Monday, March 5, 2012

Vacations of Family Past

In honor of my mother being here this weekend, I bring you Stories from Vacations of Family Past:

The year was 199something and I was 15.  It was Spring Break and my family was on what would be our last family trip to Disney World.  The trip had been made possible in part because as a teacher, Daddy was able to take advantage of some HUGE discount through a budget motel chain. That was where we would stay in Kissimmee and where we were staying as we made our way from The Great White North down to Florida. 

Now y'all, no offense at all to the budget motel chains of the world. When you grow up the daughter of a teacher and school secretary, you are used to staying in budget motels and I have in my life stayed in some that were quite nice, like the one we stayed in when we actually got to Florida, but for whatever reason, Daddy didn't seem capable of locating any of those nice ones along the way.

We pulled off the Interstate and into what can only be described as rather infamous landmark tourist trap that still exists. I can only imagine that it is a skeleton of it's original concept and by this time, had already begun its decline. There are signs all the way down the highway for hundreds of miles and my sister, a bit of a honky-tonk princess, was itching to go. When we last made the trip, we hit this place at 1 am, so she missed it and there was no shopping to be had for her.  Upon hearing that we would be going again, she started saving her pennies and was not going to miss out this time!

At 15, I was at the age where boys and sometimes men had started to notice me and I was not comfortable with it yet ~ Who am I kidding? I still haven't gotten used to it! ~ Let's just say that the caliber of men noticing me at this place was one with whom I was even less comfortable.  That, coupled with spending all day in the car had me about at my limit. I was greatly relieved when we climbed back into the car and headed under the overpass to our hotel...
Not the actual place we stayed

Only to find the restaurant and office out front in a pile of rubble.

Apparently, it had burned down two nights before.

My dad followed the make-shift signs around to the office, which had been relocated in the first block of rooms to register and get a key.

When I realized my parents still had every intention of staying at this place, I threw what can only be described as a colossal teenage temper tantrum.  There was no way I was setting foot in that place. No way, no how!  I was sleeping in the car!

My parents, aware also of the creepy men checking me out, were not about to let that happen. I'm not sure how, but eventually they coaxed me out of the car and into the hotel room where I slept soundly and safely for the night.

We got up the next morning and pulled across the way to the budget breakfast stop where, with what in the daylight we could now see was the still-smoldering heap of the motel restaurant and office behind us. This was where my parents intended to eat breakfast.  I wanted McDonald's. This time, I put my foot down and flat out refused to get out of the car.

I was not eating in that dump ~no offense to the budget breakfast stops of the world~ I'd proclaimed that I'd rather starve.

Fine, my parents said and left me in the car with my Walkman only to come out thirty minutes later and admit that perhaps I was right and McDonald's would have been a better bet. Seems this was the caliber of place where they didn't bother to actually scramble the eggs before they...well...scrambled them so my dad was served a plate of eggs that was half white and half yellow...

The trip goes down in the family folklore under the category of "Despite all the theatrics and drama, LeighAnne was spot-on in her assessment of the situation." 

This is what is currently left of the actual motel.
I was reminded of this particular family ordeal this past weekend when I got a very distressing text from my sister.  

She and my brother-in-law were on their way out of town for the weekend and on their way, passed my favorite old motel and restaurant.  Seems neither the motel nor the breakfast stop are in business any longer and my sister wanted me to be prepared lest I ever want to stay there with my own two children.

It was a very sad day for my family. All is not lost, though. While no longer open, the building that housed the budget breakfast stop is still habitable, so there is a chance it might reopen!


Heather said...

Oh No! A landmark, gone! At least your sister prepared you,

I have been on some vacations like that with my parents.

Babes Mami said...

How sweet of her to let you know hahaha

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I'm sure there is SOMETHING currently inhabiting that motel. But I'm scared to imagine what....

Tracy Wilson said...

Hahaha @ "Honkey-tonk princess"
Every family has one:)
I wont say who it is in my family (sorta)
Thanks for the giggle.

Shell said...

Oh darn. There goes your vacation plans. ;)

Emmy said...

No way!! I don't even know if my cheap parents would have stayed since the front office had just barely burnt down.

Too funny.

The Blonde Duck said...

Did they ever feed you breakfast?