Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Annual Road Trip South - Day Five

The Family of Four headed back to the hotel

Every day is an adventure!  Today was no exception.  I was going to write about our excellent day in the dying town of Toccoa, the town in Georgia where Bill grew up.  Instead this blog is about one of those "Why is this happening to me?"  

First of all, the day didn't start out too great.  Breakfast at the Hampton Inn is usually very good.  Not this morning.  My waffle batter was sour.  Yep, sour waffle batter. I noticed that the waffles didn't have that "waffle" smell when they were cooking.  Then when I flipped the waffle grill over, the waffles had a pale and undercooked look.  I peeled the waffle out of the waffle iron and it was like elastic.  I buttered it up and poured syrup and proceed to saw cut the waffle with my little plastic knife on my styrofoam plate.  All I did was stretch the waffle.  Hmmmm.  Then I lifted the uncut waffle to my mouth and tore off a piece.  Sour.  The waffle was sour.  Uh huh.

Not wanting to cause any unpleasantness, I tossed this waffle and made another.  Same result.  Still reluctant to become a Complaining Guest, I made yet another waffle.  Yep, same result.

I looked for the breakfast hostess.  She was nowhere to be found.  I went out to the front desk and there she was hunched over reading a newspaper.  Nice.  I told her that the waffle batter was sour.  She immediately said "Oh, I'll put some fresh batter in now."  Uh....okay.  So it was old batter.  Nice.  No apology, just "I'll put some fresh batter in."  God knows how old that batter was.

I was waffled out so I got a glass of orange juice.  It tasted like someone had left an old rusty tin can in the orange juice container.  Bill said when he tried to get orange juice this morning, only cloudy water came out.  He said the hostess brought out a pitcher with orange juice and ice cubes.  Wonder where she got that orange juice.

Well, the usual dependable Hampton Inn breakfast wasn't going well.  I decided to have a couple (or three) of those "who knows how old they are" sausage patties.  They were spicy enough to cover any age related issues.

After breakfast Bill and I drove into his old hometown of Toccoa.  I followed him around while he visited his old haunts and stomping ground, reliving fond memories.  I even made a five minute video which is below.  We also visited Toccoa Falls, our very own "Niagra Falls" right here in Georgia.

When we got back to the hotel we agreed to meet at 5 for dinner.  In the meantime I called the Old Time photo place and made an appointment to get yet another (are you sensing obsession here?) old time photo of me as a cowboy.  This grizzled, wrinkled, old, tire face works well as a cowboy.  RuPaul I am not but a cowboy?  It works.

After my photo session (which turned out very well, I'll share the fabulous photos later) I met Bill for dinner.  We (I) decided to go to a Mexican restaurant.  I was hoping to duplicate my success of finding hidden, wonderful Mexican restaurants as I did in Marion, North Carolina.

We go into the restaurant. The only other table taken was occupied by the proverbial Family of Four.  Mom and pop and two Little Darlings, a boy of 3 and a girl of 4.  And yes they were whining, screaming and generally making a mess and a huge nuisance of themselves.  Mom and pop seemed numbed by all the fidgetiness.  I could read Bill's eyes which said "Why did you bring me here?  I don't even like Mexican food."  However, I decided that since we were already there I would ignore the Little Darlings (who were making quite the racket and mess) and forge ahead with our meal.  And yes, there were sitting at the table right next to us.

Me at the Mexican restaurant
We got through the dinner with the background of whining, screaming and even a little crying as is wont with little darlings like this when they really get worked up.  With most of their burritos now on the floor the Family of Four left.  Bill and I watched with bemusement as the Mexican proprietors of the restaurant were again cleaning up after a white, blonde haired American family.  Rodolfo, the owner looked resigned and had a weak smile on his face when we made eye contact.  The two old guys didn't leave such a mess.

We left the restaurant and wandered around the main street of the town, noting how many store and restaurants were still closed.  I sense they all open when school gets out and all the Families of Four (or more) descend like a horde of locusts on poor Helen (the town).  

About 20 minutes later, as we were walking down the street back to our hotel we noticed.....wait for it....THE FAMILY OF FOUR WALKING IN THE SAME DIRECTION!  I said to Bill "Do you actually think they are staying at the SAME hotel as we are?"  And as I said this I noticed that they went into the hotel.  How about that?  I couldn't believe it. 

We waited until they took the elevator.  We didn't feel like sharing the elevator with them and that whining and screaming and (possible) crying when little Junior or the Princess didn't get their way.

Bill and I decided to walk around the town some more.  This town is beautiful with plenty of walking paths.  They even have sidewalks!  I'm used to staying in hotels right next to the Interstate.  This one is a treat.

About and hour later we take the same elevator to our rooms. As I'm getting ready for my shower I hear a familiar sound.  What was that sound?  It sounded so familiar.  I couldn't quite place it other than it was SO FAMILIAR.  Then I realized what it was, it was the same sound of Junior and the Princess whining and screaming.  "Where was it coming from?" I thought. Oh dear God, don't tell me what I'm thinking right now.  This just can't be possible.

I get my room key.  I leave my room.  I follow the muffled sounds of whining and screaming (and jumping now) to the - are you ready? - to the ROOM RIGHT NEXT TO ME!  Yes folks, the Family of Four is right next to my room!  

I cannot believe this.   This hotel has 67 rooms and  the one room they're in is RIGHT NEXT TO ME? Am I being punked?

So I'm thinking....what do I do now? I hate to complain and thus have another family mad at me.  But the "sounds" were coming through the loudest from the wall behind the headboard of my king sized bed.  Can you believe this?  

"Does this dirndl make me look fat?

