Monday, August 27, 2007

Nibbling Again!

I thought I should let you all know I'll be staying with friends for the next 3 days ... maybe even the rest of the week. Not sure I'll have internet access - in the evenings - but may well be able to get to it once or twice during the day. (Today I found a mall with free wireless in the Food Court!) So I'll still stop by to see what's going on - just won't be able to ask all of you my endless questions, and tell you my boring little bits of life here on the road.

Last night I stayed in Armpit, Louisiana - oh, I meant Alexandria, LA - I was in a hotel room that is "non-smoking" - because there are no ashtrays in the room. BUT - you can still smell the smoke.

Other notable items about these “luxury accommodations” include the carpet, circa 1989 – which is sticky from years of spills and carpet cleaning. It was also a picture perfect description of “threadbare”. There was a lovely bathtub mat in the bathroom - which was slightly less grungy than the bathtub itself. The drain was a gaping hole. I wanted so bad to yell at it “Shut your gap”, and wished you were all there – so you could laugh with me about that phrase – and make the place a little more cheery.

The pillows were nice and "firm", which is one way of saying they didn't depress when I lay my head on them - and the sheets are pink. What corporate hotel has PINK SHEETS? I think it’s because they won’t bleach white anymore. :( Thank goodness this was just for one night! Plus the crappy internet …

When I checked in they said there was wireless in the lobby – and high-speed in the rooms. My room had bare wires hanging out the walls. I called to get a different room, but the front desk phone just rang and rang and rang. Besides, I’d already laid on the bed and partially unpacked, and didn’t really want to lug everything downstairs – and then to a new room, so I just bit the bullet – and went downstairs. They were right, there was wireless access, but NO WHERE TO PLUG IN. My computer lasted maybe an hour – then I was done. I headed up to the room, and was able to just barely pick up a weak signal. In the middle of trading e-mails with a pall, I heard a sound ... a scratching/scraping sound coming from the Eisenhower era dresser. I was thinking it was probably some big scary bug ...but then it made CHEWING sounds :( I was afraid to turn off the lights to sleep, plus I had brownies in my purse that Mrs. CWEsq gave me. NOW what do I do? :( I kept reconnecting my internet – traded e-mails until I couldn’t keep my eyes open – and then used my laptop as a night light. Clearly it was effective – or I was so tired the nibbling mouse did not disturb me.

This day has been easy. I showed up at my clients around 9:30 am and was out by noon. I am hiding out in a mall in Alexandria, LA - because they have free wireless! It's about 42 miles away from where I'll be staying for the next two nights. I am staying with the family who adopted me during Katrina when I had no where to stay because my hotel rooms in New Orleans were - GONE! I call her Maw-Maw (colloquial for Grandma) ... she's in her late 70's or early 80's. Usually she makes me coconut cake when I come to visit, I have use of the washer and dryer, and control over the remote! Tonight we're having steak, green salad, and baked sweet potatoes. Not too bad for a refugee, huh?

If I don’t get a chance to tell you any more, I’ll just let you know I return to triangle on Friday – and company from Maryland arrives later that night. I am looking forward to a spectacular 3-day weekend. I think the highlight will be making pasta from scratch and using a pasta machine!

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