Friday, July 1, 2016

Dirty Gum and Blackened Feet

So Sunday morning not only brought a new day, but it brought a little bit of feisty out of me...

I don't like doing "feisty," but after an evening of Sister falling apart over a broken toilet seat and then waking up to a sink that was leaking... well, I was done.

I was paying good money to stay at this place and I expected to, at least, have a toilet I could sit on and a sink that didn't splash on me while I washed my hands.

Not much.

Before I could head down to the lobby to get feisty, my sister stopped by our room to inform us that their shower in their room wasn't working.

We were both going to the lobby to get feisty.

When we walked into the lobby there was already another guy there complaining about his room.

Hm... it's not that big of a hotel, what are the odds that 3 people, just this morning, were there to complain about their room.

I was firm, quite nice, I think. I didn't raise my voice or anything when I told him that we had already told them yesterday about the toilet and it had still not been fixed and now I had a sink issue and my sister's family couldn't even take showers. This guy, in his hard-to-understand-accent kept reassuring us that our problems would be fixed that day. We weren't happy about it, but we wanted to get on with our fun day so we trusted Ramada Inn's employee when he said our credit cards would be refunded $45 dollars for Saturday night's inconvenience and that our issues would be fixed by the time we came back early afternoon.

So, after calming our nerves we were off to the "gum wall."

Yep, San Luis Obispo has a gum wall.

It was disgustingly intriguing.

I really was having to hold back a slight gag reflex as I walked past the chewed gum art, yet I found my self intrigued wondering what I would be able to create with chewed gum to add to this wall of masticated art... I wasn't in a creative mood, apparently, so I just decided to dare myself to put my chewed piece of gum on the wall with my mouth!!!

Ya, I don't know what gets into me sometimes.

That's as close as I got before I freaked myself out and tried to spit my gum hard enough to make it stick.

It just hit the wall like a blind fly and tumbled to the ground to join the rest of the Juicy Fruit on the ground. It made for a fun picture though.

After getting our fill of gum, we went to the San Luis Obispo Train Museum to eat our picnic lunches and roam the museum's train tracks to the bridge.

My heart melted a bit as I looked to see where Marc and Baby were and there they were, hand-in-hand, stepping on each railroad tie and counting it.

It was so precious to see this little moment between father and daughter. I love that we have so many opportunities to teach our children and not have it seem like work.

Once we got to the bridge it was a very short-lived excursion as Sister tumbled into her anxiety full-fledged and had to get off the bridge, which meant EVERYONE else also had to get off the bridge.

Sister had many moments of falling apart.

Brother did too.

Baby didn't necessarily fall apart as much as she ran off or magically disappeared from sight.

It was times like this (basically the entire time, really) that I was especially grateful to have Jessie's family with us. Their kids are so good to our kids and know exactly how to help them and how to be with them. It's really a blessing to behold. LittleB was often at Baby's side to make sure she was safe and happy.

Our next activity was going to the Mission in San Luis Obispo. It's one of the favorite places Marc and I like to visit. It's beautiful and peaceful and was the perfect Sunday activity. It was especially inviting to hear the musical number echoing from the chapel for the Sunday Service that was being held.

I took many scenic pictures, but I will save you and just post the one of the wishing well.
most of the crew

Brother thought he was quite funny sitting in this big pot

I offered to Jman to take an awesome photo of him for his modeling portfolio... OK, so he's not a model, but I thought he was handsome and thought he deserved a photo op.
We walked along the Missionary grounds and loved taking pictures.

After visiting the Mission and the grounds around it we decided to head back to the hotel room to change for the beach and take a minute for potty breaks and such.

I was also anxious to see if our leak was fixed yet.

When we got back to the hotel Sister had made up her mind that when you are at a hotel with a pool you must swim in the pool... MUST...

It's not pretty when Sister melts.

It's loud.

And kinda scary, actually.

I'm sure everyone within a 1-block radius could hear her ranting about having to swim in the pool and then escalating her rant by demanding that everyone swim in the pool and making sure to scream it desperate enough that everyone felt the compulsion to comply.


The good part was, while we got into the pool for a really cold swim, the repair guy had fixed Jessie's shower head, had fixed our toilet and was now working our sink.

It made it a little awkward for changing into our swimsuits with a stranger there in our room, but we managed.

After Sister had had her satisfying time in the pool she announced to everyone that we could now be done... she's a tough one.

The repair guy was done and gone and I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that our room was back in working order.

I freshened up a bit, and then went to wash my hands at the sink and I felt water on my feet...

The sink was now leaking worse that it had been before. We grabbed a garbage can to put underneath the leak and I hustled (almost stomped) down the stairs, across the parking lot to the lobby to report that our issue had still not been fixed!

A new person, a lady, at the front desk exclaimed, "Oh this is just ridiculous, let's just get you another room and we will upgrade you to make up for the troubles.


They were starting to act like a decent hotel.

Upgrading our room didn't sound too bad.

It was bigger, had a kitchenette and 2 bedrooms.

That's what we were told.

We got everyone together and moved all our stuff to the new room, all the while, I felt guilty that we had gotten an upgrade when Jessie and her family were still in their little room.

