My Mr. Wonderful planned a little get away for us around his work schedule before we make the official move back to Iowa from Ohio. He has a business trip to California so we are doing a quick get away. The problem was how I was going to get to the Detroit airport. Yes, I could drive but we really did not want to leave my car there as we are going to be driving his car back from Iowa and did not want an added 4 hours to the already horrifically long drive. So……I did some looking and found a man who would drive me to the airport. Enter Ralph.
Ralph and I had a couple phone conversations before the actual pick up and I figured he was an older gent but he said he did this all the time for folks. When Ralph arrived my suspicions were confirmed. I suspect he was on the other side of 80 or close to it. He had a few less teeth than I have, longer hair pulled back in a pony tail and was a tall drink of water as they say as he folded himself into my TL. I told him I would drive up and he could then just enjoy the ride and do the drive back. He was agreeable and we had an enjoyable ride up talking and getting to know each other. I know a lot about Ralph. I won’t bore you. He was fascinated by my GPS. Fortunately I did not have the Billy Bob Thorton Karl from Sling Blade voice talking or else I think he would have freaked out. The New Zealand dude was bad enough. He commented “I just don’t understand how those things work—it isn’t like there is a little guy in there watching you drive, is it?”
As we got closer to the hotel that I was going to spend the night at since I had a really early morning flight we noticed this tent canopy thing constructed close to the entrance of the hotel and we both wondered why it was there as it was just odd. It was in a place where you had to make a u turn to actually get the right way to go to the hotel and it was just weird. But anyway–I pulled up to the hotel, pulled out my luggage and gave Ralph the car keys to take my car back to Lima. Ever the gentleman he offered to help me with all that but I told him I was pretty independent and used to doing stuff on my own so I could handle it.
As I approached the hotel all of the doors had signs on them indicating that those doors were not working (or so I thought) and we were all being funneled into one small door. The kind that you had to open on your own. No automatic opening. With suitcases. And no one to help you. The man in front of me had 2 massive suitcases and several smaller ones and I am afraid I was not much help to him. As soon as we reached the lobby we were immediately in a security line. I looked around to make sure that I was in a hotel. It was just weird. There were “officials” all over the place. There was a metal detector. There was a conveyer belt and an xray machine. There were sniffing dogs. It was WEIRD, I tell you. And no one was smiling. Not the usual “Welcome to our Hotel” greeting. I waited my turn and watched as the woman crammed my bag through the xray machine–proceeded through the detector when told and stood obediently while they “wanded “me. THEN a hotel employee welcomed me and said “thank you for your patience”. I told her I was afraid I was in the wrong place as I had never had that done before in a hotel and she said they had an “event”. Okay…. I checked in and the desk guy told me nothing—just an “event”. Okay. Since my husband is Mr. Wonderful he used his status to book me on the executive super special super secret floor where you have access to the club lounge. I was starving and thirsty so I wandered down the hall for a bit of a bite and was the only one in there. I tried to chat up the lounge lady and she wasn’t talking either—said it was an “event”. Come on, people!
Later that night I ordered room service and Tim was much more forthcoming! I had my Nancy Drew hat on by that time and had watched the news and had an idea what was going on. Tim confirmed. The President was flying in and was supposedly staying here. I told him it was crazy checking in and he said “yea–usually things like that happen when the President is here”. Every time I looked out the window there were tons of police cars blocking traffic and just being there so I guess that was the reason. This morning as I got up early and left the hotel at 5 am there were guys on my floor by the elevator with cool looking things in their ears and cords coming down…….pretty sure they were not listening to their Ipods. The lobby was like a convention hall for the state highway patrol and sheriff’s office. Suffice it to say I felt safe. Probably the closest I will ever come to being close to someone famous. Oh but there was that one brush with fame with John Glenn…..