Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Memory Making Birthday...

I sit here typing this blog post on the eve of my 35th birthday.  I was thinking back over my most memorable birthdays and one comes to mind more than any the time it seemed disastrous but it has brought me much laughter since then.

The year was 2002...I was 5 & 1/2 months pregnant with Charli.  Mark wanted to surprise me with a weekend getaway for my 25th birthday.  Mark spent hours on line looking up hotels and had used a booking site that I had used several times before.  The pictures boasted great rooms and ocean views.  It all seemed so perfectly Kimmi approved, according to Mark.  We packed our bags, loaded up the car and headed for a weekend getaway, possibly our last one before we became parents.  We kept our eyes peeled for "The New Frontier Lodge."

We didn't have a GPS back then but Mark has an uncanny sense of direction.  He never gets lost...he takes detours and finds new routes.  We arrived at our destination and it was certainly unlike any other "frontier" I had ever saw before.  The outside seemed almost harmless enough.  We checked in and we were given a key.  It was a real key not a plastic card but an actual key.  There was a sign attached to the counter that read "No refund after check in."  I was feeling very apprehensive but it was too late now, we had just checked in.  We walked in the direction of our room when we saw another room with it's door open.  There room didn't have a floor just dirt and a huge hole plenty big enough for Alice and all her Wonderland friends to fall into.  I put on my brave face because Mark had worked so hard and it was the first time he had gone to so much trouble, to pull off something of such magnitude.

We unlocked the door to our room and this is what we found:
  • A television with knobs from circa 1979.  There wasn't a remote.
  • The tile was sandy.
  • The mattress dipped so that if you laid on the bed you rolled to the center.
  • The tiny bathroom lacked light and had a broken towel rack.
Mark had packed a blanket for the beach (which we had used earlier that day) so we shook it out and laid it on the bed.  There was no way any part of my body was going to come into contact with that mattress.  Poor Mark felt horrible and I didn't want to make him feel worse.  The next morning Mark had planned a fun filled day at Daytona USA, complete with speedway tour via open tram. I was certain Mark would find it all very interesting.

The sky looked a little dark as we took our seats on the crowded tram but we were living in the moment.  The thunder clapped, the lighting lit up the sky and over half way though the tour the sky busted open and birthed a torrential downpour.  We were soaked to the bone and I was freezing.  Mark and I called it a day.  We went back to the our room to change clothes.  I went in the bathroom, dumped the puddles of water out of my bra and put on dry clothes.  Mark and I looked at each other, decided we had had enough, and it was time to get out of Dodge.  I am pretty certain the "New Frontier" was either someones final frontier complete with chalk outline or it was a pay by the hour joint.  It was memorable, I will give you that, and now you all know why I have planned every vacation and weekend getaway for the last 10 years. 

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