Corporate Entertainment – its a blast!
I awoke from my sleep suddenly to hear the screeching sound of a fire alarm. Could I really be hearing it right, I thought? It’s 4:00 am, and I need to get on the road in two hours. I jump out of bed and look around the hotel room. Where are my pants? My balloons – I need to take them. Here I am at 4:00 am in Grand Rapids, Michigan, scrambling to toss on my jeans over my pajamas, and all I’m thinking about is what do I need to take with me, just in case the Holiday Inn is on fire.
I look out my hallway door to see a woman with pink pajama bottoms with puppy dogs on them, a brown winter coat, and a wool net ski cap staring back at me. To the left of me looked like a homeless person from lower Wacker drive in Chicago. I’m sure that wasn’t the case, just a good-hearted person like myself who was jagged out of a good night’s sleep after a long day of work.
My thoughts went quickly back to…I have to get out of here! I scrambled around my room, forcing my body to move after performing for 6-hours at the DeVos Center for the Gordon Food Service (GFS) holiday party, which by the way, I was brilliant. I had a large group of people gathered around me, laughing and in awe of the balloon’s designs – WOW – I was on fire that night. I was in such demand that I worked an extra hour before they would let me leave.
I paused for a moment to hear the sleet pinging against the hotel window. I thought, should I pack it all up with two hours of sleep and drive back to Chicago? I needed to be ready for my 10:00 am show at the Four Seasons. Then it popped into my head – the building is on fire, gets your butt moving!
I quickly shoved my contact case in my pocket because I would need that! Balloons, where are my balloons? Clothes, I need my outfit for tomorrow’s show. What the heck? I’ll take it all.
So here I am, with my jacket on, all my balloon supplies, clothes, and anything else I could take walking down four flights of stairs after performing for 6-hours straight. Still groggy from being woken after 2-hours of sleep, my body felt like a cement mixer ran over it was making my way down to the lobby.
I get there, and I hear, “Sorry folks, the alarm was set off by somebody smoking in the hallway.” What! Somebody needed a late-night smoke, and they were too stupid to walk outside? Well, at least I can toss my stuff in the car that I don’t need, and I’d be ready to leave early in the morning.
As I waited for the one working elevator at the hotel to arrive, I saw the woman in the pink doggy pajamas with her husband. The husband was saying something that “It wasn’t you, honey, it’s just that…” and the elevator came, and I figured I needed sleep. It was more important than listening to this guy. I did hear them arrive late, around 2:00 am, saying something in the hallway about “I happy to get to his room and hopefully he didn’t make too much of a fool of himself,” and then they closed the door. As I was getting ready to fall back to sleep, I heard this guy again. “I don’t feel good, I feel like I’m going to…” and the door shut.” I felt a little sorry for the guy since we were woken out of a drunken stupor, walked down four flights of stairs, pissed off his wife, and now was going to show her at 4:00 am what he drank all night. Holiday’s, gots to love them.
I woke up at 6:00 am to the telephone ringing. “This is your courteous wake-up call” Heck of a lot better than the first wake-up call at 4:00 am, I thought. I planned to leave Grand Rapids at 7:00 am with a 3-hour drive. I will arrive in Chicago at 9:00 am as long as the weather is in my favor. For those of you who don’t travel, Michigan is 1-hour ahead of Chicago. I was going to travel backward in time—Oh boy!
I started to look for my shaving bag when I realized that my brilliant idea-leaving thing in the car meant I put my shaving bag in the trunk of the car and brought it by balloon pump back in the room. So I had to go to the car to get my stuff. I forgot to tell you the toilet had the habit of filling to the brim before it slowly drained. It played a game with you…. I am going to overflow – fooled ya; I’ll drain.
I was happy to hit the road and head back to Chicago. Along the way, I heard my GPS correct me several times since Michigan could not decide on which side to place the exits. Sometimes you will be driving, and you need to exit on the right side and just a mile or two down the exit on the left side. Make it fun when you are traveling at 80 miles an hour, it’s drizzling, and the tempters are 32-33 degrees.
I did learn that Mcdonald’s is in Walmarts. Who would think they would advertise on the expressway. I followed the highway signs to McDonald’s for breakfast, while driving it brought me through a small town and to Walmart. I would have been cool if McD’s had a drive-through, but nope. So, on I went back to the highway searching for another McD’s.
Talk about a long weekend – six hours of balloon entertaining in Grand Rapids Saturday night, Sunday 3-hour Christmas party in Chicago, followed by a VFW Christmas Party finishing at an Aurelio’s in Crete. When I arrived home that night at 9:00 am, I heard my 2.5-year old son scream, “Dad’s home, let play!” It didn’t matter what crazy things happened the past two days – it was time to play.
Happy Holiday and may you travel this holiday season safely.
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