The wedding Saturday night was a spectacular, gorgeous affair. My niece Cori and her husband Steve were beaming their love so bright, most of us needed sunglasses during the ceremony. The reception was a blast as we all bore witness to the love that was evident in the room that night. At one point my sister in law Jean and I began lamenting our lousy sleep patterns as of late, both complaining how sleep was hard to come by… which if I had been paying closer attention, I would have realized was a harbinger of my night to come.
The doll and I returned to our hotel room, ahead of my sister and her family and snuggled in close before falling asleep. An hour and a half later, I was awakened by my sister to “roll over” as I was snoring. Unfortunately-due to my own insomniac issues, that ended my sleep for the night. For the next eight hours I tossed, turned, said numerous rosaries, tried counting sheep, counting backwards from 100, multiplication tables up to 13, tried different pillows, got dressed, called home and cried to my husband about not being able to sleep (yes the irony is I woke him up and kept him from sleeping-misery loves company right?), ate breakfast, climbed back into bed and stewed-but never fell back to sleep.
I was also less than delightful when everyone else woke up from their peaceful rested slumber.
Half way through the morning, as I continued stewing in my own self pity, I received a text from my sister in law that they were going to try and go on a carriage ride that day, if we were interested in joining them. I looked over at the doll and decided this would be best-a chance to get away and learn a little bit about Charleston’s history. The only issue being, we had to be back at our hotel by 2:30 pm as we had a family engagement to attend with a shuttle scheduled to pick us up. If we played our cards right, we could take a cab downtown, ride the carriage and be back in time for the shuttle. With little other thought, we called for a cab, grabbed our stuff and left…
Without a phone or the cab’s phone number.
When we arrived downtown, the doll and I purchased tickets for the carriage ride, but were unable to hook up with my brother and his family. Instead we wandered over to the big red barn and sat a bit discouraged that nothing was working out. Just then one of the attendants decided to let us ride on an earlier carriage and off we went-to see all the magnificent homes of Charleston. At one point I looked over at the doll whose eyes seemed to have glossed over. “How are you doing?” I quietly asked. “Fine, I kind of wish I was still in bed asleep though”. “Well I wish I had gotten sleep…so buck up and enjoy the ride” I replied.
The hour long ride was nice and stock full of little tidbits of information about Charleston and the people who’ve lived there. Our driver was big on the preservation of the area and talked incessantly about which houses had been preserved and such. While I enjoyed the ride, I could understand why the doll was a bit bored: talking history and houses wasn’t her cup of tea. When the ride ended, we departed in hopes of hailing a cab to carry us back to the hotel. That’s when we discovered I had left the cab’s phone number behind.
Panic set in….
I’m sure the doll thought her mother had gone insane. I searched through my purse, she searched through the purse and all I kept thinking was “We’re stranded”. “Doll, we have to find a cab…” I kept saying, hoping magically one would appear-but after the night I had, I knew for sure, none would be found. “If we miss the shuttle, you and I will drive there okay? I’ll get directions and we’ll get there eventually” I rationalized to her (myself). “What about Uncle Dan…couldn’t he give us a ride?” She asked. Not knowing where my brother was in the sea of humanity surrounding us, I felt like we were trapped. We began walking toward one of the main streets and moved as traffic allowed. “I know, if we find a restaurant with Wi-Fi I can at least contact your Aunt Terri and tell her to hold the shuttle for us…or make the call for a cab for us…” I said to the doll. “Mom, look, here’s a cab” the doll said to me, but it didn’t register. “Come on doll lets move…” I said beginning to walk faster. “MOM!” the doll snapped at me. Stopping I turned back toward her as she said, “Look, here’s a cab”. Following her pointed hand, she was right…there was a cab stopped directly in front of us.
I reached up and began pounding on the window. The driver, rolled down his window and loud reggae music emanated from within. “Is there any way you could get us back to our hotel…?” I asked, a note of panic in my voice. “Where are you heading?” he asked. After exchanging information he agreed. Opening the side door to his van, we realized he had another fair currently occupying one of the back seats. Looking at the doll I pushed her to sit next to the man, while I climbed into the front and we were off.
We arrived back at the hotel at 2:22 pm-just enough time to run in, grab our swim suits and go to the bathroom; before our shuttle left for the afternoon. I’m still shocked we had made it back in time..
I eventually fell asleep Sunday night around 11 pm when I realized I had some Benadryl in my purse and took it.