As I’m writing this I’m a mere 12 hours into recovery after spending almost a month traveling. I had short stops at home but for the most part I’ve been bopping back between the East and West Coasts. One of the strangest things about my trips has been traveling with my husband Kliff.
It’s been a very long time since it’s just been the two of us together wheeling our suitcases. For the last twenty something years our trips have included at least one of our children. So, it’s been a tad weird to have it be just the two of us and all of this alone time has made me notice travel traits about my husband that I’ve either missed or overlooked because I was busy dispensing antibacterial hand gel to a kid.
The primary thing I discovered about “Travel Kliff” is that he never gets ruffled. It seems nothing can upset his out-of-town mojo. Not potential weather delays, not that we’re perhaps on 737 Max or even a hotel fire. Yes, an impending hotel inferno was met with a casual calm that was equal parts eerie and impressive.
When we were in D.C. last month in the middle of a frigid Georgetown night the hotel fire alarm not only went off but a man who seemed more than a little panicked was on a loudspeaker yelling at all the guests to evacuate with haste. All of that was almost drowned out by the screeching sounds of sirens from a cavalcade of fire trucks. As I’m throwing a coat on over my pajamas while grabbing my shoes and racing for the door I look behind me and notice that my husband is brushing his teeth.
I’m all for best practices when it comes to dental hygiene but I’m thinking when you’re on the 10th floor of a hotel that is quite possibly on fire it’s okay to take a hard pass on fresh breath. For a brief moment I was confused and speechless but then I found my voice and screamed, “Let’s go! It’s not like you’re going to make out with a fire fighter!”
My panic pronouncement was greeted with an eye roll as we finally headed towards the exit. Our progress was impeded when my husband decided to be the last man standing and held the door for the other hotel guests so they could charge down 10 flights of stairs.
This had me torn. It was my own little “Sophie’s choice.” Do I stay by my husband’s side as he chivalrously holds the exit door or do I tell him, “See you outside. It’s been real” and make a run for the stairs?
Thankfully, I didn’t have to make a decision because he pushed me towards the stairs and soon followed. When we finally made it outside the hotel the scene was impressive. There were loads of fire trucks, lots of disgruntled, freezing cold guests and me assuaging my panic by texting our children at 2 a.m. to let them know that we had escaped certain death but not before their dad had brushed his teeth.
Fortunately, the hotel fire was apparently not a fire because we were all let back into the hotel but not before some fire fighting robot thing attached to ladder did recon through some of the upper windows.
When we were finally safe and sound in our room I told my husband I was very impressed with his almost action hero attitude in an emergency situation. Too bad he didn’t hear me. He was in the bathroom flossing.