Unfortunately, there were some low points on this trip. I am extremely glad it was just an over-nighter. Anymore flubs and I would have been in bad shape.
The afternoon started with a Starbucks false alarm, which is enough to put any of us in a bad mood. Most of you know about my honey's infatuation/addiction to Starbucks. Well, a couple miles before exit 174 off I-24 near the outskirts of Chattanooga, we saw a billboard claiming there was a Starbucks at Exit 174. Sweet thing starts drooling and we decide to stop. :) We take the exit and drive around. No Starbucks in sight. Drive around some more. Find a police officer and ask. He laughs. "Nope, no Starbucks in this part of town." So we decide to stop at a gas station. I go in and collect drinks for everyone...and ask the young woman at the register if she knows if there's a Starbucks nearby. She says "You are the third person to ask me that today. They are building one over in front of the Wal-Mart, but it's not nearly open yet. I don't know why they put that sign up so early."
Indeed. Buncha teases. :)
We love Hampton Inns and stay in them whenever we travel. And that means "many" times a year--so many that Joal should really have a suite named after him...but the one in Peach Tree City was pretty much the worst Hampton Inn we've ever encountered.
I noticed as we walked down the corridor that there was a stale smell lingering. It wasn't exactly pleasant in the room. It wasn't gross but it wasn't up to their usual standards. For sure. The room was nice but the bathroom left me wanting a bottle of Fantastic in a bad way. Apparently, judging by the excessive number of "short n curlies" in the shower, someone in housekeeping was not inspired to do a good job that day. I was seriously considering not even using it until I could find a Wal-greens and buy some bathroom cleaner.
We had arrived late (around 7pm) and it was obvious that the hotel was booked solid, based on two buses in the parking lot. (Never a good sign.) We decided to go out for dinner and chose Chili's, because a) we don't have a Chili's at home and b) we used to eat there pretty often when we lived in Mississippi. It was about 8pm when we were finally seated, and looking back, it's clear we should have gotten something faster and gone back to the hotel. Little dude was too tired for going out, as was his father, who had attended a 6AM meeting and then driven 5.5 hours. My bad. Won't make that mistake again--Chili's or not.
Of course, when it starts to slide down hill, it can only gain momentum. :) We were lucky enough to get seated in an area being served by the worst-trained server on the planet. She only had one flaw really--she didn't listen. Not a good sign. The drink order was mangled, but fixed quickly. Then Big Dude got choked up on a spicy dip that went with the appetizer and was badly in need of some water. Joal ended up having to ask a passing waitress for water "quickly please". Got the water. Finally. The food arrived and Big dude's plate was not what we had ordered. The order was delivered by someone from the kitchen, not our server. When Joal pointed out that the plate wasn't right, this person said "I'll tell your server."
What happened to "Let me fix that for you"? I'm baffled.
So the server comes over and Joal tells her "This is supposed to be a chicken sandwich."
She says "No you pointed to the chicken pattie."
Is she really arguing now?
"No, it's definitely supposed to be a sandwich."
Reluctantly, she says "I'll be right back with that." I guess I just don't get it. No apology--just attitude. If being a waiter is your thing, why not do it good? We aren't super-demanding customers. We don't act badly or let out children run amuck and bother people. We don't change our minds 50 times. We aren't sloppy, loud or noisy. We don't get drunk. We are pretty easy...if you take the time to listen. The most outrageous requests we make are for extra napkins and that you keep the Diet Coke and the tea glasses filled. Apparently, that wasn't in her job description, tho. I have never been so glad to get out of a place.
I don't think we would not have noticed if someone had pulled the fire alarm. :)Thankfully, no one did.
Saturday, we got up and got packed. The boys and I had made plans to meet up with the wife and children of one of Joal's co-workers. We found them just after breakfast and decided to hit the local scrapbook store I had looked up online. Scrapbooks, Invitations and More is housed in a cute cottage just a few miles from Peachtree City, in Fayetteville and boy, is it jam-packed with awesomeness. :) Even with a total of 5 children in tow, we managed to do some shopping. The store keeper was so very nice to us. The children did as well as could be expected. I finished up my shopping first, so I took 4 of the 5 outside to sit on the patio. The store keeper brought out a cup of sidewalk chalks and invited them to draw on the concrete. I thought that was incredibly thoughtful.
I really liked this store and could have stayed alot longer than we did. Great product...Quickutz, ribbons, Inque Boutique, Maya Road. Lots of neat art on the walls. If we ever end up having a meeting in that area again, I'll definitely go back to the scrapbook store there! But not to the Hampton. Sorry.
One neat thing about Peachtree City is that it's Georgia's first planned community and it's a golf cart community. All over the city there are these secondary roads that look like over sized sidewalks. They are made for the many (many) golf carts that people drive all over this community. They have special parking areas and crossings. It's the oddest thing I've ever seen. The dudes thought it was the coolest thing since Kool-aid!
We came home after the meeting ended on Saturday afternoon. I am so glad to be home.
This has gotten really long. I'm going to hold on to the rest of the news until tomorrow.