15 suitcases, 4 roll-ons, 3 kids, 2 adults, 1 room...

The blog you've been waiting for...

Today marks one month of being in a hotel.

It's interesting... not all bad, but we've had some moments...

In our first or second week, we were woken at 6am to a high-pitched alarm going off. We quickly woke the kids, got them dressed, and headed to the fire stairs. By the time we reached the bottom and outside, the fire department was pulling up to the hotel. We had only taken two minutes tops to get out and the twins LOVED seeing the ladder arrive. It was a bitterly cold morning but we weren't outside long as it was established someone had burnt toast in their room and opened their door to help get the smoke out and had triggered the alarm. The kids were nervous wrecks for the next few nights and they've slept in their clothes every night since- despite us telling them it was just an accident.

American food is inherently weird... Whilst it might look 'nice' it doesn't mean it's flavoursome or nice to eat. I got ahead of the curve this trip and added myself to a foodies group on Facebook to try and help with dining out options if we were able to. Within the hotel, I've only eaten scrambled eggs when they're available and a cup of tea which I bring the tea bag down from our room to use because American tea isn't Yorkshire Tea. I have to bring down my own mug on weekends as well as they only use paper cups and plates for some reason...

We've eaten mostly in the hotel room on the stove of death. People who know me know that my tiny two-pot stovetop doesn't fit two pots (especially cooking for five) if you want to be able to control the temperature... or want to stir anything as the overhead cabinets get in the way. I've burnt myself more in a month than a lifetime of cooking. The electric cooktop doesn't heat evenly either so we've had a mish-mash of 'cooked meats' which ultimately have ended up being microwaved much to my dismay.

I'm grateful for the warm room and somewhere to sleep. I am ok that this is my little kitchen for now as I know eventually we will move into a home that we can make yummy meals in more easily...

We did giggle because another couple we met in the hotel moved out after four days because it was impossible to live in... We have five of us...

Language, Language, Language

Now we knew from the last trip, our accents apparently are inaudible to some/most Americans. For the most part, DC is more multicultural than most places and we've only run into trouble a couple of times. My email, is jclydecreative and I've had to give that to a few people in the last couple of weeks... one particular time sent TT in to fits of snort laughs and left me biting my tongue for dear life...

"Ma'am may I have your email please"

"Sure, It's Jclydecreative@.......com"

"J...Cl...can you spell that for me?"

"J, C, L, Y"


"No, Y... for yogurt, yoyo"

"Ohhhhh YYyyyyyyyy, mmmhmm next?"

"Jcly, d,e, creative"


"No, Jclydecreative... Cre-ate-tive (spelling it out phonetically)"

Insert snaffles from TT next to me. I elbow her to shush.

"Yeah, Jclyde3333338888555555"

Sigh... "No, creative. C-R-E-A-T-I-V-E"

More giggles...

"Can you write it down for me?"

Takes paper and writes down jclydecreaitve

"OOOHHHHHH Jclydecreative385"

"NO! No numbers, just Jclydecreative"

Insert LOUD snort laughs out of TT.

As funny as these interactions are, it's bloody frustrating at the same time. We speak the same language, your country has SO many different accents and we can understand them easiely. It blows my mind, particularly how difficult it seems to understand us. I know sort of understand how frustrated my Granny must have been moving from Northern Ireland to Adelaide, Australia in the 50's as she found no one understood her either. She made friends with a Scottish lady up the road and together they confused everyone together. She moved home 3 years later due to homesickness and being tired of having no one to understand her.

Hubby hasn't escaped the accent hangup either. I've spent many a day in snort laughs as he tries so hard to spell, sound and sign out what he is needing to communicate. The kids particular favourite is the number 8. To get the car out of the hotel car park we have a code to give them and when he dials downstairs and asks for _8___ only to hear him say no, 8. Noooooo 8 like 7,8,9... as in counting 8. It cracks us all up.

As hilarious as the meme next to this is, it's also happened. America loves automated call menus. The phone company and bank are my two favourites where it doesn't matter what hubby says to them it ends up saying "Please hold while we connect you to a sales representative." Occasionally he will crack it with the automated menu and we hear him yelling AGENT! PERSON! HUMAN! GOD DAMMIT! haha

We have actually found the international Uber drivers to be the most fun. We have some of the best conversations with them as we find out where they came from and vice versa. So many of them have either traveled to Australia or have family who lives there which makes things a little easier- but it's a different tolerance level to our accents which is lovely.

So far we have had drivers from Eritrea, Cameroon, Jordan, South Africa, Colombia, and a few Americans and we've enjoyed every ride. Hubs had one the other night who he said was practicing to be a NASCAR driver and he sent me his love in case he didn't make it home alive. We've both had a couple where the GPS they're meant to follow is optional and they end up lost.

Hotel Life:

The hotel overall has been awesome. The staff here have more than made up for any complaints we could have ever decided to have. Yeah, it's small for five people but we are together and out of the snowy weather and we see people far worse off right outside the door camping in tents in the snow. The kids have made friends with the kitchen staff who lovingly greet them every morning, and we have made friends with the reception staff who tolerate us :p. On a Wednesday evening, they hold a social where nibbles, soup, drinks, and wine are served to get everyone together downstairs. We've been to a few now and on the third week I had two wine glasses and hubs had two beer glasses to return. The staff cracked up laughing and we said "You know you live here when..." They found out it was Australia day back home (thanks kids) and we were presented with a 6 pack of the beer hubs liked and a couple of glasses of wine.

It was a really nice gesture and one hubby was thrilled about. The following afternoon the kids were given small gifts as well, so needless to say they feel right at home.

Marijuana is legal here in DC... I hate drugs, being around them, and smelling them. It turns my stomach and honestly is something I don't want my kids growing up around. A couple of nights ago before bed, a thick nauseating smell came into our hotel room when the kids were asleep. Someone was smoking pot in their room or the corridor and it was everywhere. We shoved towels at the door and realised we have some major gaps down the side of each door so we shoved more towels in those as well. We turned on the aircon and it helped to take it out of our room a bit. The following morning at breaky we asked the hotel manager (he's been at the door at breaky to check vaccinations of new guests) if it was normal in the hotel (it wasn't) and we said someone had burnt a candle over the top as the corridors now smelt even worse. He disappeared to investigate... When we got back upstairs he had emptied two cans of the most feral air spray into the corridors and that had us dry heaving and burning our eyes all the way back to the room.

We are really looking forward to moving day, and with another week to go here, we hope it continues to be the quirky, friendly place it is. Hotel life ain't that bad...