Day 2 of the Vacation, and I am woken up at the gosh awful hour of 7 o'clock.
Who gets up at 7 am on a vacation?!
Only crazy people, right?
My husband does.
He has already showered and is fully dressed for the day and finally not able to stand not waking me up another moment longer.
If I could have gotten out of bed, opened the window, picked him up and carried in over to throw him out the window at this moment, you know I would have.
But it was all I could do to open my eyes, let alone engage my brain cells.
Hubs says he has been up thinking most of the night, due to the car's a/c situation.
That situation being that the car has NO a/c at this time.
And we are on Day 2 of a mid 90 degree heatwave in central Ohio and we are due to check-out of this hotel and spend the entire day in and out of the car, sightseeing and traveling to Canton Ohio, to the next motel we are booked into.
It's so bad, the heatwave/car situation that we were thinking last night, about just folding up and going home today. We'd still suffer with the heat today but at least we'd be home and with a/c and not have to suffer another day or two in the car.
It's bad being away from home on a vacation and having something break and having to fix it, but if this happens when you don't have a credit card to put expensive repairs, it's near impossible to deal with.
Damn you credit card information thief!!!
Luckily our car problem wasn't something that meant we couldn't drive the car and get home, it was just something that would make that drive very very miserable.
But while Hubs was not sleeping he was concocting a plan.
So I went off to Google a clip of Larry and Balki, where Larry tells Balki that he "has a plan" and to "watch and learn". It was a regular schtick they did in that series.
I didn't find one but I did run across a YouTube clip of "Where are they Now" for the cast members of the show....so I got sidetracked.lol
Cousin Larry in the show?, Mark Linn-Baker, turns out, he married a set designer in 1995 named Adrienne Lobel.
I knew that name, Adrienne Lobel, from somewhere in my past.
After a few mintues I remembered where.
She was a set designer for a show at the very 1st Summer Theater I worked at in NH in 1979.
The play was called "Artichoke".
And I, a known nothing college sophmore at the time, was given the job of Prop Master for that show.
The theater had just 'parted ways' with the fulltime, paid Property Master for the season.
I don't recall if he left or if they fired him....doesn't matter.
I was an intern, among a whole fleet of interns at the theater, working for experience and credit and not money.
Management gave me the job for this show.
I knew NOTHING about props!
I guess they thought, out of the pool of green interns, I was the best choice.
Lord help them!lol
Anyway, I took on the task, with help from others on staff and it got done.
I was also in rehearsals too for the next show, "Our Town". I actually had a speaking role in that so more rehearsals than some other interns AND I had been hired to work in the costume shop so I had stuff to get done in there.
Let's add in that I also tended bar at intermission and I really needed the few tips from that to afford to eat.
I worked a little with Adrienne way back in the Dark Ages before she went on to become a successful scenic designer....well, she was already successful but just starting out.
And here are 2 of the people who starred in our production of Artichoke.......
Here he is as the evil henchman's assistant, Max, in The Muppet Movie
He has been in scads of films, tv shows, plays and he directs too.
Recently, you may have seen him in "A Beautiful Mind" or heard him as one of the "Finding Nemo" characters if you don't go in for live theater.
I remember that the dark Monday(dark meaning we had no show that day)while he was performing in Artichoke, a bunch of us, including Austin, when to Manchester NH to see the newly released Woody Allen film "Manhattan".
And to show that it's a very small world, one of the actors with a featured bit in the Woody Allen film was.....
16 years before he married the set designer of the play I was propping for.
Oh, and another actor in Artichoke?, you may have heard of was this lady....
A Classy woman.
**END OF TANGENT**
So Hubs in up at the crack of day and has a plan.
It's a plan to get our car's a/c fixed, even though we don't have a credit card or enough cash to pay for it.
He poured through the phone book and found a Firestone Service Center a few miles down the road.
Hubs has a Firestone Card we can put the repair on.
What a genius!
He has already called them and they can fit us in this morning at 9am.
I shower and dress and Hubs lugs everything down to the car, since we have to check out at 11am, so we have to do that before we go over to the Firestone building.
He checks us out and since we have a little time left, we head to the free Continental Breakfast that came with the room price.
I was good and had oatmeal, yogurt and some OJ.
No sausage gravy and biscuits, danish pastries or waffles for me.
