After the unit dinner on Friday night, we took Monkey Man to the pool to blow off a little steam and then hung out with my family on the outdoor patio. It was pleasantly cool and we traded a lot of stories and laughed a lot. It was a pretty nice evening.
Then, in the middle of the night, the thunderstorms started. I am not kidding when I say that they probably lasted about five hours of nonstop crashing and banging. The power even flickered off in the hotel a few times. I think the only person in the whole hotel sleeping was Monkey Man, go figure.
So Saturday morning, we groggily headed over to meet my family for breakfast before we left town. Meanwhile, my poor nephew Steve got stranded at the Abilene airport thanks to a power outage and the thunderstorms that were still going on at flight time (5:30 AM, egads!) so there was a brief chance that we were going to have to pick him up on the way to Dallas, but thankfully he managed to get the last seat on a flight to Dallas. Poor guy ended up then getting put on another airline, sent to Cincinnati, and then back to Richmond. He was supposed to be home by noon on Saturday and I think actually got in around 6:30 PM instead.
We had previously decided to head back to Dallas on Saturday in order to take Monkey Man to the aquarium. Dallas has a pretty cool aquarium, and we had visited it back in 2001 when he was still in utero so we felt like hey, let's do it again.
Another mental note to self: Going to something like an aquarium during the weekend in the summer is tantamount to shooting oneself in the foot repeatedly. With a bazooka.
The aquarium was wall-to-wall people. And strollers, God, the strollers. I think Baltimore has the right idea to forbid strollers. There were two couples in front of us with infants (and no other kids) and those huge travel systems that were the size of a Honda Civic - which was pretty annoying when they decided to park said systems in the middle of the already crowded and narrow pathways. Not to mention, why do people let their kids run wild in places like this? Maybe they are hoping that someone will kidnap them so they can go have a beer? I don't get that at all. I'm all about letting kids blow off some steam and be kids - but letting them run wild in a place that was already chaotic and crowded was pretty idiotic in my opinion.
That being said, Monkey Man had a total blast especially when we got to the penguins. The kid is totally enamored with penguins so of course we had to pick up a stuffed penguin at the store on the way out. Did I mention he got a few airplanes from the museum store in Abilene, and then my sister-in-law Karen had bought him some new books too? The kid made out like a total bandito.
By the time we finished at the aquarium, our nerves were totally shot. We headed straight for our hotel - a Marriott that was close to the airport, and we have always had a great experience at every Marriott that we've ever stayed at so we were really looking forward to it.
Um, not so much. A tip for you - if the Marriott is one of the older properties that has had the interior decorating all redone, chances are the walls are made of something like tissue paper. But more on that in a minute.
They had a steakhouse at the hotel so we opted to stay in and eat there. We ordered dinner and a nice, inexpensive bottle of red wine which I promptly managed to spill all over Monkey Man. And no, I hadn't even had a drop yet. So they graciously moved our table, cleaned it all up, replaced the wine (for free) and were kind enough to present Monkey Man with a very cool organic cotton t-shirt from their gift shop to change into. Again, for free. We were impressed.
Later on, we got some Haagen Dazs from room service and chowed down on some ice cream while we watched the Olympics. A perfect night after not getting much sleep the night before, and we settled in knowing that we would be well-rested on Sunday morning for our long trip back.
This would be where the irony starts.
Around 1:30 AM, I heard some very loud and drunk people come down our hallway. Turns out that some of them were in the room next door, and the others were staying across the hall. They jabbered on for about 20 minutes and I could've been a beeyotch and told them to STFU, but I figured hey - I've BEEN that drunk person before, so I'd just wait a bit and they would eventually shut up. I drifted back off to sleep...
What the hell? It sounded like a baby crying. I perked my ears up, groggy, still half-asleep.
Oh, hell no. It was the rednecks copulating. And she was squealing like a pig.
This went on for forty-five minutes. Forty. Five. Minutes. Wheeeee....wheeeeee....wheeeeee....
The first five minutes, I have to admit - I was kind of turned on. But after twenty minutes, I was annoyed. I mean, come on, people!
They finally stopped. I drifted back off to sleep....
Twenty minutes. Then stopped.
Back to sleep.
Holy damn. Again? This time, I finally heard the guy let out a loud groan/primal yell and I was like Thank You, Whoever Made This Possible. And I went back to sleep.
At this point, I turned to Joey - who was asleep in the other bed with Monkey Man (who slept blissfully through the whole thing) and said, "Maybe I should go over there and volunteer to help them, because they really need to wrap this thing up!"
We got to giggling so bad we couldn't stop. And finally, at 5:12 AM, I heard the last squeal and it stopped.
The alarm went off at 7 AM. And if you guys think I was quiet trying to get ready to leave, you'd be dead wrong. Not to mention, I was scanning all of the faces of the couples in the restaurant trying to see if any of them looked like they had been up all night playing farmer and pig.
So we were already exhausted...our flight leaving Dallas was delayed so when we got to Atlanta we had less than 20 minutes to change terminals and of course our gates were at the total opposite ends of the terminals...we barely made our flight and there was no lunch to be had. We had one apple NutriGrain bar tucked in Monkey Man's backpack so we gave that to him, we survived on the miniscule packages of pretzels and vowed that the minute we hit the ground we'd find the nearest place to eat and get some food.
I think we ordered about $30 in appetizers alone. We were like wolverines.
Thankfully, all of the luggage made it and other than being hungry we made it home, safe and sound. But tired. Exhausted, really.
And if I lie in my bed at night, I can still hear the sound of a woman squealing like a pig. I'm hoping that will fade away soon.