Check and Double Check


Several years ago my husband and I, plus one of our sons and his wife, visited my husband’s mother at her condo in Florida.  We had decided that midway through our stay, we would go down and spend some time in Key West and I had reserved a couple of rooms at a hotel there.  It was a beautiful day and we got up bright and early to enjoy the drive across the highway and bridges that arch from south Florida across islands and inlets to the end of the road in Key West. We arrived at the inn and I marched confidently into the office, announcing to the manager that we were there.  “We have two reservations” I stood up tall and stated positively. I gave the confirmation number and added, “Last name is Kunkel.”  And I even spelled it, “K-U-N-K-E-L” so there would be no mistake.  The clerk looked grief stricken as he informed me that our reservations had been for yesterday and he had nothing open.  He graciously called everyone he knew who managed area inns and hotels and managed to finally locate something. We didn’t want to head four hours back up the coast so we decided to chalk it up to experience and enjoy our vacation. We were a little taken aback with the new rooms, whose decor was based on multiples of odd, colorfully painted wooden fish in a variety of sizes — evident as wall hangings and lamp bases.  They were everywhere.  Years later, the memory continues to thrive, with a similar fish that gets passed back and forth, wrapped and disguised as a Christmas or birthday present, hidden in a car or kayak during family camping trips or left in a dresser drawer during family visits.  I know the fish was hidden by my son someplace here at Christmastime but I’ll be darned if I can find that darn thing.  And call me paranoid — but I double check reservations since that experience.

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