A missing key, the feast day of the patron saint of lost things, and the premier of Dallas… All in today’s episode!
As we were getting set to go to bed last night in our hotel room just north of Atlanta we noticed one thing was off — our kids were not in the mood to go to bed. Easy fix, we thought. We’d just take them on a drive around metro Atlanta. That always works. Well, we don’t usually drive them around Atlanta, but you get the point. So we walked them out to the rockin’ Town and Country, strapped them in, and prepared to start ‘er up. Just one small problem though…
The dashboard of the car displayed the following message: “Key Damaged”.
What was going on here!? The key was sooooo not damaged. The key, in fact, was one of those plastic key fobs which does not employ a metal, ridged, “key” as most of us know them. Instead, it’s supposed to make the car harder to steal. However, at that exact moment, I was wishing I’d paid attention in school growing up back in Newark when they taught us five easy ways to hot-wire a vehicle.
We walked back into the room and put on our thinking caps. This was hard for me since I was wearing my favorite Panama straw hat and had a nasty case of hat hair. We did what anyone else would have done in our situation. We went online for a half-hour and checked Facebook. Then, we checked with the Google. Finally, we decided to find out what it would cost to ship the spare key we had left with my mother-in-law overnight. I called the local Fed-Ex office back home. The woman there was so helpful. I explained our situation and asked her almost as an aside “Do you guys have a location AT DFW?” thinking that might be a more expeditious way to get things done. “Well sure, I think the best thing to do would be to go online, go to Google.com, and search for Fed-Ex locations!” she said with an audible smile. I actually held the phone away from my ear, stared at the receiver dramatically, and shouted “What the hell?” Then I put the phone back to my ear, thanked her for her idiocy, and politely said good bye.
Ultimately, Wilma, my mother-in-law, came to the rescue. She drove out to the airport but found she was five minutes too late for the last overnights. The next morning she called Fed-Ex and a man came by to take the key. Later she would reveal that, although she had been promised by the operator that the driver would have an envelope with him, the driver actually looked puzzled then took the key and slid it into his pants pocket before driving away. It’s a wonder we actually got this key to us. But it did arrive at the hotel around 2:30 that afternoon. Now that’s not bad. The only down side is that we had to pay through the nose for this plastic piece of crap.
“How much did that shipping job cost us?” I asked Karla. “About $250,” came her reply. “We’re really paying for the flight,” she added. Basically, she was telling me that if it had gone out the night before it would have been counted as cargo on an otherwise cargo-laden flight and would have cost about $20 but because we did it this way they shipped it on a Delta flight and we paid for the airfare.
“Um, one thing…” I asked, “I have Delta miles. Couldn’t I have just used them?” We both paused for a minute and then laughed at the prospect of Wilma having to walk the key onto the plane and strap it into a seat in coach. Of course, I would have had to board the plane to retrieve the key as well so this probably worked best.
The other thing we had to deal with was me keeping the kids occupied for a few hours. The hotel gave us a late check-out but couldn’t go past 1:00. The key wasn’t slated to arrive until 3:45. We spent time in the lobby playing “Spook the Receptionist” and “Trip the Maid” until I decided to dig our bathing suits out of our suitcases, changing the kids and me in the lobby bathroom, and hitting the pool for a while. Karla, meanwhile had a business meeting to attend to and her boss had come to the hotel lobby to accommodate her. All in all, the key showed up early, and we hit the road roughly on time.
We drove the five hours from Atlanta up to Greensboro, NC where we met up with my niece, Danielle, and her husband, Mike. We had a great dinner at a local brewhouse called Natty Green’s. Good job, Natty. Your food and drink hit the spot.
We visited for a few hours back at Mike and Danielle’s new house and then finally went to bed, tired but all together with our health and having shared a good time. I almost forgot, it did happen to be the feast of St. Anthony of Padua, patron of finding lost objects. I think today he helped my “find” my spare key across a continent and my sanity which was buried in my suitcase next to my bathing suit. Oh, and Danielle had DVR’ed the season premier of Dallas for us!
Welcome to South Carolina, kids…
Here, Rita does her best car dancing routine as we pass the time driving from Atlanta to Greensboro (a five hour trip).