Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Grumpy Summer Vacation, Day 1

We met my parents in San Diego this year. They’re staying at a Residence Inn, but Mrs. Grumpy had made reservations for us at a different place miles away. The clerk she booked it with told her it was in a "safe, family, neighborhood".

When we got here after a long 2-day drive it was nice to learn that local families felt safe in a hotel that was bordered on one side by Les Titties Gentleman's Club and on the other by the Vick Hubcap Emporium and Doberman Stables. It was also reassuring, when we pulled through the barbed wire automatic gate, that the hotel was patrolled by an armed ex-convict walking a Rottweiler around the parking lot, and there was a line of couples at the check-in desk who looked like they were only planning on using the room for 30 minutes at most. The clerk reminded me of Pee-Wee Herman's character in "Cheech and Chong's Next Movie".

Mrs. Grumpy, concerned our children might be allergic to Rottweiler teeth, immediately called my parents and begged them to find us a room at their hotel, explaining that I wasn't comfortable with the pleasant looking place she'd picked out (LIAR!). Fortunately, there was plenty of space there.

We went over to that hotel. My mother was waiting for us by the curb, and had thoughtfully brought a large metal luggage cart out for us. We loaded it up with all the junk a family of 5 travels with: clothes, extra clothes, clothes I've never seen before in my life but magically appeared in our trunk during the drive, hangers, Nintendo DS, DS games, DVD movies to make them watch (at gunpoint if needed), a portable DVD player, Lunchables, Uncrustables, Inedibles, magazines, books, coloring books, puzzle books, stuffed animals, medicines, suntan lotion (3 strengths), 2 cell phones (with both car and wall chargers), bags of toiletries, snacks, 12-packs of Diet Coke, coupon books, hats, sunglasses, pool toys, sand toys, hotel room toys, crayons, pencils, paper, juice boxes, a roll of film (WTF? we only have digital cameras!), my faithful laptop, AA batteries, AAA batteries, batteries of a type not seen since Edison made them, books, cameras, glue, tape, and other assorted items Mrs. Grumpy felt was essential. By the time we were finished the luggage cart was sagging in the middle and looked like it was on the verge of collapse. And so while Mrs. Grumpy led the kids off I went to pull the cart up to the room.

After dragging it around the parking lot looking for a ramp a few times, I asked my mom how she'd gotten it off the sidewalk. She said she hadn't seen a ramp, and had just pulled it down. This was easy when the cart was empty. But it wasn't now. And I'd be damned if I'd unload it, push it up on the sidewalk, and reload it. So off I went on a 12 mile hike pushing the Grumpy Expedition 2009 luggage down onto a local street, around a restaurant in front of the hotel, and finally up a ramp in the handicapped space on the far side of the building. And of course the place's only elevator was located on the other side of the hotel, back near our parking space. By the time I found our room I was half expecting to see my picture on a milk carton (“last seen pushing a luggage cart with possibly stolen goods”).

I staggered into the room, covered in sweat and desperately needing to pee. The clan looked at me with their best "where the hell did you go with the luggage" glares. It was hot in the room, and Mrs. Grumpy was over in the corner fighting with the air conditioning unit. It only had a power button, but nothing to control temperature, and was blowing warm air. So while I gratefully stumbled into the bathroom, she called maintenance.

They sent up a guy who showed us the temperature control, which was in a large wall-mounted box, marked "TEMPERATURE CONTROL" positioned in plain site that we’d somehow missed, or thought was a piece of abstract art, or something. We were idiots. He didn't tell us that. But you could tell he wanted to. I know the look. I give it to my stupider patients all the time. I'm sure tonight I'll be posted on his blog "Grumpy Maintenance Guy".

After such an exciting day we took the kids out for a deluxe dinner at McD’s. We pulled into the drive-thru. It was awesome. We heard this:

Mrs Grumpy: "We'd like 3 chicken chunk happy meals".

Male voice on speaker: "Okay, that's 3 chicken happy meals and what did you...” (cell phone ring noise) “Hello? Hey bitch! I'm at work! Don’t call me here! You think I got nothing better to do than listen to you yap!” (coworker's voice in background) “Hey! Keep your ugly nose out of my business and go flip some burgers or something! Sorry ma'am, what did you want to drink with those happy meals?"

Good night, Colonel Kurtz, wherever you are.