And then we drove to Firestone. Everyone assumed this would be a quick one hour recharge the chemicals, charge us $150+ fix.
So we settled into the waiting area. As the car oriented magazines in the waiting area were not of interest to me, I started watching tv. It was one of those morning "news" shows....ABC, NBC, CBS....doesn't matter which and I couldn't even tell you which one it was. They are all mind rotting crap.
And the repair guy came back after putting the car up on the lift to tell us the bad, nah worse-than-bad news.
It wasn't a "recharge the a/c" repair.
It was a "your condenser is shot and big repairs need to be done" repair.
And this would take about 3 hours.
And set us back almost $1K.
So we had no choice but to watch the drivel on tv and laugh about it for 2 more hours and then pay through the nose and be happy about it.
So the Morning PsuedoNews shows turned into some show with Kathy Lee and Hoda "the name with not enough vowels" ......are they annoying or what???.....and then a local Columbus Show with some Gail woman, which is really just one long commercial for whoever sponsors each episode.
It's pretty pathetic really.....so we made jokes, so as not to want to strip nekkid and go stark raving mad.
And here is Hubs with our $900+ reward for hatching this plan......
$900+ & 3+ hours out of your lives(and souls), but at least we didn't have to cut the vacation short now or suffer through the heatwave any longer(well, at least when we were inside the car).
But we would come home to a $900+ repair bill to pay off in July.
So we left town, headed for Canton and our next motel.
About 45 minutes after getting on the road, we stopped for lunch at Arby's.
I got a chicken salad sandwich. It was decent with a fair amount of apples and grapes in it. The pecans were soggy though, as the salad had been mixed quite awhile before they made my sammie.
*Another tangent, sort of....*
I am a member of the Find A Grave website. I joined to find genealogical information as well as to make and be caretaker of virtual memorials for some family members.
Earlier this year, while looking up some of my Civil War homies I found that one of them, Chambers Driskill, had 2 different memorial pages, made by two different FAG members there. One had some nice biographical information on him but said that his exact burial place was not known. The other person had scanty bio. info. but had lots of photos of his headstone and the location of which.
So I emailed the one and told them that Chambers had been located and sent them the ID of the memorial.
Now, I wasn't trying to start something here....just wanted to let Person A know that the info. was available and they could update their page.
Some of these people on FAG can get mighty possessive of their dead folks and snitty. And if you question them sometimes they blast you.
I know.....because I tried to get an organization that has possession of memorials on FAG to transfer possession of 1 to my account. This group, though not a single member of it has a genealogical link to this dead guy, who is MY biological ancestor by the way, will NOT release his memorial to my account.
They are holding my ancestor hostage from me.
And according to the rules on FAG, since he is more than 4 generations removed from me, they can do this.
I was incredulous.....
Why on earth would anyone want to keep possession of a memorial to someone of no relation, when real live kin is out there and wants to care for the person?!?
But I digress.....after I wrote to Person A with the info. on the duplicate memorial and we came to an understanding of why I wrote(not threatening her fifedom, and she didn't take it that way), we began chatting via email. At some point I saw that she had a photo request......she wanted a headstone photo for an ancestor's gravesite up in Ohio(she is located down South). And I found that Hubs and I would be going through that very town on this trip so I offered to take the photo for her.
So after lunch, we headed east and stopped in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere and traipsed through another old graveyard.
Yes, I do know how to have me some fun!
She had given me the Section and Row information for the plots but there were no indicators or markers letting you know what was what and the cemetery wasn't even laid out in a predictable, made sense way.
So we had to walk around and look for names.
And it was 96 degrees by now and I was turning into a large ball of sweat quickly and losing the will to live.
Thankfully Hubs found them, but not soon enough for me!lol
We took our shots and recorded the info. and headed back out on the road.
We got to the motel by 5ish pm.
As for the motel, like Bette Davis said in some movie...."What a dump!"
It was an older motel. Some one had gotten the Best Western chain to give them the franchise and they had then painted the outside blue and white and slapped some BW signs up.
That would about be the extent of the UPGRADES to the property since 1950.
And we paid MORE per night for less of a room than in Columbus for this! Plus there was no pool.
After another brutally hot adventure in a graveyard, we were ready for dinner.
The Guest Services booklet in the room had a listing for 4 restaurants in it.