I had no other choice but to go down to the front desk and tell her my tale of woe.  She was sympathetic and offered to move me to another room.  However there was one "small" problem.  The only rooms left were not king sized studies like the one I'm in now and LOVE.  That was one of the reasons I extended my stay today.  I asked her when they check out.  She said "Tomorrow." Well, I think I can get through one night.  I told her that if they're making a racket past 10 o'clock I would ask her to call them and quiet those kids down.

The good news is that it is ALL QUIET now.  Do you think that silence will last the night?  No, I don't either.  But I have hope.

Now I ask you, what are the odds of that happening?  I'm just lucky I guess.

Below is a video that I took of our foolishness today in downtown Toccoa.


Geo. said...

Lovely little town except for those pesky explosions. Ever find out what that was?

anne marie in philly said...

oh sweet mother of pearl! nope, hampton inn would have been ripped a new one by my big mouth before "breakfast" was through. YOU would have never been caught reading the newspaper at the hampton, YOU don't serve stale OJ at the inn in lewes.

as for the bratleys, I hear duct tape works well. (evil grin)

and no, the dirndl doesn't make you look fat; it's YOU - to quote rupaul, "work it, supermodel! sashay, chantay!"

I'll watch the video later; must get to bed.

slugmama said...

I don't know Ron....that dirndl is making you look a little "hippy". You might want to stop after that 1 mug of beer.... ;-)

Toccoa looks like a pretty sleepy little town too.

Harpers Keeper said...

Well the town looks charming and it looks like the weather's great.

Too bad the little darlings couldn't have stayed in and had waffles instead of going out for Mexican food.

The dirndl does not make you look fat but I had no idea you were so buxom.

Anonymous said...

I think you are just jealous because you didn’t get to raise a couple of rug-rats like those, lol. Oh well, everything can’t always be perfect, can it?

nitewrit said...


Well, I thought maybe I was the only one you hectored on walks, but I see Bill gets hectored too.

Did you find out what made those sudden sharp bangs?

What was with the booths on the corners of that street?


Ron said...


Kids are kids. I don't blame them, I don't blame them, I blame the parents who apparently think it I acceptable to take their unsupervised kids out in public.


Ron said...


Hectored? Who is hectoring? Was Bill hectoring me?

The sharp bangs were, first a sign from a restaurant across the street announcing the lunch specials falling flat face down on the street from where we were standing. The other was from men doing construction work behind one of the vacant store fronts. They dropped a couple of big things (who knows what). AFter being threatened by my ignorant, homophobic cousin a few days before, I was especially jumpy as far as loud noises go. The booths are the corners of the street were for a food festival (selling tickets) that they are holding today, even as I type this answer. We went to Toccoa for lunch again and they were blocking off the streets and getting ready to sell tickets to sample the food of different restaurants.


Anonymous said...

Looks like a beautiful day in a beautiful town! I could overlook the kids, I guess, except after bed time. That's probably because there were four of us, and I'm sure there were times we were as trying to others, though mom and dad weren't afraid to haul our little butts out of a restaurant or any other place if we were misbehaving!

I'm sure this trip is a very special time for you and Bill, and it's obvious why. Even with one bad experience, this will count amongst your finest memories, I'm sure!
Peace <3

Ron said...

The kdis didn't ruin our day. We joke about it. However, Bill and I do have a dislike of parents who do not know how to control their kids. Neither Bill or I can remember ever misbehaving out in public when we were kids. We wouldn't dare for fear that we would displease our parents. Too many kids today grown up with very little discipline or borders. I think one of the parents' main responsibilities is to teach their children how to behave around others, especially adults whom they should respect. That's the way I was raised. I may be a liberal know but I am very conservative when it comes to raising children.

Yes, this trip is a very special time for me and Bill. I don't know how many more times we can do this. We're both getting older and will soon reach our limits. We love Helen though. However, one thing I noticed are the stares we are getting from some of the folks around here. So far, we're the only same sex couple we've seen around these parts. I think that makes some people nervous. Well, they'll just have to get used to it. It's a changed world. No longer are same sex couples restricted to the gay ghettos of inner city living.

Tomorrow we leave for home by way of Norfolk, Virginia. We'll drive eight hours, stay over night in Suffolk then on Saturday morning take the last four hours driving up the Delmarva peninsula. Next week my procedure.


Ron said...

Harper's Keeper,

The town is charming but I suspect once school lets out it is overrun with the Little Darlings. One thing we definitely noticed, we were the ONLY same sex couple strolling down the charming streets. And yes, we did get the occasional STARE. You know THAT STAR when the comfortable heterosexual couples notice that THEY are in town. Oh yes, don't we know that stare.

I didn't know I was that buxom either. I have to admit I was a bit taken aback with showing my cleavage.


Ron said...


Toccoa is a very sleepy town. It is a shame because Bill said when he was growing up there is was a charming, busy little city with several prosperous industries. Now that the industry is gone, the town has gone downhill. An American Tragedy that unfortunately is too often repeated through out this country.


Ron said...


One "explosion" was a lunch time special sign falling down on the street. The other was construction, the guy were throwing things around.
And that was the main street of Toccoa. So sad.


Ron said...

Anne Marie,

I will write about it on Trip Advisor. I didn't want to give them too bad of a time because I know what it's like to be on the other side but it is unacceptable to serve sour waffle batter. This morning's waffles were so much better. The orange juice still sucked. And forget the hot chocolate, they don't even have hot water. Finally they vacuumed the hallways. As I said earlier, I will write about it on Trip Advisor, both the good (and there was good) and the bad. Hotels pay attention to Trip Advisor. It's there to help the hotels and restaurants.

I thought the dirndl was ME but my oh my, look at the cleavage I'm showing. I don't know about that "look." I'm used to pecs, not boobs.