“RUN! HIDE! GO GO GO!!!!” Yelled another.

I ran about flapping my arms and yelling nonsense in the most helpful manner, when someone opened the door and a silence fell over us all.

……what would he do? Was he going to throw us all to the curb? Would he fine us? Make us buy two rooms?

*****

The day had started out blissfully enough. But don’t they all? We hit the road on time -and we were making good, solid time. Our trip averaged out to us driving about six hours a day -without stops. It made for long drives, but this day was our ‘short day’ -if all went right, we could even stop at the hot springs. We were feeling good about our journey when the phone rang. We ignored it. Being in Canada, where answering the phone meant extra roaming charges -we decided to forego the call.

It wasn’t until we were three hours in, did we decide to check the message…it was the clerk from the previous motel – informing us that we had left our passports in their top secret hiding place from the night before.

This meant we would have to backtrack the three hours we had just driven -collect our passports and drive the original three hours again (for the third time in one day!) and then finish our original trip.

In the meantime -David had picked up the stomach bug that was being passed around the vehicle, making the rest of our trek even longer.

By the time we arrived at our destination – it was 2am. After driving around for a good fifteen minutes -whining, complaining and arguing -we gave up on finding the motel we had previously booked and opted to instead book a new motel for the night.

We pulled into the new motel parking lot and I ran in to secure us a room. Which is when I realized our dilemma.

I was booking a hotel, not a motel.

Let me explain.

When we had originally booked our journey -we ran into a problem with having 6 people. Most motels and hotels only allow up to five people. They don’t charge for extra people -but the fire department only allows up to five people in one room at a time. After talking with multiple friends (who travel with multiple kids) we decided to book motels instead of hotels. Since there were only four adults and two kids (under the age of four) we didn’t see the need to book two rooms for every stop, and instead chose motels over hotels. Motels -with their doors on the outside, would allow us to take our chances and sneak the extra little in with us.

Up until this point our plan had worked swimmingly.

But this night -we were in a hotel. Meaning we had to pass by the front desk and somehow not declare one of us. So we hatched a plan. Which at 2am might not have been a good idea.

First, we sent mom in on her own. Pulling a single suitcase. She was given strict instructions not to talk to anyone. Simply smile, nod, and make her way to the room.

A few moments later -David would follow suit. Wrapped in a large sweater, feeling and looking rather ill still -he would go alone. Carrying no bags. He too, was to talk to no one. The weary, lonely traveler was he.

Five minutes later -Amanda and I would follow. With the rest of the bags, travel potty, diapers, kids and other assorted goodies too important to leave in the car for the few hours we were there.

After waiting the five minutes we had given the previous two to make their way to the room -Amanda and I began our journey. Hauling enough bags and suitcases to easily accommodate a party of ten. We smiled, nodded, rounded the corner and waited for the elevator…which popped open…

…and there stood mom and David, who had apparently bumped into each other at the elevator and been having quite the time attempting to get it to go up. There was a mad shuffle and hushed muttering while we attempted to diffuse the situation and distribute people…

…and then the motel man arrived. He asked if we were having troubles, loaded us all on the elevator, pushed the button and waved as the doors closed. Nothing suspicious about us at all we decided. Just a group of disheveled travelers who knew not each other -heading in the same general direction at 2am.

We found our room, dropped our bags and heaved relief. And just then, there was a knock at the door.

“HE KNOWSSSSSSSSSSSSSS” someone hissed. Referring to the man at the desk, fearing he had come to his senses and was going to surely kick one of us out.

“HIDE!!!!!!!” Someone else yelled

The window flung open “We can’t go out! We are seven floors up! We are trapped!!!” bellowed another.

“RUN! HIDE! GO GO GO!!!!” Yelled another.

I ran about flapping my arms and yelling nonsense in the most helpful manner…when someone opened the door and a silence fell over us all.

……what would he do? Was he going to throw us all to the curb? Would he fine us? Make us buy two rooms? Make the baby sleep in the car?

“Thank you.” whomever had the sense to open the door in the first place.

The door closed.

“You left your ID at the counter. He was just returning it.”

A few of us road-weary stragglers -looking for a place to stay the night.

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