"the nicest and the sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple pleasure, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."
Lucy Maud Montgomery

Thursday, October 31, 2013

how my kindle*, a light stick and a protein shake saved my life...

...moving on.  When we woke (around 8:00am) it was still very dark and cold.  We could hear the wind howling outside the hotel room window and decided the best place to be was under the blankets.  A quick trip to the restroom proved to be a near-fatal experience without electricity so under the covers I stayed until about noon.  Then we put on another layer of clothes and decided to venture down to the lobby.

It was terribly cold but we were inside and grateful for at least that much.  There were no emergency lights in the hallways and visions of "The Shining" kept coming to mind as we felt our way down long corridors and stairwells towards the lobby.  At the last moment, before closing the door to our room, we realized there would be no way back in so we propped the door open and hoped our stuff would still be there, having no idea how many of us had  been trapped.

out our hotel window

After a short perilous walk along the walls we were startled to find the lobby, with light streaming in from the doors, completely empty and those same doors locked.  I not only was chilled but was now chilled to the core with the thoughts my mind was creating.  We called out but there was no answer.  A quick look around and we noticed that nothing seemed awry...desk was neat, vending machines were still intact (I wanted to break one open so we could get something to eat/drink), coffee machine with old grounds and coffee from the day before.  Were we here alone?  Outside we could see nothing but snow, it was deep and the wind was blowing drifts higher than our cars and those same hotel doors. 

Then we heard muffled voices and tried to follow their direction.  After a few dead end hallways we found several people sitting in the lounge chairs around the pool.  This seemed like a fools folly to me but the pool was still warm and the group was trying to soak up the last bit of heat.  There were eleven of us, the hotel manager, and two housekeepers included.    We tried to find out as much information as possible and were told that we were in a 'mandatory' shelter in place order.  IF anyone could get out and on the roads they would be immediately jailed.  (I don't know how they would enforce this since no one, not even emergency services, could go anywhere).  There were power lines down everywhere and high winds blowing snow so no visibility.  This was a THREE day mandatory order with the thought being that emergency services could be restored by then.  We huddled in and began to wonder about food, flashlights, water, candles, etc. (breaking in to the vending machines)...

The 'girls' (as the housekeepers were called) found a few flashlights but we missed out on getting one.  Someone put out some Oreo's and we each had two.  They didn't last long!  Later in the evening some potato chips appeared and that was dinner.  Still no way in to the vending machines.  We decided to head back to our room before dark and took some extra blankets with us.  When we were safely back in our room I remember that I had a light stick in my bag.  (I was planning a little anniversary trick on the hubs) So I dug it out and viola' we had 'light.'  It wasn't much be it did light the way to the restroom and back to the lobby when necessary. 

We did have some food in a box in the car that hubby managed to get in.  We shared crackers and nutri-grain bars holding back a few in case times got really desperate.  The hotel had absolutely no back-up plan for this type of situation.  It is a seasonal resort and as such had never experienced this kind of weather in early October.  We were locked in the hotel, pretty much stayed in our room, under several blankets with all our 'summer' clothes on and waiting.  I did have my Kindle for several hours and we watched an old episode of 'The Bob Newhart Show,' which led to much reminiscing about the '70's!! 

I don't remember much about the next two days, I think I must have slept on and off, each time I woke up hubby was sitting at the window looking at the snow and trying to read his book.  One of  the other guests suggested to the manager that we all be moved to rooms closest to the lobby so we would all be in one place and there would be no need to wander the halls looking for the other people trapped there.  So we moved, by the light of a light stick and the Kindle we moved to another room.  A seemingly colder room, so that now the manager could keep his eye on us.  (still would not break into the vending machines.)

The third day the 'shelter in place' order was lifted and the doors unlocked.  We could leave if we so desired but there really was no way to do that.  The roads had not been cleared, the power had not been restored, the vending machines were still intact.   Suddenly a man who lived down around the corner (?) came by with a thermos of hot water.  We all lined up for 1/2 cup of the hot goodness which we carried back to our room and poured a protein shake into.  It was the first warm thing we had to drink in those three days and it was sooo good.  A few hearty souls decided to leave on foot but we thought it best to wait one more day.  So then we ended up with a flashlight and a light stick!

By the fourth day the roads out front had been cleared, still no power, so we decided to head out...

Next I'll tell you the story about the hotel manager and why we rarely saw him through this ordeal.


  1. This has the makings of a great novel! Where was that manager? I'm guessing he had some kind of heat...a fireplace, generator?

  2. What? No canned food in the kitchen?
    Definitely, a memory to be told.

  3. Seasonal or not, they should have had some sort of preparations or emergency checklist. That sort of thing could happen anytime.
    Glad you made it out safely, but I hope you didn't have to pay for your 'stay'.
    God bless.

  4. No kitchen in this hotel? No milk or cereal? That's a shame and I would certainly mention this to the head of the hotel line that owns this place! It would be cold enough outside to keep food...like milk or something. Your tale is a good Halloween one because it's true! I can't wait for the next chapter! Just reading about no heat gave me the chills!

  5. I'm hooked. Hurry up and post more !

  6. Oh my gosh, i just came in on this story... I have to go back and find the beginning of it all!!


  7. the adventures you have!!!!! oh my! I would say from now on you might want to bring flash lights and food when you go on vacation in october in case this happens again!


  8. I don't know whether to hope things get better (for your sake) or worse (story line)!

  9. Joanne- I am reading backwards because I have been gone. Your heart must have been thumping with all that was going on. I IMMEDIATELY thought of The Shining. lol Scary!!!! xo Diana

  10. I'm not sure weather to laugh or cry about this. You do tell a great story about the disaster that was your vacation. I'm just glad that you survived. I'm sure it was awful and you must have been so hungry and cold.


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