The Setting: A random resort condo in Myrtle Beach
The Time: 5:34 a.m.
The Cast: My family of five and hundreds of other unsuspecting vacation goers
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I had just drifted back to sleep after awaking at 4:54 a.m. for my baby boy's second stealthy feeding of the night. The first one took place at 1:01 a.m. not long after I had finally gone to bed post a long day spent in the waves, sand, watersides, and resort's pools with our kids at the glistening land of sun, fun and surf in Myrtle Beach. I chalk baby boy's TWO bottles a night up to a rough sleep in a not so cozy Pack-n-Play in the corner of our room. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner," right? Apparently he wanted me to know that.
I was just entering the second stage of sleep, and my heart rate was beginning to slow as my brain waves were fast approaching the much more rhythmic pattern of deep sleep. Then, suddenly I was awakened by a blaring horn repeatedly honking: "BEE-ooo, BEE-ooo, BEE-ooo!" This was followed by a flat statement that made my slowing heart rate burst into fifth gear: "This is an emergency. You must evacuate the building. Do not use the elevators." The blaring horn and annoying digital voice were like the Energizer Bunny. They kept going, and going, and going...
I rudely awoke my husband and three nestled children just the way this horn and man's voice had done to me. Dear hubby would sleep through a semi entering our room. He was naturally discombobulated and bumbling as I said I would go outsode to see if the alarm was legit. I took off outside, braless, and in horrid mommy pajamas where I was greeted outside our condo by an onslaught of stares from neighboring vacationers in the hall and more fellow confused evacuees four floors below on the ground level. Much to my dismay I turned the door handle and our door didn't budge. Argh! I had locked myself out - braless...
I banged on the door repeatedly which actually served as a more effective means of waking my seemingly hibernating bear of a hubby and kids. Hubby lumbered to the door, I bra'd myself, swiftly packed personal belongings, including our kids, and got out of there only to be greeted by flashing lights above our floor and more "BEE-ooo's" followed by the man's elevator warning.
We promptly took the stairs, but we lagged behind several other pajama clad families catiously waltzing down the flights of stairs carrying belongings and clamoring about what exactly this was all about. We made it down the four flights, and once we were in the midst of a crowd, hubby and I turned to each other and agreed we were thrilled to not be on the fourteenth floor or stationed on the floor that requires the snobbish "PH" button.
As luck would have it, I recall being asked by a resort representative upon making the reservation if we had a floor preference, and my reply was a random selection of "four or five" knowing that hubby has a phobia of extreme heights and that he wouldn't enjoy our balcony overlooking the ocean nor would he unlatch the sliding doors to allow our brood out there for fear that they'd attempt to fit through the slats in the railing, dangle from the top rung, or something crazy like that. I shouldn't pick on his vertigo, but after thirteen years of marriage which we "celebrated" during this "family trip" I have a permanent "Get of Jail Free" card when it comes to that sort of stuff. He and I do a good job of picking on each other's quirks. It's a great past time in our marriage.
Back to the story...
We were safely on the ground surrounded by others. As I surveyed the crowd, I noted we were surrounded by all sorts of others. There was some grand people watching to be had on the ground, and there was only ONE fire truck. So what was the "emergency" that woke us all up? Well, we still don't have a direct answer. We saw folks hanging out way up on the nosebleed floors looking down at us probably too tired or too sun burnt to traverse the stairs like we just did. It was all a very lazy and surreal type of evacuation like the stuff bad dreams are made of. There was no one reslly rushing around and one thing we all needed - coffee...
As things didn't seem to be a state of pandemonium, dear hubby and I decided to saunter down the sidewalk with our crew in tow to the next tower where we knew Starbucks awaited us. The poor barista was flying solo and unknowingly soon-to-be overwhelmed by an onslaught of fellow zombie-like, pajama wearing evacuated resort goers speculating about the purpose of the record scratch-like alarms in the tower next door. Hubby and I treated the kids to whatever their hearts desired from the refrigerated case of pastries, and number one & two shared a "ginormous cinnamon roll." Number three and his rocking bed head enjoyed bites of our shared apple fritter in his footie jammies. My beloved grande cafe mocha never tasted so good. At that Starbucks table - $21.34 later - our family had a moment. Dear hubby and I won't forget it. It was good stuff all around. Sweet kids, impromptu treats, and our whole day before us - family life doesn't get much better than that.
As I write this we are still in Myrtle Beach, the place dear hubby lovingly likens to "pink flamingoes or other tacky yard art" where one just has to go to fork out tourist dollars from time to time. We are winding down day four of a six-day family vacation. We have a tendency to Griswold our vacations, and this is the longest family vacay we have ever treated ourselves to. Clark W. Griswold would be proud of what we suffered through this morning as it's something we'll surely all fondly remember even though the "BEE-ooo's" aren't something we want to hear (let alone be awakened by) ever again!