The hotel is somewhere around here . . .

by Elizabeth

I know exactly where I am. Each time I say this, the folks that know me, go Uh, Oh. They start looking around, become skittish, grab a map, grab a phone, read the fine print on documents. I just think they are taking things a bit too seriously.  Trust me, I say.

Before I disclose any more facts, I do want you to know that I am a very responsible parent, friend, coworker and partner. You are safe with me. Totally.

To myself, I myself grimace, I know exactly where I am, when it’s me that is first to comprehend that I am totally in the wrong place, the wrong hotel, the wrong state. But, I get over it quickly. Life is meant to be an adventure.

Yesterday, I printed out the confirmation for where my family will be staying in Guatemala. I love to research and via the Internet, I explored the 14 villages surrounding Lake Atitilan, and decided the small Mayan village of Santa Cruz la Laguna was the place for us to reside for five nights and six days. It is accessible only by boat or footpath.  There is no road access to or from the village because it’s surrounded by jagged mountains. Amigos de Santa Cruz Foundation and Mayan Medical Aid, two non-profits are living out their mission on Santa Cruz la Laguna. By learning about the non-profits, perhaps my family would have more access to the Guatemalans in the three villages located in the mountains.

It was January when I secured our hotel.  Our trip is planned for this summer. Maybe I picked that hotel because all rooms had a great panoramic view of the lake and the three volcanoes. Perhaps I chose it because all the rooms were set amongst lush tropical gardens bearing fruits and flowers all year long. Or maybe it was workout gym for Jody or the private beach that the family could enjoy. I made the reservation and bookmarked it as a favorite. From time to time, I took a look-see at the hotel, the gardens, and the rooms.

Reading the confirmation I quickly came to the understanding that we were totally in a different hotel from what I had thought.

I fast-forwarded in my mind to landing on the village dock after being ferried from Panajachel, Guatemala. How we would have climbed up the mountain to our hotel only to find out that we didn’t have a reservation and then because there is no telephone system and maybe the Internet wouldn’t be working that I wouldn’t have a clue as to where I did have a reservation in this remote location. Perhaps, Crystel would look up at me and say, Mama Beth is this your most embarrassing moment today?

And I would respond as I always do with, It’s an adventure!

I went back to the email chain certain that “they” had made a mistake. As I read, it became clearer and clearer that it was not their mistake but mine. Goodbye private beach. Goodbye exercise room.

Yet, I also knew that being the researcher that I am, there must have been a reason I changed hotels. Clearly, I showed a sharp detour in my emails, asked them to the cancel the hotel and went with a different place. Now for exercise, we can enjoy the well-maintained paths that traverse old Mayan trails on the steep mountainside. And for gosh sakes, we will be on a mountain, where all views are panoramic. And won’t we be standing in the locale that is mentioned four times in the #1 Bestseller, 1,000 Places To See Before You Die? At least we’ll be in the right spot, alive.

I don’t think the Gopher to Badger half marathon is in the #1 Bestseller. Maybe it should be. It is set along the banks of the St. Croix River about 30 miles east of Minneapolis. I know exactly where it starts, I told my niece. She was training for a marathon and I was accompanying her. Our goal, as always, was to beat the trash trucks and the biffy picker uppers. We are not fast. We aren’t even slow. We are just above walking pace. When we got to the start of the race there wasn’t anybody. I couldn’t figure it out. The town was sleepy. Where are all the people? My niece called her husband and got him on the Internet. He found out that we were in the wrong state. We jumped in our car and raced across state lines to Wisconsin. After parking, we jumped on the moving bus that shuttled us to the start.

Gopher to Badger, Badger to Gopher. Gosh, an easy mix-up.

Trust me Jody, I know exactly where I am and you and the kids are safe. Get ready for an adventure.