Last Sunday my mom and I set out on, yet another, girls only road trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama. This is my favorite place in all the world, except for maybe, the Michael Kors outlet store checkout line with a new bag in my hand….or maybe the Mall of America with Devin’s credit card in my hand…or maybe standing in front of about 700 women with a microphone in my hand….other than that, Gulf Shores is my favorite place.

Sunday was our departure date for another, girls only, road trip….the only problem was…..before we could leave…. my crew and I had to feed about 130 people lunch. That meant we couldn’t get on the road until about 1:30. This trip, from Broken Arrow Oklahoma, is about a 13 hour drive, which would make our arrival time about 2:30 AM.

My original plan was to drive straight thru, without stopping for the night. I didn’t want to waste the money on a hotel and I didn’t want to waste any time either, but after cooking for 300 people the two days before we left AND having Caleb’s birthday sleep-over at the house….I was just too tired to drive straight thru.

After some discussion, we decided to spend the night in the great metropolis of Pearl Mississippi. Mom had stayed in a nice, clean hotel in Pearl the summer before, so we decided to stay in the same one….just to be safe. The only problem was she didn’t know where it was or what the name of it was….do you see where there might be a problem here?

It was late

I was tired

it was dark

And…I knew NOTHING about Pearl Mississippi except I liked the name.

I began to question mom as to what the name might be. “Well”, she said, “I know it has a ‘C’ in it and it has the word ‘wood’ in it”

What is this…..charades?

“That’s all you’ve got? The letter ‘C’ and the word ‘wood’?, I asked, hoping she would catch on to the fact that I needed a little more to go on than that. I suggested she use my Ipad to Google hotels with “C” and “wood” in the name, sure enough….she found it, Candlewood.

What did we do before Google?

Now, all we had to do was find the mysterious hotel with “c” and “wood” in the name….in the dark….in a strange town. Neither one of us excel in the area of direction, we can’t tell you where North, South, East or even West is, and we both are easily confused when it comes to remembering highway numbers. We also get really turned around when we pull off the highway for bathroom breaks…. so finding this one particular hotel, in the dark, was not quite as easy as one would think.

Once we had the name of the hotel and the general direction, we felt confident we could find it. Sure enough, as we were driving down the interstate, we saw the “Candlewood” sign just to the left. It read, exit right and take a left at the light. We quickly exited, but the exit ramp curved around and took us under the overpass….

For those of you who don’t know what this means….it means we are turned around and basically lost.

After driving a few miles in the wrong direction, then back tracking, then going over the directions AGAIN….we FINALLY found it! By now it was about 9:30. We were tired and laughing about anything and everything….making fun of ourselves, each other and every person we came in contact with….we were silly tired.

Mom went inside to secured a room for us while I began to gather our things. We were loaded down with luggage, pillows and snack food as we made our way into the hotel lobby. As we were walking down the hall, mom said, “which way is room 116?”. I looked at the signage on the wall and told her it was to the right. We walked about three doors down the hall and came to a stop right in front of room 116. Mom began to juggle her bags to free a hand so she could slide the key card in the door.

She slid it in….pulled down on the handle and nothing

She slid it again….pulled the handle…..nothing

She looked at the card, turned it around, slid it again, pulled the handle…still nothing

At this time I took the card from her and slid it vigorously, angrily, determined to make it work….pulled on the handle….once again….nothing

Then it began…the laughing and the giggling along with intense, loud instructional verbiage on how to open the STUPID door!

As we were laughing and swiping and fussing over how to operate the key, we heard a small, faint, elderly, female voice on the other side of the door saying, “you have the wrong room”. “oh my gosh mom! We are at the wrong room!!!!” I said. While laughing so hard we had tears rolling down our cheeks I stated, “I’m never going anywhere with you ever again!”

As I grabbed my luggage and made my way back down the hall, I heard mom say, “well I know there is a 6 in it”

I was thinking to myself, ok it could be room 26, 36, 46, 126, 206 the possibilities are endless! Then she said, “oh here’s the number on the key, its room 106 not 116”.

Well, she was right. There was a 6 in it!

As we passed by the front desk, the receptionist asked, “is everything ok?” “No”, I said, “we just scared some poor woman to death by trying to break into her room!”

We walked down the hall and finally made it to OUR room, the one with a 6 in it. After hours of driving and laughter we finally got some much needed rest so we could finish the second leg of our, girls only road trip!