Well, the day started off bright and early at 7 am. It was not my plan to get up this early, but never the less I was awake so I thought I’d get a workout in at the hotel’s fitness centre.
After getting some exercise, I came back to the room to get ready and head down to enjoy our continental breakfast. Nothing super fancy, just your regular hotel scrambled eggs, sausage, pancakes, yogurt, orange slices, and coffee (of course!).
Now, normally breakfast doesn’t usually make my blog unless its super scrumptious or noteworthy, BUT this little bit of funny is worth remembering and sharing.
My dad chose a yogurt, and opened up the package and because it was a bit watery and frozen still, asked my Mom if it was okay to eat. She said yes, it’s just that it had been frozen and kept on ice, so it would need a stir. And “Tell your teeth it’ll be colder than normal”. Now, anyone who knows my Mom can imagine the innocent, genuine way that my Mom would say this and realize why my Dad and I found it hilarious and have basically been joking about “telling our teeth” all day!
Also, one of the ladies from the front desk of the hotel announced to everyone in the breakfast room that at this evening’s dinner, children were invited to wear their pyjamas down for a special Christmas Eve pyjama party! Now, I thought this was a really cute and fun idea, and that it makes being in a hotel for Christmas that much more special for kids! Here is the invitation:
If I was 2.5 or 7 instead of 25, I would have loved to attend!
After breakfast, we figured out our gameplay and decided that we would pack up our bags, check out of our room, and store our backs at the hotel while we went for a walk, because guess what? Today the sun was shining!! There was lots of cloud cover, but no more torrential rain or thunderstorms…hallelujah! We would be picking up our rental car at 11:00 am, so it was a good chance to get a morning walk in.
We headed towards the Mississippi River, and the sunshine felt amazing. It was maybe only 13 degrees but when that sun is beaming down on you, it just feels so warm and you instantly feel better!
We walked past the Riverwalk Outlet Collection, and I didn’t feel the need to go in (I’m actually still shopped out from my Erie trip in November!) But, I thought this wall decor could easily be a silhouette of me, with a quote that basically describes my shopping philosophy:
Then we came to the river – not the nicest looking water I’ve ever seen, but still cool! Oh, and this is a good time to say that Louisiana is my 33rd state! Ka-ching!
It was perfect that we also saw a picturesque paddleboat, just like the ones you picture when you think of New Orleans and the Mississippi River.
Then, we ventured back through the French Quarter towards where we were collecting our rental car. So, I was able to take a couple photos of some other French Quarter type architecture, which I missed last night because of the pouring rain!
We got back to Poydrus St, where our Homewood Suites hotel was located, and the location of a rental car pickup was. Clint ventured back to the hotel and I went with my parents to get the rental car, and I can say that I had a gut feeling it was the better decision.
The Hertz location was inside of the Loews Hotel. And not only is this a strange place for a rental company office, but low and behold the strangeness got stranger because it was actually a Hertz mobile kiosk!
We had a call with a live agent for Hertz, who was actually in Oklahoma City, who looked at our booking and reservation (Very 2014, wouldn’t you say?) You scan all your documents in the machine and there’s a phone receiver to speak in, and you can see the agent and they can see you (so you must be mindful of your facial expressions!). Now, this is where the adventure gets interesting. There is no car waiting for us at this location. Turns out, all the cars are delayed coming from the airport location and because it’s Christmas Eve and there’s few cars and few workers, things are delayed. He ends up sending us to a Hertz location about a 10 minute walk away to get our car.
So, because Clint is waiting for us at Homewood Suites and not aware of any issues, we ask the Loews hotel concierage if we can call over to Clint. Our wish is our command!
Then, we set off to the other Hertz location, detouring through a pedestrian market walkway and spotting a beautiful Christmas tree and a photo opportunity!
Then, we keep going. We get to Hertz and there are a few people in line ahead of us, so we wait patiently and then the young man (who was very friendly and provided great customer service I must say), let us know that our vehicle still wasn’t there yet and would be about 15 minutes. More waiting! Keep in mind by this time it is after 12 pm and hunger is starting to set in and affect, everyone’s mood. But, in this situation I chose to remain positive to keep my parents’ moods elevated! We were a bit concerned about all of our luggage fitting into the mid-sized vehicle that we had reserved, but at this point we just had to cross our fingers and pray we could fit in 3 bags and 4 people.
Finally, our vehicle arrived! A Kia Soul, which is a hatchback, crossover, type of vehicle (and it’s not the most attractive vehicle either, but I’m biased to MINIs and BMWs…). I didn’t get a chance to take a picture today, but you can google a picture if you need a visual.
We headed over to Homewood Suites, grabbed Clint and our bags, and the packing challenge began! We managed to get all the bags in, BUT we had to lift up the spare tire cover and use the extra space there, and remove a styrofoam type compartment, which was full size and road in the backseat with us (I nicknamed it Bud.)
By this time, it’s 1 pm and the hunger is still evident in everyone but all we wanted to do was get on our way to Gulfport, Mississippi which would be our home away from home for the next 4 nights and 3 days.
We started out on the Interstate, and I enjoyed looking out the window taking in the scenery. It’s different to see houses built on stilts. And I felt very reflective remembering what I had seen of the damage from Hurricane Katrina.
We made it to Mississippi and decided to get off the interstate and continue on a more scenic highway.
We still haven’t eaten at this point, and have pretty much decided that we would keep going the 25 miles or so to Gulfport because all we were seeing were fast food restaurants and Waffle House. Seriously, we passed 5 Waffle House locations!
We arrived at our rented house in Gulfport at 3 pm, although there was a bit of confusion as to the location because there is no street sign that specifies the street it is actually on. We just had to determine it based on the location of the street before and the tracks after, and pray our code worked to open the gated entry, but thankfully, in we came!
After a quick stop to check the place out and unload, we got back in to the Soul and headed a mile west to IHOP and Walmart. Our plan all along had been to get food and snacks for the next 36 hours at the Walmart when we arrived in Gulfport, since it is Christmas and stores and restaurants are likely to be closed.
So, I had my Christmas turkey dinner at IHOP.
I figured, if I wanted to have turkey I needed to have it then, because no one else in my family really likes it that much! At this point, it’s probably 3:30-4:00pm and I am hungry to the point of being emotional and on the verge of tears, so I was thankful to have the food!
Then, after we were fed, our Walmart trip began and we managed to get all that we needed without too much chaos and trouble. The only thing I couldn’t find were the Hershey Cherry Kisses that I had found in Erie, which I really wanted to have again, but maybe I’ll see them in the next few days or so.
Then, by 5:30 pm we were headed back to our house and this is where we are currently relaxing and enjoying some downtime on Christmas Eve, 2014.
Before I go, here are some photos of our house. I’ll try and get one of the outside tomorrow. In total there are 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, a kitchen, and a living area. I am lucky enough to get the bedroom with 4 beds, and I may very well sleep on a top bunk.
My bedroom & my bathroom
The living area
So, as we enjoy a quiet, low key night, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday! Goodnight 🙂