Musings, Travel

When (Most) Everything Goes Wrong

We recently had to make a trip to Tennessee for a funeral. Our destination was Paris, about halfway between Nashville and Memphis near the border with Kentucky. Usually we fly in and out of Nashville, but because it was last-minute, our flight options meant this time we’d go in and out of Memphis.

We arrived about 8:30 Monday night after a two-hour delay due to mechanical trouble in Phoenix. We grabbed our bags, located the rental car and, faced with a two-and-a-half hour drive, decided to just hit the road and grab fast food to eat while driving. That’s when the troubles began (as if the Phoenix delay wasn’t enough!).

We pulled off on an exit with a McDonald’s and got in the queue behind about six other cars. TWENTY minutes later, we finally got our food. Yep … twenty minutes! We tried to laugh it off and decided twenty minutes in the south is considered fast. 

The room badly needed renovating.

We finally made it to Paris just before midnight. I’d called ahead to let the hotel know we’d be checking in late. They were surprised I requested an upper room floor. Apparently since there are no elevators, no one wants to be upstairs. Well … despite the request, we ended up on the ground floor. The hotel, it turns out, is actually a motel with exterior doors. We opened the door to the room and were greeted by a STRONG odor of mildew. The sheets were clean, so we “sucked it up” and tried to get a good night’s sleep. 

The next morning, Greg popped down to the reception area to see what the complimentary breakfast options were only to find a selection of pre-packaged frozen burritos and coffee. We headed next door to the Huddle House.

The waitress was happy to pose for a pic of her shirt.

The food was delicious, but we had a good laugh over the Southern-isms printed on the wall and even on our waitress’ t-shirt. It was a late breakfast since we were still on Arizona time so while our stomachs thought it was about 8, the clock on the wall read closer to 10.

I left a rose for my best friend who died in 2014.

We drove around for a couple of hours, bought flowers from a local shop for the funeral (a bright spot on this mostly difficult trip … kudos to Paula Kellye’s Florist for their personal service and same-day delivery)  and joined family and friends for the sad occasion. We stayed for a couple of hours to share stories and memories, then it was back to Memphis to be near the airport for our early Wednesday flight.

We got checked in and decided after two long stressful days and a day of flying looming, we’d just order a pizza and chill in the room. The front desk clerk suggested Papa John’s, which was open until 9:30. It was about 8, so no problem. I grabbed my phone, opened the app and placed my order. The confirmation email told me my pizza would take 29 minutes. 

It took awhile, but the pizza finally arrived.

Forty-five minutes later I called to find out where my pizza was. To make a long story short … it took another 20 minutes to track it down and get it delivered. UGH! 

The kitchen was closed temporarily and the restaurant was VERY empty.

The following morning, we arrived at the airport typically early and checked our bag for the flight home. We knew there was no airport lounge, so we planned to grab breakfast at one of the terminal eateries. Unfortunately, there were only two choices open (Memphis airport is undergoing some massive renovations). The one we chose couldn’t serve breakfast for about a half hour or so as the cook had to go to the warehouse for food!  The other was a Starbucks. With time to kill, we grabbed a table, ordered a couple of drinks and waited. We’re glad we did because the breakfast sandwiches and potatoes were really good!  We found out in conversations with the staff that the restaurant had JUST re-opened a few days earlier; COVID making it difficult for them to hire.

Needless to say, we bid Tennessee a not-too-fond farewell when we were “wheels up” and on our way home. We’re not saying we’ll never go back, but it’s not high on the list. By Wednesday afternoon we were just happy to be home. 

There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored. You’ll hit some bumps in the road along your journey, just take them in stride and learn from them.

© The World A to Z, LLC 2021 — Unless otherwise indicated, no compensation was received for this blog.

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