August 15, 2017

delegating to my hero

One of my all time most frustrating traveling with food incidents just occurred when we were in New Orleans.  You'd think that after years of road trips with food stashed in coolers we'd have streamlined our process.  Think again.

The first night in the hotel we were only able to get a room with one king bed.  Coach and I slept with Reggie between us.  Tank, Mini, and Curly created a fire hazard on the floor at the foot of our bed on three air mattresses.  Cozy!

In order to secure a room in the hotel that was hosting Curly's dancing competition, I made our reservations the minute the block of rooms was opened back in early February.  It wasn't until months later that we finalized our travel plans.  We were stuck with a king room for that first night.

The food.  Oh no, the food.  It occurred to me before we left that we were going to have to pull everything out of our first room's mini-fridge in order to store it during the day until our two-queen  room was ready.  I spoke to the hotel and they agreed that they could store my cold items in a fridge until our next room was ready.  Dodged that bullet!

We let the kids sleep late in the king bed room because we hadn't checked in until after midnight the night before.  Oh how I wish I could sleep late, too.  We were heading to the meat locker - I mean the WWII museum with the crazy-cranked AC, so the minute my sleepy heads were up and moving, Coach and I packed up the room, and deflated the air mattresses.  That was fun.

We dragged everything to the lobby, waited in line, and requested that our stuff be put in storage.  I was a bit anxious that Ms. Hotel Employee would grasp our need for cold storage.  Ms. Hotel Worker Lady danced her fingers across her keyboard for a minute before announcing that our room with two queens was already ready.  She offered to let us check in right away, or put our stuff in storage and check in later.

Little tickets and dog tags to remember the WWII museum.
We WERE in a hurry to get to the torture chamber, and by that I mean the WWII museum.  At the same time, I knew that it made sense that we handle arranging our food in our mini-fridge as opposed to taking the chance that someone neglect to store our meals properly while we were gone.

If this picture had a sound bite, it would be:  'Kids sit on my lap, rub my arms, if you love me you will share your body warmth with me.  Now!'
Before departing for the day, we tossed our bags into our new room.  (By the way, carrying enough food to feed your family for a few days is back breaking.  This made juggling rooms a blast).  I knelt in front of the fridge to arrange our food.  I noted to Coach that the fridge smelled funny.  Moments later we were on our way (minus our very necessary parkas) to the WWII museum.

After thawing out after the museum, I prepared dinner for the gang in the microwave while Coach ran to the kind of gourmet food store that sells gluten free stuff.  He became my hero by purchasing a few single-serving, gluten-free oatmeal containers, which saved me from starvation.

I was busy trying to feed everyone simultaneously despite using a tiny microwave that may have been powered by two hamsters running around a little wheel for all I knew.  I asked hero aka Coach to check the fridge, because I just didn't feel like the temperature was very cold.  He opened the fridge and told me that there was no dial.
Really, I'm giving the WWII museum a bad rap, it was awesome.  Just frigid!

By delegating this fridge temperature adjustment task to him, I expected him to handle it.  After all, I had booked our flights, reserved our hotel rooms, prepared all of the food, packed all of the food, packed for everyone but him, cleaned the house in preparation for the sitter to hang with the big boys, debriefed our grad-student sitter on my concerns with the big boys, and stocked the fridge at home for the big boys and the sitter.

Delegating was a mistake.  The next morning I got the girls ready to go down to the dance room at 6:30 in the morning.  I gave them some cereal with milk.  Again, I was unimpressed with the chilliness of our food.  As I gathered up our dance bags like the Sherpa that I am, I told Coach that he needed to call the front desk and demand that someone come and take a closer look at our fridge.  With bags weighing down my shoulders, I poked around at the back of the fridge a bit where it jutted out of the furniture that housed it.

'Hey, there's some kind of dial on the back of the fridge.  Maybe you can play with this and see what happens,' I called to him as I was about to walk out the door.  Coach finally moved the furniture piece out a bit and crouched down to get a closer look.

He stood up with a sheepish expression and admitted, 'The fridge wasn't plugged in.'

Ah, the beauty of my kids learning something  . . . just before we tried to poison them with food that was not properly refrigerated. 
Moldy grapes, warm milk, questionable lunch meat, and declining dinners.  That was what my 'hero' left me with.  The space in the fridge was so tight and the food was cold when it was stuck in there, so it sort of worked to stay somewhat acceptable.

If I will lick yogurt from an aging cooler while waiting in line at Disney, then you better believe that I will feed my family not-so-cold food in a pinch.  But, I wondered if the food would've been better off being cared for by the hotel staff while we allowed our body temperature to drop at the WWII museum all day.  

1 comment:

Gigi said...

Not that I bring meals along with me when I travel but I have noticed that in some hotels they unplug the fridges between guests and it baffles me.