Vacation, Day 4, Part 1: Best Laid Plans for Breakfast

It seemed so simple. Rather than go out and get our third consecutive breakfast buffet somewhere, why not get some Krispy Kreme doughnuts and bring them back to the room? There was a Haagen Dazs store right across the street from our hotel, and in the window was a neon sign advertising Krispy Kreme. We all love Krispy Kreme, although J.Hooligan and Diamondqueen seemed particularly thrilled with this plan. I got dressed and headed downstairs for what I assumed would be a simple donut run.

The first thing I noticed was the smoky haze in the already hot mid-morning air. We’d heard about this possibility on the news the previous night: There were fires in North Carolina, and the wind would be blowing from the south on Saturday, carrying the smoke right up to where we were. Sure enough, smoke! It was an indication of what an uncomfortable day lay ahead (not to mention the temperature).

The real dash to my spirits came, though, when I approached the Haagen Dazs store — they weren’t open. Who the hell advertises Krispy Kreme doughnuts and isn’t open in the morning to make them available for breakfast (and a late breakfast at that)? I debated whether to go back to the room right away. Instead, I turned north up the avenue and started scoping out other options.

After three blocks I’d found several big souvenir shops, a fudge shop, a restaurant I thought might be a possibility for dinner until I saw a sign for pole dancing contests on Wednesday nights. And there were two informal eateries with, of course, breakfast buffets.

Still hopeful, I turned my feet back toward the hotel but peered through the smoky air to see if the Haagen Dazs store had opened yet. It had! I hurried inside, scuttled back to the Krispy Kreme display, and it was empty. Empty. What the…

Resigned, I returned to the hotel room. The Hooligans and Diamondqueen looked up hopefully, until I announced, “I am SO friggin’ mad…”

We decided to head down the street to one of the breakfast buffets. J.Hooligan was crushed; he’d had his mouth all set for Krispy Kreme chocolate doughnuts. We dangled the promise of souvenir shopping to get the kids to move down the street through the thick air.

The breakfast buffet was fine. Both kids stuffed themselves with bacon. S.Hooligan fancied some little sugar cookies. I got some more good watermelon, and drank two iced teas and a glass of ice water, already dehydrated from walking in the heat. We found more stuff to buy at the shops, then looked around for a miniature golf course.

I knew there was one just around the corner from the hotel because I could see the big pirate’s ship from our fifth floor hall windows. On our way to the restaurant, though, we also saw something called Jungleland Golf. J. and S. seemed to find that name appealing, so we headed up to the next street.

It was blistering hot, even with the shade from the palm trees and the enormous animal figures. J.insisted on getting a bottle of soda before we even started. Diamondqueen couldn’t breathe because of the smoke. But we played all the holes, then went into the game room to cool off before returning to the hotel. “Ah, a cool, dark game room is so refreshing after a hot golf course,” J. sighed.

He and S. played some arcade games. They both seemed most interested in one that spit out small colored rubber balls after the balls went through an elaborate obstacle course. At least they got something for the money. These machines didn’t even spit out tickets to exchange for little pieces of junk like most arcades.

When we got back to the hotel room, everyone collapsed, even the kids. And they were content to watch TV and let the beach wait, which was a big relief to Diamondqueen and me. We crawled between the sandy sheets and took naps and didn’t even worry about what the Hooligans might be doing with their chips and candy.

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