Land of Incompetence
I have to say, that our worse experiences of the trip to North Carolina occured uring our two visits to Greenville, S. Carolina, right off the Interstate.
On our way up, we stay at the Days Inn there. The entire area is under construction and there is but a smattering of fast-food restaurants. After careful deliberation we arrive at a Subway. Two young goofballs man the store. They chat continuously with one another and take 45 minutes to make four sandwiches and one undrinkable seltzerized soda for our son - which has to be returned (despite the fact that the boy says "it tastes good to me!"). The order may have taken so long becaus of the massive amount of mayonnaise the lad spurted into our sandwiches. Could have been the generous application of oils.
When we get back to the Motel, my wife tries to eat her sandwich and it falls to pieces as she lifts it to her mouth. This infuriates her and - not surprisingly - she instantly dashes the sandwich onto the tabletop where it explodes upon impact. She then wraps up the mess and slamdunks it into the wastebasket. We decide that when next we come through these parts, on our way back home, we will be certain to get dinner before arriving to this godforsaken food wasteland.
That plan, however, does not come to fruition. On our return trip, despite our best efforts, we find ourselves again at the exit for the Days Inn, in that very same restaurant wasteland with no food in our aching bellies.
"I'm gonna keep driving till I find food!" I announce. Miles down the highway I exit only to discover tons of construction and a road that takes us - you guessed it - right BACK TO OUR MOTEL, nestled in the heart of junk food wasteland.
So we drive through town, passing the all-too-familiar Subway on our quest for a decent meal. Eventually, we arrive at a Burger King, where the service is nearly as incompetent as Subway, only the food is better (except for my burger, which suffered from a terminally wet bun. Yuck.
Then comes our motel misadventure. Upon my arrival at the front desk, the phone is ringing and three other people are signing in. Chaos reigns. Reservations are lost. The rooms aren't pre-assigned. The old guy behind the desk is frazzled.
After about 20 minutes I finally secure our room key and round up the family. We hike the stairs to our room. Our son demands, "Let me open it, let me open it," so I give him the key and we approach the door... which, to our surprise, stands already open.
"There's no doorknob," my wife exclaims, which is true ; no doorknob - just a hole. Our son stands bewildered with key in hand. I march back down to the desk where the same harried man is signing in three more people while the phone rings off the hook.
"There's no cable" the guy is saying. "Lightning took it out - everybody keeps calling about the cable!"
The phone rings again. I tell him I have no doorknob. My son is flitting about the lobby making strange sounds. To my credit, I keep my blood pressure in check. Ten minutes later I have a new key and my son and I are marching up to the room. This time, we have a doorknob and he is able to open the door and my family rushes in - and instantly rushes back out.
"We're not staying in there!! It stinks!"
Sure enough the room smells like it has been sprayed liberally by a family of cats; the stench is intolerable.
Down the stairs my son and I march. I think you know the scenario at the desk now. I elect to take a smoking room this time, seeing as it is the last room available with two beds and a doorknob.
To our delight, the room does not stink. However, at first the air conditioning does not work. Wifey fiddles with it while I contemplate re-loading our car when a crazy "bak...bak..bak.bakikabakibak - bweeeek!" sound issues forth from the cursed conditioner. Fortunately, it starts running, the sound goes away and it works throughout the night.
It's not until the following day, as check-out time approaches that it finally gives up the ghost.
And truth be told, if these are the worst experiences of our trip, we consider ourselves lucky indeed to have had such a wonderful vacation.
But we'll not visit that area of Greenville any time soon - at least not deliberately.