Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Unforgettable vacation moments: Police cars, flying objects and unibrows

The following are quick hits about some things that happened during our vacation. I’m still shaking my head at a lot of this stuff, but I survived and I can laugh about it now.

“Flattered but no thanks” moment: Where are you frrrrrrum?
I pick up the rental car with my two kids and my cousin (we’re giving him a ride to L.A. then picking him up on the way back). The guy at the counter, with the keys to my vehicle and access to all my personal information, is flirting with me. He looks to be about 21 and of Middle Eastern descent. (Note: I’m Latina but for whatever reason I’m a favorite among Middle Eastern men.) He’s staring straight into my eyes as if no one else is around. The fact that I’m traveling with a man and two kids doesn’t deter the kid. He’s keeps asking, “Where are you frrrrrrrum? I want to know where you’re frrrrrrrum.” He keeps telling me how cute I am. (“You’re too cute. You’re just too cute.”) My oldest daughter is getting a bit peeved and says, “Hello, I’m standing right here and that’s my mom!” My cousin walks over and whispers, “Girl, he’s looking at you like he wants to take you home.”  Awkward… More on this later.

“What the hell was that!” moment: Flying object on L.A. freeway
What looked like a white pole barreling straight for our windshield turned out to be a piece of a side molding used on mobile homes. Where did it come from? I have no idea, but it hit the hood of our rental car and wedged itself under the hood while we dragged it from the carpool lane to the far right of the freeway. It took three of us to pull it out from under the hood and that’s with the hood open. But we dislodge it, inspect the vehicle (just a few scratches) and everyone’s OK. We hit the road…

This is the flying object that hit our car on the freeway.

Pissed off moment: No food for you!
We arrive to our hotel after seven, eight or nine hours on the road. I honestly don’t remember anymore and the kids are tired and hungry. We wash up and head for the hotel restaurant. Several minutes go by and we still have no menus and no one has brought so much as a glass of water. Finally, someone takes our order. Forty minutes later, everyone around us is eating, drinking and leaving. When someone finally checks on our food, they discover our order was NEVER put in! We head for the door as we Google the closest McDonald’s on my phone. But wait… I’m pissed and my kids are hungry. I complain to the front desk who calls the restaurant manager. I give him a mix of “Oh no you did-ent” with a little bit of “I’m a single mom just trying to treat my kids to a nice vacation.” Within 20 minutes we’re having dinner and dessert in our room (and in our PJ’s), compliments of the hotel.

Dessert tastes so much better when it's free...

“How did we get here?” moment: It’s Saturday night and we’re in the back of a police car
It’s our first night in Santa Monica and we quickly discover that parking sucks. How? Our rental car gets towed. Thanks to the douche-bag, slime bag, valet parking dude who was a total jerk to me and my kids. Thankfully, there’s a Santa Monica police officer in his car questioning a guy and his underage girlfriend. They’re both drunk. I quickly stick my head in between the two idiots (Seriously, the cop says you can leave but you don’t’ stop talking and you don’t leave!). I tell the police officer what happened, point to the mean valet dude and even he calls the guy a jerk. He then asks, “Is it just you and your kids?” When I say yes, with a very worried mom look on my face, he says, “Get in the back of the car. I’ll drive you down to the police station. It’s not that far, but you shouldn’t be walking there at night alone.” As we're sitting in the back seat of a Santa Monica police car, the youngest turns to me and says, "So this is probably something I shouldn't tell dad, right?" I'm on the brink of tears so I just nod my head. Meanwhile, I catch my oldest taking frickin' pictures of the police car with her cell phone. My tears quickly disappear as I reach across the back seat and smack her. Yes, I smacked my kid while sitting in the back of a police car. Arrest me! Long story short, the parking fee was $120 and the towing fee was $205. @#$%!!!
*Side note: My daughters would like me to mention that the police officer was very cute. (He was!)
**Shout out: Officer Martinez, if you're reading this... Call me!

My kid's cell phone pic from the back seat of the police car. Ah, memories...

“OMG, I’m screwed!” moment: And gas is $4.89 a gallon!
Downtown L.A. and the gas light is on. It takes about 10 minutes to find a gas station and gas is $4.89 a gallon. @#$%!!! But whattaya gonna do, right? So I fill ‘er up and head inside to pay the cashier. I give my credit card to the cashier and she swipes it. “Maam, it says declined.” I tell her it must be a mistake and ask her to try it again. She swipes my card three more times and each time it’s declined. By the way, I only have about forty bucks on me. At the same this is happening, my cell phone is going off, but I keep hitting ignore to deal with the situation at hand. My phone rings again and this time I notice it’s a 1-877 number. It’s my bank telling me there’s been suspicious activity on my account and they need to verify some questionable transactions that have taken place in California. @#$%!!! So we review each “questionable transaction” and confirm each one is indeed mine because I’m standing in downtown L.A. trying to pay an $80 gas bill while my kids are waiting for their mother in the car. Eventually, the issue is resolved, the cashier swipes my card for the umpth-teenth time and it finally goes through. Time to head home…

“Seriously, dude, I’m not interested” moment: And please trim your eyebrows!
I take the rental car back and guess who’s there? Yup, “Where are you frrrrrrrrrum?” dude is there again. As I walk up to the counter, he immediately lights up and is suddenly grinning from ear to ear with the cheesiest smile. I’ll admit this much: being able to make a guy smile with my presence was kind of cute. However, his unibrow was not. This time he quickly goes from “Where are you frrrrrrrrrum?” to “You’re so, so cute” to “Can I call you?” Our time together was prolonged when I had to explain the whole debris on the freeway incident. He handed me a claim form and highlighted the fields for address and phone number. This concerns me. So I use my mom’s address and her home number. By the way, she’s standing to the side, laughing her ass off while she watches her daughter get hit on by the Unibrow Kid. I was then approached by Unibrow’s boss who asked me to recount the freeway debris incident. He explained that since I had opted to pay extra for the insurance that I wouldn’t be charged anything for the damage. Whew! Then he asked if I was single and if he could hit me up on Facebook. @#$%!!!


  1. Oh dear, you've got quite a handful trip there, my friend :)) Quite an adventure!

    The car getting towed was a pain; I would probably have kicked the valet's arse and made him pay if I were you. I salute you for being so patient ;)

    The cute police guy... what?!? No pics? LOL

    And the unibrow rental guy... HAHAHA I have to laugh at that one. Could imagine him grinning from ear to ear when he saw you returning the car. But I guess we've gotta to see the whole thing positively... You're one hot mama, don't forget that! :)

  2. Glad you got a free meal at the hotel!

  3. What a fun read, despite the calamities!! Glad you survived!!

  4. Oh dear. Haha I don't even know WHAT to say. :)

  5. Wow. That sounds like quite an adventure! And yes, it is funny NOW. Bless your heart...

    People just don't realize what it takes to travel as a single mom with kids, do they?

  6. What a CRAZY experience -- but just think, it's all great blog fodder!

    Congrats on keeping your head up and pushing through.

    Here's wishing you a far calmer NEXT vacation?!?!

  7. Not the best time for you, I'm sure, but a great read for us!

    (More desserts... you've earned them!)

  8. LOL ... what an adventure! Were you glad to be home?

  9. Woah, you guys had WAY more fun than we did! Back seat of a squad car? LUCKY! :-)

  10. DoSweatSmallStuff - Kicking myself for not getting a pic of Officer Martinez.

    Daniel - What? No police car rides on your vacation? Live a little! LOL

    Mandy - There's no place like home, there's no place like home...