Millie Noe, hotel inspector.
It was easy to get in to this place.
The owners, Aunt Susie Le Q and Uncle Muzzeltoff bought it a couple of months ago. And they pretty much had to invite us. Because we girls, as in my mother, my aunts and my cousins like to spend a little time together every now and then. And there aren't very many places that will take us. Especially since The Old Burnt Damn in Townsend closed it's doors. That was a crying shame. There is a new Burnt Damn Express in Oshkosh. It's pretty tight quarters for all of us, but doable, if you don't mind sleeping in a lobby. Of course there is also Le Condo. A fine establishment that my mother owns in Lodi, not far from my house. It's is roomy enough. But that last blizzard that had everybody stuck in the snow bank and the snow angel party left a bad taste in some of the guests mouths.
And besides, it's nice to get out and see the world.
Do a little traveling.
That is why my mother, my sister Louisa, and I, immediately booked ourselves a room in August at the new all inclusive resort in Wautoma, way back in June.
We wanted to be there for the grand opening.
I don't know about you, but I am a big fan of all inclusive places. Like that one in Punta Cana that Sven and I vacationed at in February. The beach was amazing. And all the pools, food, food, food, entertainment everywhere and all the drinks you wanted. It was....
My sister says this place in Wautoma is not an all inclusive resort.
It's an all elusive resort.
Which is basically the same thing. It's just that there is no beach, although there is a creek running through the back yard. There is no pool. But there are three bathrooms.
And you have to bring your own food and drinks. But you can have as much as you want, whenever you want. And there is a countertop to set it on and a refrigerator where you can store your perishables.
It's easy to get to.
That's a plus.
The longest distance any of us had to drive was my sister-in-law. And Jeanne Lynn had to go it alone because Peggy-Pooh cancelled in the end. Something about being a principal with a lot of work to do and an important meeting. It would have been just over an hour if Jeanne Lynn hadn't cut through Lodi and got stuck behind "the fucking parade," as she put it.
But that wasn't The Muzz On Inn's fault.
Or Jeanne Lynn's.
Susie the Duck Days is a well-kept secret for anyone living outside of Lodi.
And how would the new owners of The Muzz on Inn know that the lady on google maps app tells you to take a left when you should not take a left and then says, "you have reached your final designation," when you have not reached your final destination?
But in spite of it all, we all made it.
And I have to say, we were all a little bit taken aback at all the signs upon arrival.
And then I read the room assignments.
Now, I had specifically asked for the master suite with a jacuzzi and hot tub overlooking a pond. So when I saw my name with a number 5 next to it. Well, you can only imagine my surprise.
I went straight to the front desk to speak with the manager.
But there was no one there.
"Not a problem," I thought. "I can always straighten things out later."
There was a volunteer bartender on duty making Bloody Marys for everybody.
It was me.
But I kept screwing it up.
So, I just watched my Aunt Victoria put them all together.
We admired the view in the back through the lobby windowed wall, as one of my cousins had the floor.
Renee could do stand up. But she prefers to sit when she is not running. And she would rather tell her stories as they come rather than waiting to go on stage at a specified time. But I can tell you with authority that her husband keeps their place cold enough to hang meat in the summer and hot enough to roast marshmallows in the winter. She does not carry mace with her on her early morning runs. Because if she did, she would definitely spray it in her own face. And if she carried it, she would have to wear a backpack. And she does not want to wear a backpack. And besides that, she would have to point her finger at the would-be perpetrator and say, "hang on a second," while she fiddled around behind herself trying to dig the mace out. And she hates the cold and winter. More than any living being. Even more than my friend Vol Lindsey does. That's why she was pissed when her husband said he wanted to retire in Waupaca right after she'd suggested Arizona.
Now I don't know if you have seen the big story on the news.
The one that no one is covering.
There happens to be a war going on right here. Right under our noses.
Bernie Sanders would call it Yuge!
But with all the tweets these days about women being called dogs and such, it is barely being picked up.
In all honesty, I think I might be the only one reporting it. And I am not a reporter. I am a hotel inspector.
It's called The Towlrack War.
Some call it The Towlbar War.
Not to be confused with the Taliban or the Iraq War.
You see, Susie Le Q would like her kitchen towel rack to be hung on the inside of her cupboard door.
But Muzzletoff says, "No, that bar should hang on the outside of the door."