26 comments:

08armydoc said...

OMG, you're killing me!

And the Grumpy Maintenance Guy's website? That's classic. Maybe a Grumpy McT!t's Worker's blog? I've thought about "Grumpy Army Doc" blog, but it might be a giveaway; wait, maybe not...

Rx Intern said...

I'm liking the beginning of this epic vacation already. First the hotel patrolled by the ex-convict and an obvious "bar" right beside it...then the McD's action. Awesome!

Chad said...

Dammit Grumpy, you're a doctor not a bell hop.

Anonymous said...

If that whole doctor thing doesn't pan out, you could always be a travel writer. In fact, I'm sure you could kick Rick Steves's pot-smoking ass any day.

DreamingTree said...

I don't know whether to bless you or curse you, Grumpy! After a horrific night at work, I truly needed the laugh. BUT, my keyboard didn't need beer sprayed/snorted all over it. Ah well...the laugh was truly worth it.

Every time our bland neurologist walks on the unit, I let out a sigh. Wish he could be interesting...

Chrysalis Angel said...

You are hilarious!

peedee said...

and so it begins.....

Good stuff, lmao.

Can'tSpell, DVM said...

ROTFLOL!!!!!!!!!!!
Great!~!!!!!!!

William said...

I never went on vacation with my children without cable ties and duct tape.

Russ said...

The whole time I'm reading this post, I'm hearing the following refrain:

"Holiday Ro-o-o-o-o-o-oaaaad, Holiday Ro-o-o-o-o-o-oaaaad!"

"I think he's gonna pork her Dad!"

Anonymous said...

I totally needed to read this today! Thanks for your blog!!

R. May said...

I'm actually a little shocked with all you packed that there were no small roundish red fruit/vegetables that grow on vines.

Anonymous said...

The highlights from hell for me

1) Doberman stables. That is a CLASSY area. Where I used to live in the 313, it was mixed Rottie/Pit with a trace of Rabies that patroled the chop shops.

2) How many degreed individuals does it take to figure out a switch?
BWAHAHA

3) Luggage, luggage, luggage. WTF? Sounds like your doing the Grand Tour circa 1900s. Doesn't Mrs Grumpy know you can purchase things at the destination, if needed? I toured Japan for a month with two small back packs. The clothes thing is out of control!

4) You should ring up Michael Palin and see if he needs help on his travel show. You two would be hysterical.

Have Fun!

LD/50 Lab Rat

notratched said...

I freaking love your blog. I hardly ever read an entry that doesn't make me snort (that's a compliment; I guess I should clarify that). Now you need to get on Twitter to amuse me all day LONG! ;)

Purple Stinky Onion said...

Dr. Grumpy I love your blog you are so funny. Being a parent of 4 kids I felt your pain with the list of items brought on your trip though I'm sure you left out a few other hundred things the wife packed. Keep up the great blog always a joy to read:)

Maha said...

L.O.L.
I freaking love your blog! The gentleman's club and the McDonald's convo just killed me! I needed that after being cooped up inside work while everyone else is out enjoying the gorgeous weather. Keep on posting more of your vacation adventures!

Anonymous said...

Awesome post! I love your writing style, please keep posting!

cynic said...

Grumpy,

Next time book a room a the Hotel Del Coronado. You will not be dissapointed. The wife and I get away from time to time in San Diego.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Cynic- I looked at theri Summer rates. Way beyond us. And they don't even include breakfast.

Not Ratched- If I twittered this stuff I'd never get any work done.

knitalot3 said...

ROFLMAO. Thanks I needed that. I can't wait until tomorrow.

peedee said...

you mean you work? JUST KIDDING!!!!!

Carol said...

...glue?????

Pamela said...

Hilarious. I especially enjoyed your description of what Mrs. Grumpy packed.

RxKerBer said...

We always try and stay at a Residence Inn. They're great. And what's really sad is that all the crap you packed sounds like what the hubby and I pack for TWO. lol. We filled up a Jeep and a car carrier for a week long camping trip!!!

Have fun..can't wait for more adventures.

pharmacy chick said...

SNORT! I need to remember to pee BEFORE I read your vacation blogs!
LOVE IT

gingerb said...

i had an experience like that at an airport near the Newark Airport. Barbed wire on the fences is just so uninspiring.

we were only staying one night so we just had to get through it.

 
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