The last time Logan and I went on a trip alone we only had one kid, and she was only 18 months old. We hoped a flight to our favorite city and enjoyed all the pizza, Broadway, and reunions we could in a few days time. Now don’t get me wrong, we have had quite a few nights at the house alone while the kids stay with grandparents, but those are always filled with a long to-do list of home projects more easily accomplished without kids. And although they might be considered “relationship building” in the eyes of psychologists everywhere, they aren’t exactly relaxing.
But this! This was it! 6 years of marriage (Happy Anniversary Muffin), Logan’s about to turn 30 (Happy Birthday also!), a new house, new job, a crazy year…it’s time!
But one BIG problem! We are ON. A. BUDGET. And as much as I love a good vacation, I love my saving account’s current balance more. So obviously, my frugal, travel hacking, credit card point-earning self decides the best option is to use points to book a hotel. At first I looked at nicer hotels and convinced myself that paying only x dollars after points was such a good deal!! We obviously deserved it. Then my sensible self set in and I was like, no way! Not falling into that trap! I have points and I’m getting a hotel for $0 cash, let’s do this! Besides we’re only going to be there to sleep anyway, how bad could it really be?
Y’all! It was BAD! Like, don’t take your shoes off in the room kinda bad. But I’ll get to that in a minute.
On the way down, Logan asked if I’d looked at the reviews. Duh! Of course I had! Who doesn’t look at the reviews? Well, apparently me. I googled it right then in the car and the first article that pops up is- “Teen accidentally shoots himself in the head at local hotel.” Awesome. But that was back in 2016, it was an accident, whatever! So I call to get an early check in- the first time they didn’t even answer. 30 minutes later I try again, “Umm yes, that’s a $25 charge for an early check in.” Wait. What??? Have you ever been to a hotel that charges for an early check in? But again, whatever. We skip the early check in and change our clothes in the vet’s office (I was also delivering my sister’s dogs to a border in Orlando so they could pick them up on the way home from their honeymoon. Once again, congrats Elizabeth and Justin!)
Whewff, we did it! We delivered the dogs alive, we managed to change our clothes and I actually put on makeup. It’s time to go to Epcot!!! Yes!!!! Time to eat and drink my happy, no-kid-carrying self around the world!!
Once again, this is a story of God’s timing. But life always is, isn’t it?
We decided last minute to go to Epcot on Friday because they were open the latest and we really wanted to see the nighttime show, since we haven’t yet. And then, it started raining. I’m not talking a nice delicate drizzle to cool you off in the Florida heat, I mean a sideways, tree bending, full downpour, kind of rain. At this point we had ridden our favorite rides, we made it around the world and I was a wine flight and glass of sangria in. We were wet and cold, plus we had been up since 4, so at 6:30 we decided I’d skip the tequila place and we’d miss the nighttime show. Instead, we’d head on to this luxurious resort where they don’t answer phones, charge a $25 early check in fee and guests misuse firearms. Thank goodness!
I spent 30 minutes checking in because the printer ran out of ink. The guy checking me in wasn’t in any hurry as he munched on his cookie while spilling crumbs on the keyboard. I finally get the key, sign my receipt, and hop in the car. We drive around the parking lot and I actually said, “Oh My Gosh!” Logan responds with, ” Maybe it won’t be that bad inside the room.”
IT WAS WORSE!
We climb the steps, because obviously they don’t have an elevator. We look down the hall and see a huge orange caution cone, a massive puddle and towels shoved up around a door. Logan’s carrying all of our bags, and I’m reading the room numbers as we skeptically tip toe down the corridor. 212, 214, 216, we made sure to use caution while approaching the bright orange cone shouting its warning that this particular room was out of commission and shut off from humans. And what do ya know, it’s OUR room!!! Yes, ours! With a freaking caution cone in front of the door. We slowly creak the door open and step inside to an AC unit cracked and falling off the wall. We flip on the lights and the stains start to show. Stains on the carpet, the furniture, the dust ruffle and my favorite, the bathroom door!! We stayed less than 5 minutes before deciding sleeping in our car would be a better option and walked out.
So many ridiculous details after that- an hour phone call with USAA trying to refund my points. A “resort fee” that will only be partially reimbursed. And nobody ever said sorry for the inconvenience. UGH!
But then, once again, God’s timing is perfect! Logan hoped on Priceline and started searching. He did an express bid- mystery hotel, 4 star, $80 a night. Whatever, 80 bucks is super reasonable and at this point I don’t even care about spending the money! Please, just do something!!
We pulled up and I swear I heard angels singing and trumpets blowing! The Sheraton Vistana Villas might actually be my favorite place on Earth at this moment. The guy checking us in was SO nice! He tells us our room number and looks slightly surprised, while mentioning that it’s a very nice room.We climb back in our car relieved and drive around to find our room.
Oh, guess what? It’s not a room! It’s a villa!!!
Complete with living room, full kitchen and a washing machine/dryer. Logan was so excited about the washing machine he even did laundry. I mean, not to sound unappreciative, but we totally have a washing machine at home that he is more than welcome to play with, but apparently household appliances are only cool on vacation??
Anyway, a few lessons were learned on this trip:
1)Never book a hotel you’ve never heard of without during a VERY thorough background check.
2)God’s timing is always perfect. Even when a situation seems bad at first, maybe it’s only because God has a different and better plan for us.
3)Logan loves to do household chores when he’s not in the house.
4)The Cheddar Cheese Soup from Canada and the Sangria in Mexico are SO delicious!!!!