We were surrounded by fast food places that we could see from the motel....Arby's, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, a convenience store that sold ready made food, Subway and Wendy's.
But we wanted to sit in a nice restaurant and have something not fast food.
The 4 restaurants listed?.....all 4 were Italian. 2 looked like pizza joints and 2 looked to be full menu places.
So we headed to the front desk to get directions to the one we picked to go to.....Franatello's.
The desk clerk told us it wasn't called that any longer. It was called "Chef Ernie's".
And she said that the food was now better.
How bad had it been before?....when the motel was advertising it?lol
So we took a right out of the parking lot and drove.....and drove......and drove some more down a desolate road into nowhere.
And down that road to nowhere, we suddenly saw it.....right across from a country radio station and it's tower.....
A pole barn type building with a gravel lot in the middle of overgrown fields of nothing.
The advert at the motel had said to show your room key to get something free to eat.....an appetizer?....I can't remember. So we produced said room key to the waitress and she cocked her head and gave us a puzzled looked.
This is when we heard all about why it was no longer Franatello's and the history of Chef Ernie's.
The place was originally Chef Ernie's and was owned/run by?....Chef Ernie.
Ernie had retired and sold the place in the early 2000's. The new owners turned it into an Italian place and used gimmicks......like calling the fish sandwich the CODFATHER.....offering motel stayers free food to bribe them into eating there.....stuff like that.
Evidently, the people ran the place into the ground because the food sucked so the locals no longer showed up and the motel didn't generate enough diners(who they didn't count on returning)to stay in business so they closed.
And that is when the daughter of Ernie bought it back(for a good price I am hoping!)and turned it back into Ernie's place with the original recipes and someone who knew how to cook.
The place was unassuming, the prices were decent and the food was good.
I had fish, a salad and sweet potato fries. It also came with garlic bread, which I took back to the room and had later that night as a snack.
The only disappointing note was the frozen Margarita I ordered from the bar.
Either they didn't have a blender or they just didn't feel like blending the drink(shaved ice and they shook it), but it was NO frozen drink. Just cold, too heavy on the mix and frothy. A bit more tequila would have helped the situation as well.
After dinner, it was back to the motel room to stare at the walls.
And the walls were closing in.
This room had a king sized bed crammed into it. Think of the normal size of a 1950's era motel room with a ginormous bed plopped down into it. There was also an end table with a clock, a desk with a TV on it and next to that a desk. In front of the window was a round cafeteria type table and an armchair. It was an obstacle course of furniture to get to the bathroom.
As I sat by the window after jacking up the a/c unit to full blast to cool the room off, the curtain started attacking me.
The curtain was made up of 2 parts--the mauve colored "decorative" curtain which faced into the room and the rubber coated room darkening layer that faced the window. These 2 layers were only attached at the top where the rod held them in place. they flapped independently in the breeze.
When the a/c unit below it blew air, it blew the air right into the space between the layers.
This meant that all the cool air went up into the pocket of the curtain and didn't actually go into the room to cool it until it meandered out of the curtain.
So my inner HGTV Maven got to work, remodeling the curtain so that it was more stylish and much more functional....
You will also notice my second improvement to the room in the photo.
The styrofoam cup from the ice bucket in the bathroom made the perfect holder to keep the door over the a/c units controls in the open position. When the a/c unit was on and the door was closed, the racket of metal rattling on metal was AWFUL! It threatened to keep me awake all night so it was either this or remove the crapping door with my teeth.
Get someone on the phone quick! I am ready for my audtion for HGTV Network Stars.....
Thus ended Day Two of our glorious trip to Ohio.
The bad things.....
3 Hours of awful daytime tv.
1 Hour of walking around in soul sucking heat.
$900+ in bills.
Overpaying for a motel room that wasn't even worth $30.
paying $5 for a Frozen Margarita that was neither frozen nor had perceivable alcohol in it.
The good things.....
Having the a/c in the car fixed.
Spending time with Hubs.
Having the a/c in the car fixed.
Getting the thrill of being inventive in the motel room.
Having the a/c in the car fixed.
Not getting food poisoning so far on this trip.
Having the a/c in the car fixed.
Have I mentioned that I am glad that the a/c in the car is fixed yet? 8-)
Hang on folks, one more day and this saga is over.....