We had only been in our motor-home for 10 days, and I left to go see my three sisters for our Second Annual Sister’s Reunion. The two who live in WI had been researching for months, looking at hundreds of rentals to find one that would sleep 4 comfortably, wasn’t too rustic, didn’t require a 7-day rental, and the biggie – had a sand beach.
They found the perfect place! It was a four hour and four-state drive from WI through IL and IN to MI. We borrowed a friend’s Town & Country mini-van because this group does not pack light!
The condo looked neat, new, and was in a lovely treed setting. The exterior photos hadn’t lied, and the interior photos had not done the place justice… it was heavenly.
We unloaded our suitcases, stocked the fridge and bar, and got down to the business of catching up over cocktails.
One of the things I love most about us as sisters is that we all have the same warped sense of humor… and will find the humor in even the darkest of moments!
And it’s a darned good thing… because, this story wouldn’t be worth sharing if everything had gone perfectly. No, I think that might come across as bragging.
We had a few epic “fails,” but they only added to our time together and will make the trip even more memorable later.
First Fail: The Beach: our raison d’être.
The condo noted that beach access wasn’t possible for the handicapped, elderly or infirm. We figured that meant lots of stairs down to the beach.
We never-in-a-million-years thought it would mean descending Mt Everest… in flip-flops. We stood at the top of the tree-covered paved-trail looking down into the shaded abyss for a few moments pondering whether the trail could possibly be as steep as it looked. Deciding it couldn’t, we proceeded with coolers, loungers, and towels in hand. We quickly realized that it was exactly as steep as it had appeared!
If any one of us had “blown out a flip-flop,” they’d have rolled the hundred yards downhill, landing with a splash in Lake Michigan.
We laughed nervously as we crab-stepped all the way down.
We didn’t laugh on the way back up… mostly because we could hardly breathe.
Second Fail: The Repairman
It wasn’t staying very cool inside the condo, in spite of the A/C. We’re all pretty darned handy (I love that about us: self-sufficiency) so we checked out the situation and realized the baseboard heat was on… but when we turned the thermostat off, the heat kept running. My sister texted the owner who replied quickly saying his partner would be there after dinner to fix it.
“After dinner” came and went. We’d been blending up cocktails, playing Cards Against Humanity, and laughing like hyenas as we sat around in our over-sized tees/undies. We figured the partner had blown us off.
At 10:45 pm there was a knock at our door, and it was the partner, who looked no more sober than we did. What to do? What to do?
As Big Sis I made the call: sorry, sir, this is an inappropriate hour for us to let in a man we don’t know.
“But, he seemed nice,” said one sister.
“Yeah… that’s what they thought about Ted Bundy,” replied another, and we lapsed back into hysteria.
We’d just deal with the heat tonight, and deal with the owner and his partner tomorrow. When we awoke, the heat was off. He must have fixed it from outside.
Fail Three: The Washer Regurgitates
It was just as much fun as it sounds like it was. The washer and dryer were in a common area shared by 3 condos. We threw in a load of panties and tees, added a laundry pod, turned it on and went back to play cards. When we returned to put our laundry into the dryer, our things are sitting in a couple of inches of dirty water (not ours because there was twigs and grass floating in there, which made it even worse) and the blue laundry pod semi-dissolved all over our intimates! We scrambled to find things to put our soaked clothes in, running back and forth to the bath-tub where we had to wring-out everything, laughing like fools the whole time!
We hesitantly called the owner the next morning to let him know what had happened, and that the washer had an “error code” lit up. He thanked us for letting him know.
Fail Four: The Keurig Dies
And there was no alternative way to make coffee. If you’re a coffee drinker, I’m sure you can sympathize. Of course, we did all of the things I’m sure hadn’t been done before: changed the water in the tank, cleaned it, unplugged it and plugged it back in. Then we tried clearing the nozzle with toothpicks. All to no avail.
The tea-drinker among us was smug. My one sister didn’t really care because she had some instant coffee she liked with her.
But, Sister #5 and I, coffee snobs that we are, couldn’t find a Starbuck’s fast enough!
I bought a large coffee and a box of Via, their freeze-dried coffee. Great for traveling.
We debated for two days over whether or not to tell the owner about his coffee-maker… rather than feel bad for ourselves, we were now feeling bad for him!
In the end, we did let him know, but added that we’d had a wonderful time at his condo and were very sorry to leave. And we truly meant it! It’s not really WHERE you stay… it’s WHO you stay there with. I’m already looking forward to our next reunion.
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