What would you do if you were in a new state with four kids, had no idea where you were going to stay or how you were going to fix your house and there were a million phone calls you needed to make and several thousands of dollars you needed to spend at hardware stores? Yep, that’s what I thought: have a beer. So that’s what we did. We found a real Mexican restaurant, owned and run by real Mexicans (I’m only saying it like that because that's another thing lots of people told us: you'll never find good Mexican food in Michigan!) and promptly collapsed into a booth.
Server: Whadaju like to dreenk?
Tommy: Do you have Dos Equis?
Server: Da bottle or on da draft?
Tommy: Ooooooh, draft? Yes, draft!
Server: Da beeg one or da….
Oh how I wish you could have seen the sparkle in that man’s eyes when our darling waiter rounded the corner carrying his trough of amber deliciousness. Mexican food and the BIG Dos Equis cures what ails ya, even if what ails ya is a house with no plumbing or wiring and a suspicious odor emanating from the floor in a room that we suspect was once used as a kitchen.
That night we stayed at our pre-booked hotel in downtown Battle Creek and made the hasty decision to find an extended-stay hotel for a week (well, 6 days. Just six days.). The only semi-affordable option with a 6 day vacancy available starting the very next night was the “Staybridge Suites Kalamazoo”, located very conveniently on the absolute opposite side of Kalamazoo county,
a mere 51 minute drive from our house (each way!) taking the quickest construction-season route, tucked neatly behind the dumpsters stored at the rear of McDonald’s, adjacent to the pristine parking lot of a Save-a-Lot Foods.
Aha! Blessing number 3,623! Because we would never have picked this place if we had had the choice, so thank God we didn't, because it was awesome. Clean and updated, with free breakfast every day, free dinner almost every night, unlimited use of the free laundry facilities (that one deserves its very own hallelujah), gym, and fabulous indoor swimming pool and spa. We had our own kitchen and TWO televisions. We don't even have two televisions in our own house!
But despite the relative awesomeness of our sleeping situation, we did still have to drive 51 minutes each way to a house that had no functioning toilet with four kids, one of whom was immobile but could not be placed on the floor for fear that she would fall through it. And therefore, at the end of those six days, I was starting to feel a little frazzled...