01 October 2007

12 Games. Three Days. Sore Fingertips.

Cameron and I are sitting in the back yard, under the paper lantern, near the pond. Doris and Billie are on the couch with him. I'm in a chair next to him. All of the new outdoor lighting is on. It's beautiful out here, and we're all home, finally relaxing after a quick trip to Huntsville this weekend. Doris and Billie spent the weekend boarded at Berryhill since our realtor was hosting an open house here yesterday. After being gone all week, Cameron got home from work Friday. We drove for four hours to participate in the Huntsville Invitational Classic bowling tournament.

We booked a room at America's Best Inns & Suites for three days. It wasn't my first choice, but by the time I got all the information I needed for our tournament entries we'd missed the host hotel deadline, and this was the only room I could find. Big Spring Jam (a three-day music festival featuring somewhere around 30 bands) and Homecoming at Alabama A&M University were both taking place in Huntsville this weekend.

The poorly updated old motel sucked. While we booked a smoking room, we expected it to at least smell like someone had sprayed an air neutralizer. They did not. We ended up stopping at Wal-Mart for Glade and a candle after we'd been to the host hotel hospitality suite. It's amazing the difference a tiny bit of effort can make. There were pillbugs in the bathroom. So far, the only thing good about this place is that it was a half-mile away from Starbucks.

Saturday, I got up with bed head and P.J.s and went for a triple venti Caramel Macchiato and a Grande Caramel Macchiato, extra hot to get us going. We showered and left our towels in the floor (as instructed) so we'd get fresh towels upon our return. We left for AMF Parkway Lanes, registered since we misssed registration the night before, and started bowling. First was singles, followed by doubles competition. I bowled above my average overall, but had two dismal games: 150 and 135. My other games were respectable: 172, 232, 195 and 194. We finished bowling and went back to the motel to clean up and go to dinner.

We walked into the room and it still smelled good from our Neutralizer treatment. We walked into the bathroom. More pillbugs in the bathtub. The bathmat had a brown stain on it the size of a grapefruit. The facecloths smelled of mildew. The handtowels looked as if they'd been twisted and just thrown over the rack. We decided then to see if we could get a room at the host hotel for the next night's stay.

Dinner at Rosie's Cantina was the perfect contrast to the hotel. The place was beautiful and the food was outstanding. Our server, whose name I can't recall right now was very attentive and beautiful. Cameron had a strawberry margarita and I had a top-shelf margarita, both made with fresh lime juice. They were delicious. We had chips with salsa and white queso. We each had a shot of Patron and split a third. And, for dinner, he had the Taco Salad and I had the Combo Enchilada Platter with one cheese, one beef and one chicken enchilada, served with rice and beans.

Afterward, we met some friends at the Radisson hotel bar where we witnessed a way-too-inebriated tournament participant dance on the bar, molest a bride and groom and attempt to give Ron an unwanted kiss, and me an unwanted lap dance. We decided to head back to the motel. We stopped at the front desk to tell the clerk at America's Worst Inn's & Suites that our plans had changed and that we'd like to check out Sunday morning. He informed me that we'd still have to pay for the night we weren't staying.

OK, then.

I called Citi and talked to them about disputing the last day's charges. The agent I spoke with told me that she understood (and didn't blame me for wanting to leave) and that she'd be happy to help me dispute the third day's charges once my card had actually been charged.

Cameron and I watched a movie ;). We got up Sunday morning, I made the trip to Starbucks, we packed, loaded up the car and checked out. We drove through McDonalds for a large orange juice (for me) and a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit, hash browns and a vanilla iced coffee for him. We arrived at the lanes shortly thereafter and prepared for bowling team event. During the third game, my strike pot ticket was pulled, one which I almost missed redeeming because I didn't realize it was my number being called. I rolled a nine. Poopie. My scores were good, though: 189, 216 and 201. For the weekend, I placed sixth in all-events with a score of 2022.

We attended the banquet that evening, stayed up way too late and got up today ("not now, Patrick. Your Auntie Mame is hung"), and made our way home. We stopped at Berryhill to pick up Doris and Billie. After hanging out here for a couple hours, we met our regular teammates at Winchester to post bowl for Sunday night's league bowling, and the tenth, eleventh and twelfth games we've bowled in a three-day period. My fingertips are sore.

Did I mention I'm glad to be home?

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