Monday, August 10, 2009

Our Mission: Improvise!

We're back after our week away and it was a great time! Here begins the recap:

After driving to David's conference - we arrived to our hotel in a beach and resort town only to find out that we received a room with one King size bed only for all five of us!

We'd done this trip before and had two queen beds, a fridge, microwave, balcony, etc... and we knew that this year was at a new place - but we were still hoping for similar accommodations. We'd even tried to upgrade to a suite before we got here for only a few dollars a night - which would have a full kitchen, bedroom and living room - but they were all gone.

Our hotel room was smaller than our bedroom at home and was now needing to sleep and hold five people including three littles who wanted to run around and play for a WEEK! He had already checked and there was nothing else available for us to switch to - so we had to make the best of it!

We had no fridge, no microwave and no balcony. Ok, I think you have the picture!

Nearly immediately, God gave me the attitude and excitement that this would be an adventure and I could help set the tone to make it a success and a fun week!

I realized that one key to our success was getting as much of our stuff out of the way as possible since there was so little walking space already. I utilized as much existing storage space as possible!

Moving an end table into the bathroom became our little "kitchen" and the cooler became our fridge. Fortunately, we were very handy to an ice machine! I had brought our picnic basket/dishes and some dish soap and I am so thankful we did!

The girls pallet would only fit in front of the door and David had the foresight to bring a sleeping bag remembering that the last time we came they wanted to sleep on the floor for fun! I stuck a quilt in thinking it would be for picnics - which became their covers! If you look in the picture of Rachel you can see the front door right beside her! And, Emily was at the foot of our bed, so there was just enough room between the door and the bed for two little girls to make their bed!

The armoire holding the TV, became the dresser for all of us and held the diapers and wipes for Samuel.

I designated my nightstand as the toy cabinet - and when not in use, toys and books were to be put away in there.

The first night, we were wakened at 4:05 a.m. because Rachel had an accident in her bed. Uh-oh. Now, their only bed was partially wet. We just allowed her to come into our bed for the rest of the night and first up on our agenda the next morning was to find a laundromat.

After getting breakfast for all (homemade banana bread and milk from the cooler) and bathing all the littles, I called the front desk to find out where the nearest laundry facility was. After obtaining that info - we were on our way!

We found the laundromat and got our wash started. I realized it was not in our best interests of time to leave and come back - so we decided to hang out there and wait for our laundry. We had fun watching the other clothes going around in the washer and dryer and pushing the laundry carts around.

When the girls got a bit restless, I asked them if they wanted to hear a story from when I was a little girl! They did and I shared with them about how my Mom would take us to the laundromat and Carrie and I would pretend that inside the dryers were different flavors of ice cream - we played Ice Cream Shoppe!

So, then the girls and I played this for a while! It was fun to remember and I ordered lots of different flavors of ice cream from my little ladies! I wish I had brought my camera!!

After successfully getting our laundry finished - we headed to CVS for a couple of free items and a few necessities. Next up, was waiting for Daddy to get out of his meeting and start fixing sandwiches for lunch!

I had my heart all set on making this an adventure and while David was very disappointed in the room - I was willing to do what it took to make it fun and enjoyable! I took a few pictures because I thought you'd enjoy seeing part of our adventure!

Part Two - coming tomorrow!


aspiritofsimplicity said...

Sometimes it's just in what you make of it. I think that your girls will remember this as one of their best ever vacations.

Unknown said...

I love, love your attitude! :-) I need to follow your example here...

Three cheers for Monica for turning the lemons into lemonade!

Can't wait to hear how the rest of the week went! :)


Bonnie said...

I'm having fun reading this- just think you got a little taste of pioneer life, with the advantages of electricity and running water! (and by pioneer life I mean cramped quarters, no refrigeration, etc.)

Michelle said...

Wow, how wonderful that you were able to keep a good attitude and have fun despite setbacks (the room, the wet bed)! Your children won't remember that you didn't have a fridge in your hotel room, but they will probably remember playing ice cream shop at the laundromat with their mama! :)

Anonymous said...

Praise God for Him working so quickly in your heart to turn this rooming situation into an adventure! You must walk closely with the Lord for Him to be able to transform attitudes so quickly ... I have to shamefully admit I would have taken much longer and grumbled quite a bit before properly yielding to a thankful spirit.... Thank you for your example and sharing so openly!

Elise said...

Well, you definitely made the best of it, it seems. I spy Doritos!! Yum!!

*carrie* said...

Love the "suspense"--especially since I know what comes next! =)

Anonymous said...

You know, a lot of men would take a business conference as a chance to get away from his family and have a "break" for several days. Your husband must be a great Christian man to not choose to put himself above his family in that situation.

Edi said...

You certainly had a good attitude about it all!

We have traveled on biz trips w/my dh to California before...all 4 of us shared a room but thankfully TWO beds! We also had a balcony which did come in handy b/c I could have the kids eat out there and not worry about them spilling anything. I even was brave enough to make the big hike to the beach alone with the kids

Great memories...and a great way to make an inexpensive family trip out of a spouse's business trip.

Lora said...

You are so amazing!! I have to admit that my first reaction would not have been nearly as positive as yours. That's something I'm working on, though...

I can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip!

Cheryl said...

Sorry to hear the accommodations were so tight. Your attitude about it all made all the difference in your stay there though. You made it fun for your children and bearable for you and your hubby.
Really, if we all could have this attitude in when we face difficult or unpleasant situations, it would just make life that much for pleasant.

Anonymous said...

Hi Monica,

I just love how well you adapted to your surroundings, and not only that but how you already came so well prepared! You are a true inspiration.

Saw this and thought of you, thought it would be a cute idea to display the artworks of your littles!


angie said...

I can certainly relate. We just got back from traveling with my husband; this was the first time we have been able to accompany him on a business trip as he almost always flies. We were in 3 NE states in 3 days, then extended the trip in VT over the weekend. We packed and unpacked too many times to count. And our last hotel was not the cleanest. But we also made the best of it and had fun creating adventures in each town. We found public libraries to be a great respite during mid-day while Daddy was at an app't.
Can't wait to hear about the rest of your week!

Jennie said...

Wow. What a great reminder that our attitudes can often determine the attitude of the entire family! Sounds like you guys had fun in what could have been a very stressful situation.

Thanks for the reminder! :)

Ruth said...

It sounds like you turned what could have been a horrible time into a fun time.


Wendi said...

Great attitude! This was a fun read. I can't wait to read part two!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the good example in your attitude! What a difference a good attitude makes in a situation like that. If I put myself in your shoes, I would probably be complaining right away and it would continue til we left. Thanks for the attitude check! Praise God for showing Himself through you in that way.