Thursday, November 10, 2016

The End of Vacations

Our flight into Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport was late in the evening. We had left our car at the hotel where we had spent the night before leaving on vacation. There are telephones in the airport which connect you to hotels, but for some reason, we were unable to connect to the hotel. And there were no payphones in the airport.

After a long vacation, our cell phone was dead.

We borrowed a cell phone from a generous man and called the hotel. Thirty minutes later, and still no hotel van, a lovely couple let us use their cell phone, even though their battery was low. The van should be there any minute.

Another thirty minutes passed. We were visiting with a young woman and related our lengthening wait. She asked for the number, pulled out her cell phone and dialed the hotel. When they answered, she told them in no uncertain terms that this was unacceptable. "Do you realize you have two old people who have been waiting for pickup for an hour? Where are you?"

It worked. The van arrived in less than ten minutes. I think maybe the "OLD" got their attention. Some small perks for getting ... well ... older.

With that in mind, we are careful to have our cell phone well charged before returning from vacations.

But that does not always solve the problems.

Once we arrived back at Dallas Love Field and called the Hawthorn Suites by Windam where our car sat waiting for us. Twenty ring did not produce an answer. We tried again. Thirty rings - same results.

Okay, take a taxi. The hotel was only a few miles away. An expediter directed us to the head of the taxi line. After putting our suitcases in the trunk, we told the driver the name of the hotel. He looked confused, so we handed him a card for the hotel. He produced a magnifying glass and studied the card. Still he did not know where the hotel was. The magnifying glass encouraged us to retrieve our suitcases and ask the next taxi. He said of course he knew where it was. "Joe just didn't want to take you since it's a short run."

Five miles later we drove right past the hotel-almost didn't see it. It was totally dark. The taxi backed up until we were in front of it. There appeared to be a small light deep inside. But no lights in the lobby, none in the rooms, nothing. It looked completely deserted. This was a sizable hotel.

Had it gone out of business while we were gone? What happened to our car?

I directed the taxi to take us around to the back where we had left our car. It was totally dark back there also, and very few cars. But, we found ours. We paid the taxi, grabbed our bags, loaded them into our car and quickly left this ghost hotel.

As we drove out of the area, we noticed there were no lights in any of the buildings. We decided there must have been a power outage. Nothing ghostly about it. And our car was there - and started. All was okay. We headed for home.

A little bump at the end would not spoil a wonderful vacation.

James R. Callan, November 2016
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Maggie King said...

There's a Hitchcockian feel to this tale. Jim, you must do something with this---it's gold.

Linda Thorne said...

Before I saw Maggie King's comment, I was going to say about the same thing. This may be a true experience of yours, but there's a story here. I was drawn into it from the get-go.

James R. Callan said...

Thank you, Maggie. And you are right - it was/is sort of Hitchcockian. It really seemed weird at the time. Appreciate your comment.

James R. Callan said...

Hi Linda. Of course, I find that most of my stories have their genesis in a true experience. Sometimes you need to jazz it up a bit - and other times, it's jazzy enough. Thanks for the comment.

Liane Spicer said...

Oh my. Just exactly what you don't want at the end of a vacation.

I agree--there are perks to getting "older".