Tuesday, August 2, 2011

An assault to the senses

Back in June, Bird Whisperer, Chick-in-Charge and I decided to go to a Midwest Bird Conference up near Chicago. The conference was to take place in a resort within a state park the first week in August. We drove up yesterday and arrived early evening. As we were driving through town we noticed several downed trees and signs warning the public beach was closed. We pulled up to the resort parking lot to find not only signs stating the trails and part of the beach were closed, but there was roofing and other construction materials on the side of the building.

An odd smell struck my nose when we entered the lobby. I can't even describe the odor. It wasn't exactly a musty smell, nor did it have that burning rubber smell that accompanies a roof repair. But part of the aroma concoction smelled stale. When we checked in, we learned there was a pretty serious storm within the last 5 days with tornado-like winds. These winds tore the shingles off the resort roof and destroyed part of the roof on the building that houses the swimming pool. Not only did this storm bring down trees and other vegetation, thus closing the trails, but it flooded the resort basement as well.

We all were placed on the same floor with our rooms fairly close together. My room was warm, very warm. I discovered the AC/Heating unit was on the fan setting so I switched it to "high-cold". I was concerned this was going to be a problem so I went over to Bird Whisperer's room to compare notes on the room temperature. Her room was also stuffy so I figured it would just take time for my room to cool down. After dinner and a walk on the resort beach (the part that wasn't closed of course) I returned to a persistently warm room. After calling Bird Watcher and learning her room had sufficiently cooled off, I went downstairs to request a new room. I was placed on a different floor, but the AC was newer and the room cooled off in no time.

The trouble began not long after I moved into my new room. For about a half hour a continuous stream of people checked into their rooms on my floor. There was a great deal of talking, door slamming and foot stomping during that time. I was mildly annoyed, but figured the noise would eventually die down. No it did not.

For the next hour-and-a-half there were kids noisily running up and down the hall, giggling teens talking and knocking on various doors to grab their friends and more door slams. And of course the room next to mine was filled with noisy kids. I fumed for those 90 minutes. Where were the parents of these kids? Surely they could hear the ruckus these children were creating. Why wasn't anyone coming out to grab these little heathens by the collar to tell them to shut it? I don't have children, so I honestly don't know what noise level is acceptable in a home, but was this how these kids behaved at home?? And it was after 10pm. Did they really need to be running up and down the hall at this hour?? Why were they even running up and down the hall? Around 10:30 there was a loud crash in the next room, causing my wall to vibrate. What were they doing? Slamming each other against the wall?

I stormed downstairs. Normal kid behavior or not, I had it with the noise and shenanigans. I all but yelled at the guy behind the desk about my noisy neighbors and the general chaos that was on my floor. He calmly took in my disheveled appearance that goes with bedtime and agreed to at least speak with my neighbors. Of course there was only 1 kid in the hall (there had been 3 when I went downstairs) when the desk man came upstairs, but he did talk to my next door neighbors and got them to pipe down.

I was very irritable this morning at breakfast.

"How'd you sleep?" Chick-in-charge asked me.

"Terrible." I snarled before filling her in on the events from the previous night.

"Well, the swimming pool is closed because of the roof damage. That really limits what the kids can do with their energy." Chick replied diplomatically.

"When I was a kid and we went on vacation, my mother never allowed us to tear up and down the hallway at any time unattended." I grumbled.

Good grief, at what point in time did I begin my sentences with "when I was a kid"? Was I that old already to be making those statements?

"Some of those people probably don't go on vacation very often so they're excited and don't think about others and the noise they may be creating." Bird Whisperer said.

I snorted and told Bird Whisperer she was kinder and had more patience than I did in those matters.

I went up to the front desk and asked to be moved to a different room yet again. In all my years of travel, I don't think I have ever switched rooms and here I had changed rooms twice in less than 24 hours. I was placed back on the same floor with Chick-in-Charge and Bird Whisperer, but this time I was at the end of the hall. The room smells like musty mothballs and the AC doesn't work as well as it should, but the room is comfortable. I can overlook these deficiencies if it means my hallway is quiet and run-free.

I hope that it's quiet tonight.

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