And Susie Le Q says, "No, Muzzy, I want it to be on the inside of the door."
And then Muzzletoff says, "No Susie, it should be on the outside."
Well, Susie Le Q won the battle when we were sitting in the lobby with our Bloody Marys that day, because Muzzletoff wasn't even around to defend himself. That chicken shit high tailed it out of there and booked a room at the New Burnt Damn Express over in Oshkosh as soon as he heard we were coming.
The Muzz on Inn is full of original artwork.
Here is a painting by Muzzletoff's mother.
This one is my favorite.
But do not tell Renee.
Here is stain glass piece done by another local artist.
And this here is the lobby fireplace.
But we didn't have a lot of time to sit around and ooh and ahh at everything.
Susie Le Q had planned an afternoon excursion.
I love afternoon excursions.
I remember that one in Punta Cana that Sven and I went on. It involved a catamaran, snorkeling, lobster and rum and...
Anyway, we all piled in to two vehicles, drove three blocks south and landed at....
They always say, "We're going down de Dogger's," so obviously it is south.
Here is the Dogger's crew and entertainment staff.
And here are some of us.
And here are most of us.
Jeanne Lynn why are you wearing sunglasses?
And then Jeanne Lynn took off her sunglasses and she showed us how to drop box our pictures to each other. She sent me some real good ones.
And then my mom hollered out, "Does anyone here have a land line that would like to have a conversation with me?"
By the way, I can't find any of those pictures from Jeanne Lynn in a drop box or anywhere else.
And then Bridgette brought over a special surprise as ordered by Susie Le Que.
And then Victoria and I rang the bell.
It was kind of fun.
So, we rang it again.
And then again.
So, by the time we were shuttled back to The Muzz on Inn for dinner, it was much appreciated that we had at least one designated driver among us.
That would be my cousin, Amy.
You see that little bump?
That is going to be a baby in December.
And Arthur, Amy's four-year-old is going to name his brother, Skates.
He needs no ultrasound.
He knows it is a boy.
He will not have it any other way.
"Gramma Vicki can stop bringing over girl hats," he said.
It's too bad, because Amy and her husband didn't want to know in advance.
We mowed through a batch of barbeque and plowed through trays of snacks lined up on the counter at the Muzz on Inn.
Then we all hung out on the back deck once we discovered where my mom and Louisa had disappeared to.
And then we settled in the main lobby in our pajamas.
People were blowing up airbeds and mixing drinks and telling stories.
And then a pizza delivery guy showed up.
No. It wasn't a pizza delivery guy.
It was my cousin Michael.
He just stopped in to pick up his wife.
It was getting late.
So, I went to check about my room again.
Well son of a bitch.
"I guess I'll sleep with you on the blow up mattress," I said to Louisa.
"Well, duh," she said.
"Good night," said my mom.
"Good night," we answered.
And she wandered down the hall to the master suite.
The pajama party in the lobby continued.
Louisa and I sang, "Voulez vous coucher avec moi," and nobody recognized it.
And then my aunt Victoria says, "Why can't I just sleep on the couch?"
And then her daughter Tari stubbed her toe on the brick sitting in the self serve laundry room, searching for a blanket for her mother.
And then I said, "Well, if you are staying out here, I am taking your spot. That was on my confirmation to begin with."
So, I retired for the night.
They say that just before dawn, Louisa rolled over and said, "Peggy-Pooh, you made it after all," to Victoira, who ended up on the air mattress next to her.
And then the sun came up.
And then we all enjoyed a delicious platter of fruit, a pitcher of orange juice, and a fantastic breakfast casserole.
And then it was time to go.
I went to the front desk to check out.
So long Susie Le Q.
Thank you for the hospitality and wonderful time.
I am rating this visit to The Muzz on Inn, four and a half stars. It was a landside five until I had to deduct that half a star on account of the egg casserole. It could have used a little more cheese.
"Sixteen ounces is insane!" Victoria yelled before placing the casserole back in the oven for the last fifteen minutes after topping with shredded cheddar. "I am not doing it."
"But that's what the recipe calls for," said Susie.
"Well, it ain't happening!" snapped her sister.
Thanks for the great time Bridgette.
And Mom, what's with the mug of beer on your head?
The war has ended.
That's not a rack.
That's not a bar.
It's a hook!