pay. And then if we want, we can stay for the weekend and go to a casino or a zoo or something.
So we get our keys and drive to the other building and start dragging our stuff up the stairs, only to find that we do not have a king size bed, and we do not have a micro fridge. The king size bed I can live without, and I just thought that with the weekly rate we just couldn't get a king size bed. But we were supposed to get a micro-fridge. That was kind of the point.
So we drag our stuff back down the stairs and go to the front desk to complain, and the lady says that maintenance will have to bring us a micro-fridge, and that it's after hours and they've all gone home for the day. We'll get it Monday morning.
Okay. So we drive back to the other building and drag our stuff back up the stairs. And the room is smaller than I am used to, but it is very clean and everything works, and I would not describe it as a flea bag.
Now, usually at this point we would head for a Walmart or a grocery store, but there's no point in that since we don't yet have the micro-fridge. And I don't want to go to a nice restaurant either, because I'm not that hungry and I wouldn't have a place to put the leftovers. So we end up at a Burger King, and then we go back to the motel and watch the 4400.
The bed was firm, but for some reason I didn't get much sleep on it. The AC was good, if a bit louder than I am used to. Not that a loud AC is always a bad thing. Sometimes a little noise like that is good to block the outside noises. But for some reason this AC noise was not to my liking. And the bed wasn't king size, which I prefer, but it wasn't especially small either. So I didn't get a lot of sleep and I have no clue what the problems was. I guess just a lot of little things that add up.
The next morning we went to breakfast. At this place, before you go to breakfast, you have to stop at the front desk and get a voucher. Okay. No big deal. So we get our vouchers and go to the breakfast area, and my husband asks if I have any money.
Cause there's a waitress and I usually leave her a dollar.
Okay. I think maybe I have a dollar.
So that was a bit odd. There's a hot breakfast bar, but there's a waitress to bring you coffee or milk or juice. And it was a hot breakfast bar. There were no other choices, except that you could also have a few pieces of fruit. There were no donuts or cereal or bagels. There was toast and pancakes and scrambled eggs and sausage and biscuits and gravy and that sort of thing. It could have been really good, but somehow it wasn't. It just seemed like everything was a little on the crispy side for my liking, except for the potatoes. Not hash browns, just sort of cut up potatoes that had been baked or maybe even boiled. The scrambled eggs were good, but without cheese or pico de gallo to they weren't really that great either.
So after breakfast we went back to our room, but we still didn't have our micro-fridge, so we still couldn't go to the grocery store. So we asked about it again, and we were told it would be about an hour. An hour went by, and still no micro-fridge. So we complained to someone else, and this time one of the maintenance guys overheard, and he said he would get it right away. And soon after that, we found a little refrigerator in our room. We still didn't have our microwave, but we thought it was probably on it's way up.
My husband asked if I wanted to go to the Boardwalk area, which was new and neither of us had ever been there. So we got in the van and headed across the river.
Now we come to one of those "real men don't ask for directions" things. Which usually doesn't describe my husband at all, since he's had to drive all over the country and has learned that if he wants to get to work at a reasonable time he needs to ask for directions. But for some reason he doesn't pick up a tourist map or anything, he just thinks that he's going to head for the other side of the river and it will be obvious when we get near the place.
And so we did drive around all of this tourist stuff, and it would seem to me that we were in the right general area and all we had to do was drive closer to the river and we should see where to go from there. Except for some reason my husband decided to make a left turn away from the river, and then he made a few more turns that lead away from the tourist stuff and the river, and I just have no clue what he thought he was doing.
Soon we are far away from anything that looks familiar, and I don't know where he is going. I don't feel so good, but I don't say anything. I felt sick earlier, but I thought that it was just one of those things that if you convince yourself that you're okay and get on with your day that soon you'll forget that you didn't feel well and you'll probably feel better after lunch anyway. But just this driving around wasn't doing me any good.
But I still don't say anything, cause in my husband's brain even when he's done something wrong it isn't a problem. Somehow my mentioning that he's doing something wrong is a problem, but what he's done isn't a problem. So I don't mention every little thing he does wrong anymore, and it's not like getting lost is a moral issue or anything like that. This isn't something I want to waste my energy on, and he has to get it eventually without my mentioning it.
But no. He drives here, there, and everywhere. Half and hour of this and I can't take it. Where are you going?
I just thought I would drive to something that seemed familiar and try again, but this isn't what I thought either. Maybe we should just find a Walmart and then go back to the motel.
That might be best.
But then we find a Walmart and drive right past it.
At some point we are nearly back to the motel, but instead of going there he gets back on the freeway and heads west.
Where are you going?
I thought I'd go to a Walmart and get some stuff before we go back to the motel.
We passed a Walmart already and you didn't stop.
I don't think that I could find that one again. We'll go to a different one.
So we drive almost back to Texas and go to a Walmart and get lunch-meat and cheese and socks and a few other things and then head back to the motel. I really don't feel well now, so we just go to the Chinese restaurant in the motel. It was good. I felt better.
So we go back to the room and I put the leftovers in the fridge, and I notice that we still don't have the microwave. And I go downstairs to complain about that. And I ask for an iron, cause there's an ironing board in the room and a place for the iron, but the iron is missing. And I'm told that someone will bring the microwave and an iron in about an hour.