The new room was big.

We were all excited at first.

We didn't take much time to look around as we were all in a hurry to get out to the beach, so we just unloaded our stuff in general spots and we took off to the beach.

It was about this time I kept thinking, "Wow, we actually had something good happen to us. This is a rare occasion."

We found a secret little beach access spot and were so excited that we were almost the only ones there.

Other than all the sand that Baby got in the crevices of everywhere, it was an all-in-all good beach visit.

Running on the beach is such a nostalgic thing to do that we all decided to run a few races:

The kids were very intrigued by these  blue, harmless, jellyfish that were all over the beach.

and the mud

And I've never seen so many sand dollars in my life... you didn't even have to look. You just had to walk and there they were!

 a close up of the jelly fish that were all over the shore

Marc got a wetsuit at the thrift store a while back and he thought to bring it for our trip. Jman was pretty excited to give it a try!

Joel and his kids started burying LittleB in the sand to turn her into a mermaid and Baby was so intrigued by this that she had to get in on the action.

Baby was loving this whole idea and really didn't want to get out of the sand. I'm sure, it was in large part, the sensory input it provided to have that heavy sand on her legs.

She loved it so much she asked to be buried again and again...

I still can't believe they were willing to tag along with us on the trip and help us so much with our kids.

Even the cloud covered sky still made for quite a view of Morro Rock from where we were.

We decided to head to Morro Rock to let Jessie's family get a closer look and just mark it off as one more thing they had seen in the San Luis Obispo.

On our way there we saw an old, run-down miniature golf place that had a whale and I asked Marc to stop so that I could get a picture of it for Brother.

Brother didn't seem as excited about it as I was... ha ha ha!!

We got to Morro Bay and parked up by the rock and were excited to see all the boats...

And then it got even better when we saw the otters and the seal in bay! Awesome!!

It was so much fun to watch the families of otters preening, playing, swimming in the bay and showing off their cute personalities. I had never seen otters active like that before in real life and it was so fun to watch. I was so excited to capture some great shots, but it also left me longing for something better than a 200mm lens. 

Brother was in heaven watching all the otters, one of his favorite sea life in the world next to dolphins and whales.

I chuckled when this snorkeler popped up and had to sneak a picture.

What made me chuckle even more, though, was when Jessie directed my attention to Baby and the seagull... Sister was screaming blood murder that there was a seagull on the hood of the van, but Baby was quite intrigued. Marc was able to get some good shots of this newfound friendship.

Definitely one of our funnier moments that will always be remembered.

I guess when Baby learned that she was pretty funny she decided to play a joke on me.

She thought she was pretty funny acting like she was going to take my seat... I had to, at least, take a picture before I kicked her to the back, but I also had to giver her kudos for remembering to use her booster seat... ha ha ha!

After we were done viewing the otters and Morro Rock we headed back to our hotel.

We were excited to gather in our hotel room because it was the "suite" and had more room for all of us to have dinner and hang out together.

We had bought corndogs to cook up for Sunday dinner so we wouldn't have to go out to eat.

I was excited to "cook" them in the microwave for everyone so I reached into the tiny freezer and realized the fridge didn't really feel very cold.


Well that's weird, it wasn't plugged in... must have been one of the kids... so I plugged it back in to hear the refrigerator motor running... (I am all of a sudden reminded of a joke...)

Then I put a few corndogs in the microwave and pressed the button, and ... nothing...



hmmm, wheres the power chord... oh there it is... dangling off the the side... so I grab it and look for a plug nearby to plug in the microwave... there is no plug nearby... the only outlet nearby is the one the fridge is plugged into...

One outlet for the all the kitchen appliances.

You know, I can understand maybe having to unplug a toaster to be able to plug in a waffle iron, but having to unplug a fridge to be able to use the microwave... what was this place? We laughed about it as I cooked corndogs a couple at a time and we worried everything in the fridge would defrost...

Then, after we had all sat down to eat and enjoy some home improvement TV I looked over at Baby who was starting to get ready for bed under her blanket with her feet poking out the bottom and then I see how black her feet are.


Why are they black?

She has had socks and shoes on the entire day except at the beach.

Oh my goodness!

Is this floor that dirty?!

Any of us who had been barefoot or in socks discovered that we, were indeed, walking on a floor that, I don't think has been cleaned for years... years!

It took 5 wipes and a few napkins to get this caked blackness off her feet.

What was this room? The place were Ramada Inn guests go to die... they just reserve this room for the complainers and never clean it.

I mean, I thought it was funny at first to see all the cobwebs on the room balcony, but now it was all making sense... and this was all looking horrible!

We had no where else to go because of the holiday weekend so we knew we were stuck in this "deluxe suite" for this night and the next.

I was just becoming more and more grateful that they would, at least, be refunding some of our money, so we stuck it out and just pretended we were camping...

I didn't even mention all the long, black hairs that were stuck to the ceiling, walls and clogging the tub... ya, it was bad. In the words of Jimmy Fallon, "Ew."

(Fast forward to today... Ramada Inn of San Luis Obispo has still not refunded our $45 and when we contact them they keep saying to give it a few days to process... ever feel like you're being lied to?)

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