When my husband and I started dating, we knew that we would be in for some wild rides. I mean, how could we not be? We each had school-aged children we were bringing into the relationship. I have a ten year old daughter, a nine year old son, and he has a nine year old daughter.
One such adventure brings me back to Labor Day weekend of 2015. We decided the five of us would travel to Brownsburg, Indiana, to visit my brother and his family. Living outside of Lafayette, Indiana, Brownsburg is easily a day trip, but we wanted to allow the kids time to swim by staying overnight in a hotel.
A week or so in advance, I, with gusto, jumped at the chance to prove my hotel-booking abilities to my new fiance. I did a search for area hotels, and, having found one that proved to be satisfactory in the two big requirements: breakfast and pool, I booked it. Success!
The day of our trip comes. We head south to visit with family. The weather was gorgeous. The food was fantastic — of course, when is grilling out NOT a supremely awesome choice for summer meals? And the company was enjoyable.
As the day turned to early evening, we knew we needed to be getting to our hotel to check in. We say our goodbyes, and get everyone loaded up. At some point after we left, I decided I wanted Dairy Queen. Being such an excellent navigator, I opened my Mapquest app on my phone and got right down to finding a Dairy Queen in the area.
It seemed the closest one was quite a distance away, but hey, it was a warm night, and our spirits were high from the wonderful day we had. We ventured on.
As we traveled, it was becoming unclear where this elusive Dairy Queen might be. We ventured on.
As we turned into the golf course, my fiancé was beginning to question where Mapquest was taking us. He was adamant that there would be no Dairy Queen in the middle of a golf course. I was adamant that THIS is where Mapquest was taking us, so there MUST be a Dairy Queen. To which he replied, “Unless there is someone living in this neighborhood named Dairy Queen, there is NO Dairy Queen here!”
Well then. I guess my fine navigational skills just got knocked down a notch or two. Ok fine. Well, Mr. There-Is-No-Dairy-Queen-here, then by all means, please lead us to a Dairy Queen.
Sure enough, he did just that. He pulled out his phone (we both have iPhones, both with AT&T as our carrier) and opened his Maps app. Which promptly delivered us directly to a Dairy Queen parking lot.
Ok, there’s my first slice of humble pie for the evening.
Once we had our fill of ice cream and the kids were beginning to get a little stir crazy, we decided it was time to call it a night, and headed to our hotel.
Now, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the festivities in Brownsburg, Indiana over Labor Day weekend, let me share something with you. Brownsburg is the NHRA drag-racing capital of the world (if not the world, certainly the USA). And guess when their biggest event is? Yep, you guessed it, Labor Day weekend.
Suffice to say, every decent hotel room within a 15 mile radius of Brownsburg was booked. Which, was of no consequence to us, because I am a master-hotel-room-booker.
Or so I thought.
My charming and gentlemanly escort pulled up to the hotel I booked and walked in. Confident in the fact that his woman, with two degrees, has this room ‘in the bag.’ Poor fella. He didn’t know what he was about to face.
Apparently, when I booked the room, the website had defaulted to a day two weeks in the future. So, we had our room booked…for the Saturday in two weeks. Um, not the best situation, considering where and when we were staying.
Humble pie slice number two was a little rough going down.
Not to worry, my man is a problem-solver. There is a hotel right next door. Let’s see what their room availability is.
He goes into the hotel, and comes out successful. We have a room! We were so excited.
Until we got to the room.
It was a room with two full-sized beds. Not exactly prime sleeping conditions for 5 people. But we managed to make it work, without anyone falling out of bed. But not before we went swimming in their outdoor ‘heated’ pool. Oh yes those are my air quotes, because there was NOTHING heated about this pool. Fortunately, the woman at the front desk of the original hotel, you know, the one with the room booked in two weeks, felt bad for us. She allowed us to swim in their hotel pool. Which was thankfully, indoors.
You know the old saying, “We will laugh about this someday”? Well, we do, now. Although that night, I was really beating myself up.
I felt inadequate. Incapable. And most of all, I thought for sure that this would be the beginning of the end of our relationship. I mean, really? Who wants to be with someone who can’t navigate or book a hotel? I just knew our demise was approaching.
Fortunately for me, my husband is a wonderfully forgiving man, who gives me more grace than he gives himself. He was cool as a cucumber the whole time, which was a good balance to my embarrassed, red cheeks.
I guess the lesson I learned is that we all make mistakes, no matter how much we try to be ‘perfect.’ And the important thing is how we handle the mistakes. Do we let them make us bitter? Or better? Now, when things begin to escalate between us, and one of us is about to say something we might regret, all we have to do is say ‘Dairy Queen’ and this event comes back to mind and we can laugh together.
5 thoughts on “Dairy Queen, Hotels, and Racing”
I love remembering vacation “oops”. There were several vacation “oops” as I was growing up and with my second husband. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Michelle. Thanks for this real-life, humorous account of your travels with your family and the importance of not taking ourselves too seriously and be willing to overlook the mistakes of others. None of us are perfect, that’s for sure.
And remember, when all else fails, find a Dairy Queen.
It sounds like everything came together in the end and you had a fun, happy trip. We all have those vacation horror stories. Your hotel reservation was an honest mistake and at least you still got to use the better pool :). And Dairy Queen is always an awesome excursion!
lol…yes those holiday faux pas can be quite embarrassing at the time of occurrence but bring oodles of humor days, weeks or months in the future.
well done and thank you for sharing
“Unless there is someone living in this neighborhood named Dairy Queen, there is NO Dairy Queen here!” Hands down favorite moment of the story, although the woman from the first hotel letting y’all swim in their pool is one of the nicest things I could imagine. Love Love Love when someone goes out of their way to do something they don;t technically have to…