My husband goes to work. He wears a somewhat wrinkled shirt, but it's not too bad. But the rest of his clothes definitely need ironing.
Two hours later, I go downstairs to complain again, and they get me an iron. Still no microwave.
A couple of hours later I'm starting to be a bit of a bitch. We're going to pay for two extra nights at place so that we can get a micro-fridge that most places would have anyway, and I'm in a small room and I don't have a king size bed, and we don't have Internet access, and there's no hot tub, and I STILL don't have my microwave.
Someone is going to find me a microwave.
A couple of hours later, someone calls to say that they've found my microwave and they'll be bringing it right up. "Right up" apparently means an hour later, but that's okay. I got the microwave before seven o'clock and had heated up leftover Chinese food for diner.
While all that was going on I got some knitting done. I finished a Dr. Who scarf, except for the fringe, and I started a Slytherin scarf. The next day I started a Gryffindor scarf. By Wednesday I had three scarves mostly done, except for the fringe. I hate doing fringe.
Anyway, I still couldn't get enough sleep on the bed, and I still don't know why. But neither of us was getting enough sleep in Shreveport.
Wednesday we did manage to find that Boardwalk place and looked around at some stores but didn't really buy anything. I saw a big fish in the river while my husband was taking pictures, but he missed it. Then we ate at a gumbo place. It was okay, but not great. I guess I just expect more now.
My husband went to work, and I finished up with the knitting machine and then went for a swim. I just realized that I had spent a lot of the last three weeks in motels and hadn't gone for a swim at any of them. I think that was the first time in a swimming pool all year.
So when my husband gets home he tells me that the rest of the job has been cancelled. This is getting annoying. The same thing happened the week before, and the weeks aren't usually full schedules to start with. We need money once in a while.
So, Thursday morning we pack up and ask if we can leave early without paying for the full week. This is after I've been a bit of a bitch on Monday and complained about having to rent a room for a week to get a micro-fridge and not getting the fridge part until lunch time and the microwave part until dinner time. So I'm expecting to hear that we've committed to staying for a week and we'll have to pay for a week. Which they do start to say, but I'm in luck that the lady at the front desk is not one of the ladies I complained to earlier in the week.
I start to say that if they could just get it down to two hundred dollars that the company would still pay that much, and then they would have the room free to rent over the weekend, so they might get an extra hundred dollars or so out of the deal. Otherwise, if we have to pay for the whole week, we might as well stay the whole week. But we don't really want to stay the rest of the week cause for some reason we're not getting enough sleep.
Before I say anything, she has to go in another room and check on something. She comes back and asks when we checked in, and we tell her about 6:30 on Sunday night. She goes back to the other room, and then comes back to the front desk and tells us that we are in luck. She cannot find our weekly rental contract. I don't remember being asked to sign such a thing, so probably we didn't have one. So we end up paying way less than two hundred dollars, and we go home.
But first we go to the casino. My husband blows twenty bucks on video poker. I put five dollars in a slot machine and leave a bit later with about twenty. So that wasn't too bad.
While we were away...
My mom put the dog to sleep on Monday. She decided that she couldn't deal with an elderly parent and an elderly dog at the same time. And there wasn't a coin toss or anything. She's been thinking of putting the dog to sleep for a while, but she finally did it this week because they decided to let Grandma try living at home again. Letting Grandma go home was a bad idea in my opinion, but I'm not doing any of the work and they do not have to consult me. If she was actually going to die or something, sure, let her go home for a week or so first. And that may be what happens. But I don't think so. I don't think that there's anything especially wrong with Grandma, except that she's just old. She could just keep being old for a long time. Or she could die of a heart attack tomorrow. There's no way to tell, so it seems like if you don't know otherwise you should plan on her living for a while, and she can't live by herself in her own home. She's just too old and frail and it's not going to work.
Tuesday, I missed my big chance to be a zombie. There was a last minute call for extras to be in a zombie movie in Wills Point. That isn't exactly right next door, so with such short notice I probably wouldn't have gone anyway. But it might be fun to do sometime.
The instructions for being a zombie were kinda funny. First, bring your own zombie clothes. Then, if you can be in extra death scenes, bring a separate change of clothes for each death scene. And, remember to bring some other clothes to change into when you're ready to drive home. I guess that going home in death scene zombie clothes might attract unwanted attention.
The excitement that was on the news while we were away had to do with an exploding chemical storage site. Nobody seems to know how a chemical storage site was allowed that close to downtown Dallas. But, there it was, and there was a fire, and then there was what looked like a special effects scene from the Armageddon movie. There was an explosion and flaming projectiles and stuff flying out onto the freeway and maybe some car wrecks and long traffic jams and everything.
The good news is that one of the three dogs got away. The dogs were chained up, but one of them escaped when his collar melted. His name is Lucky.
And, recently the police found a whole forest of Marijuana. This was especially funny for two reasons. First, it was very near my sister's new neighborhood. Second, the land was owned by a company someone in my family used to work for. Since this happened right before we left town for the week, we did not hear any of the follow-up stories. Apparently there's more than one Marijuana forest. http://cbs11tv.com/topstories/local_story_210205211.html
I've had a bit of fun around here too, but I'll write about that another time.