Saturday, April 1, 2017

Happy April Fool’s Day to you all, and welcome to my first blog post in about 3 weeks! I trust you haven’t had any “pranks” played on you today, and you are all still diligently watching April the Giraffe, as she moves closer and closer to Motherhood for the fourth time! I know that Susie has been watching on and off for the past month or so, and with much more regularity the last 48 hours. Things look like they’re moving along slowly, and it doesn’t look like April and Oliver (her “husband”) will be having an April Fool’s Baby!

So, tonight’s blog post finds us on the road again! As I write this, Susie and I are sitting in room 352 at the Hampton Inn, in Wake Forest, North Carolina! You may remember one of my blog posts back in February, when I talked about big changes ahead in the D’Elia Family. Well, Susie and I find ourselves in Wake Forest tonight because of one of those changes. About a month ago, oldest son Billy, his wife Lori, and our two Grandkids Layla and Henry, moved from Long Island to Raleigh, North Carolina. Tomorrow is Layla’s 3rd birthday, and Gramma and Grampa are here for the celebration!

Susie and I left Ocean City about 7:30 this morning, and the GPS estimated a little over 7 hours for us to get from there to here. The real time was closer to 8 hours, when you factor in stopping for breakfast, the bathroom, to change drivers, to ffed the car, and some traffic we ran into, but all in all, not a bad drive. Of course, after 12 years of making the three hour drive to and from Ocean City a couple of times a month, 9 weeks and 9700+ miles on the road last fall, and 3 weeks and close to 4,000 miles of traveling just about a month ago, the front seat of our Hyundai Sonata is both familiar and comfortable! Honestly, when we figured out the time it would take us to drive from Ocean City to the Philly Airport, to park the car, go through security, wait at the gate, board the plane, fly to Raleigh, get off the plane, get a rental car, and then drive to our hotel, we probably invested perhaps 2 more hours today by driving, and did it on one $30 tank of gas rather than $500 in airplane tickets! Plus, we didn’t have to take our shoes off!! As we all agreed tonight, flying just isn’t fun anymore!

So after some issues checking into the Hampton Inn (more on that later), we were off to Billy and Lori’s new home. It’s about 15 minutes from the hotel, and is a beautiful 4 bedroom townhouse in a planned community. The space is marvelous, they have already done a wonderful job decorating it, and it really has already turned into a home! Nice work on Lori and Billy’s part! Lori’s Mom came over, and we had a very nice dinner where Layla enjoyed her favorite food, French Fries!! Layla and Henry are adorable, have totally made themselves at home, and are enjoying their new lives. I marvel at the adaptability of my son and his wife, but perhaps it’s not so much adaptability, as the nerve to take a chance and make a major change in your life! I really envy their courage and positive attitude, and look for nothing but great things to come out of this new home! They had the strength to make a major change in their lives, for the good of the entire family, and I applaud them for it!

So tomorrow at 11:15, we will join the rest of the family (virtually all of Lori’s Family lives in the area) to celebrate Layla’s 3rd Birthday, with some real Carolina Bar-B-Que! I for one, am bringing a back up shirt!!

So, before I leave, let me get back to the Hampton Inn. We have stayed at Hamptons across the country, and because we like the Hilton standards they uphold, and are willing to pay a few dollars extra for them. Because we were going to be here two days, I decided to spend a few more dollars and reserve a suite. I walked into the lobby about 3:20, and it was a mad house. Apparently, they had a busy week, many checkouts this morning, and little idea which rooms were cleaned and which were not! Top it off, there was one experienced girl working the desk, and one newbie, who kept double swiping people’s credit cards and charging them twice! So un-Hampton Inn like! I got the experienced girl, but it sounded like they didn’t have enough cleaning staff, and were way behind schedule! The girl who was helping me was very nice, and tried her best, but I stood at the desk for close to a half hour! She was very sorry, reduced our room rate, and eventually asked if I’d mind moving to another room. As we’d been waiting close to 35 minutes by this time, and really wanted to get to the kids, I said fine. Well, we got to the room, discovered it wasn’t a suite, but honestly didn’t care at that point! We hit the bathroom, changed clothes, and headed out.

Tonight, when we returned about 8 PM, Lani was still at the desk, and I thanked her for the rate reduction, but told her that the room I got was NOT the suite I reserved, so did I really get anything for nothing. She was very sorry, said that she thought the two rooms were identical, realized we were less than pleased, and said the since Hilton has a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, and she knew we weren’t satisfied, she was going to call her manager and get our room comped for both nights! She also gave us a choice to pick one of 5 $25 gift cards. we chose the Olive Garden! I told her that mistakes and problems happen, and it’s what happens after the problem that counts, and that if she was able to do that, we’d be more than satisfied! Let’s hope this does work out, because we will definitely be back to Raleigh multiple times per year!

So that’s how our April Fool’s Day went. How was yours????