Before I tell this story about my dad, let me give you a little background about what he was like. My dad was a physician--a pediatrician--and kind of had that "absent-minded professor" look going on. Like tweed jackets and a tie--but the tie was always a little askew--and salt and pepper hair that was always a little wild and uncombed. He had a little hint of an Irish accent that had mainly been lost after living in the United States for so long and a slightly dreamy way about him that made him seem preoccupied at times.
We went to Ireland often to visit his mother, brothers and sister and we were always invited to stay at various relatives homes while we were there. When my sister and I were younger, we didn't mind staying at our aunt's or uncle's house, but as we got older, we longed to stay in a hotel on these visits so we could do things like order room service and have functioning showers (that will be another blog!).
On this particular trip, my sister and I were in high school and my best friend, Marguerite, had come along with us. We desperately wanted to stay in a hotel and begged my dad, but he didn't want to offend any of his relatives so he kept avoiding committing to the hotel idea.
When we arrived in Dublin, we pleaded with my dad to let us stay in a hotel and he reluctantly agreed. First we had to go to my Grandmama's "flat" where she had set up a grand welcoming party. My grandmama loved to entertain and she would throw the most amazing parties with tables laid out with her best china and crystal, all kinds of foods and the most incredible desserts. And lots and lots of tea!
Dozens of relatives had gathered for the party and, after awhile, the jet lag set in and talk started turning to who we would be staying with. There were many offers, but my dad announced that this time we would try staying in a hotel. We were thrilled!
A few suggestions were made about hotel possibilities and someone brought my dad a phone and a directory. The conversation was lively in the room but quieted down as my dad started to make a call.
"Hi, this is Dr. Andrews," he said. "I'm looking for a hotel room for myself and three teenage girls."
Room bursts into laughter. My dad turns bright red and hangs up on the hotel.
Needless to say--we ended up staying with relatives again that trip!!