Saturday, June 11, 2011

VACATION FROM HELL - PART DEUX (Valhalla requires dying in battle)


...where did our little tale end?  Ah, yes.  On the cusp of death...


These were the heartfelt vowels and consonants of endearment I shrieked at my husband in what I believed would be our final conversation.  Funny how sentimental you can become as you life flashes across the dashboard.  If you remember we had skidded past the driveway to our little Anniversary Love Cabin in Maggie Valley, NC.  We were sliding, hurtling down to the bottom of the Valley of Death.  The 600 were waiting.

June 2, 2011

Wasylowski’s Mountain.  Maggie Valley, North Carolina.  Richie, me, John Boy and Erin.  It was idyllic, the view spectacular, the air crisp.  Quiet.  Reflective.  I was ready to stick pins in my eyes after twenty-four hours.  After three days I was rocking back and forth in the corner, cackling and picking over dead roaches.   Squirrels were beginning to kick on the sliding doors, they began patrolling the deck, they were laughing at me...finally we had to take one out.

The only thing to see in Asheville is the Biltmore House.  It is beautiful.  We visited there several years ago, when we had all four dogs with us.  Because of this Richie and I toured the grounds separately.  He took the house.  I took the Winery.  This time would be different – no dogs to hold us back.  We could spend all of our time together, touring, drinking…

I made reservations at a Holiday Inn in Asheville.  Classy looking place.  I think it was a Holiday Inn anyway.  Who can really be sure? They didn’t allow pets in this elegant establishment, would fine you over $100 if you violate their rule, and we had old Pinhead with us, our scrawny, crabby, cat Poncho.  We are quite fond of him even if he is a pain, he’s the last of the tribe of pets we used to travel with and he’s not looking too well lately so I can’t leave him behind.  Besides, I figure a cat is not really a pet - he’s more of an employer.  I snuck Pinhead in under a coat.  It must have been a wonderful sight, me having a life and death struggle with an Eddie Bauer Windfoil Jacket as I stumbled down the hallway.  He kept trying to stick his head out and I kept pushing it back under the material.  He was hissing at me, I was swearing at him.  He and I arrived at the room alone while Richie piled the luggage on the luggage cart.  The demons had already taken possession of Poncho's body by then...

I have never seen this before.  One entire wall of the room was a window onto the lobby below. You were like an exhibit in a zoo, on display for the entire world to see.  It was like late night on Cinemax.  Not that we ever watch that.  Or the Spice channel.  The entire Inn was built in a kind of circle with a view down to the lobby, all six or seven stories of it, all the rooms open ended and facing each other.  You could look into everyone’s room, and we were only on the second floor.  Our room was 204, directly over the registration desk.  Here’s an interesting aside:  cats love to sit in windows so that passers-by can ooh and ahh. 


I stuffed Pinhead into the bathroom and set about to secure our window.  I had pulled the curtain closed but now I had to barricade them down so Pinhead wouldn’t sneak behind and expose himself to the world.  He's a lot more like my Uncle Frank than I care to admit. 

Frank is third from the left.  He's the one smiling.

And Poncho would do it to, just to get back at me.  I wedged the sofa against it, the ironing board, two tables, a watermelon and all the suitcases after Richie brought them in.  Sofa cushions, lamps, books, magazines, my hair blower, a fine pair of boots.  After forty minutes I was finally satisfied that Pinhead would never be able to get behind that curtain.  We were safe from that horrifying $100 fine.  We were puttin' one over on the manRichie shook his head.  "Pinhead’ll find a way.  They’re gonna nail us for this.”  Sometimes my husband really pisses me off.


That was when hotel staff began trying to enter our room.  Oh yes. 

 The cleaning people had not finished with our room!!!!  WTF.   Since when are maids this efficient???  I have never – never – had anyone from the hotel staff try to break into my room before.  I listened to the woman outside bitching and moaning that she had to do a final check.  She wriggled the door handle, she kept inserting that card key of hers over and over and over until I thought I'd go mad with terror.  Richie began to say something so I grabbed his mouth – OK, maybe his throat. I dragged him to the floor and made him crab walk toward the door where we pressed our backs against it.  My heart was pounding.  I cracked.

"You're not gonna take us alive, you bastards!"  I shrieked.  "Ma!  Ma!  I'm comin' home Ma!"

 Pinhead began to wail from the bathroom.  We were doomed.

To be continued…


Kathy SF said...

Ha Ha, Karen! Well, then, you are just a city girl at heart and there's nothing wrong with that!

LucyParker said...

Pinhead-Poncho & Parker. 2 wiley coyotes in spirit! (I had to look up the spelling for coyotes, still looks odd.) Our a/c went out, I'm sure you heard me moaning, and we had to open windows, turn on the attic vent. Parker turned into a demon dog at night. Every twitchy blade of grass had him at a window growling, then barking, and then doing some kind of wolf baying. He's a Shih-Tzu for crying out loud - how far from a wolf can you get? Nobody slept for three nights. Well, except for Lucy, who's deaf, and Parker, who slept while we were at work. Like your dear Richie, my hub offered lots of encouragement about "my dog" on his way to sleep in the den.

My comment has nothing to do with vaca-hell, but has everything to do with saving $$$, because I wouldn't pay the emergency house call fee to a/c man. Don't give in to da man, Karen! Any of 'em.

Karen Wasylowski said...

We are tough, LucyP, we are street smart, we are...ooh, ooh, is that a Kate Spade???

LucyParker said...

I have a Kate Spade that I wear to level out the playing field when I go to meetings. But before you get all impressed, I should tell you that I also still use my son's denim and leather diaper bag for my laptop. He's 24, so I think I'm getting my money's worth from that purchase. It cancels out Kate Spade when I wear them together.

You can borrow my Guy of Gisborn action figure for your next dead squirrel picture. RA and Squirrel!

Debbie Brown said...

You, Karen, are a complete scream. That is all. You ought to write a book.

Karen Wasylowski said...

Thank you Debbie. I had good material to work with