This isn’t the weekend I had planned.
I’m supposed to be 27-stories in the sky at the Beachwalk Resort in Hallandale Beach, FL. Instead, I’m sitting at my dining table in Pompano Beach, deathly afraid of more poop and vomit.
My family and I were set to take full advantage of a complimentary stay at the newly-renovated resort, about 30 minutes south on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. For 36 hours, we’d relax on the beach, enjoy delicious meals, and traverse through Aventura and Hollywood on the hotel-provided shuttle.
Beachwalk Resort offered a complimentary weekend in a two-room suite for review purposes. Opinions were not directed by Beachwalk Resort and are, as always, my own.
With slightly less disdain than usual, I locked the door to my office Friday afternoon, and began my daily battle with my fellow commuters on I-95. Excited to hear about our accommodations, I called my wife, who had presumably arrived at the hotel a couple hours earlier with our two sons in tow.
The line picked up, and I was greeted with a prolonged sigh. Uh-oh.
What followed was a tale of horror every parent of a flu-ravaged child knows too well.
No Walk on the Beach
As my wife pulled into the covered circular driveway of the Beachwalk Resort, our 7-year-old promptly lost his lunch all over the back seat, center console, and every other absorbent material in her SUV.
Naturally, this took her – and the hotel valet – completely by surprise. Unfortunately, neither was properly prepared to handle it. As she rushed to get him out of the car and cleaned up, the valet nervously asked for her room number, though she hadn’t checked in yet.
Then the valet suggested to my wife that she move her car out of the driveway.
She was a little preoccupied, as noted, and I can only assume the valet is still alive, but I’m guessing his ears may still be smoking a bit.
Somehow the car was moved out of the way of other incoming guests and my family made it to the front desk. Upon making it to the room, our oldest vomited once again – and it was revealed he’d gone full code brown at some point on the journey up. She had just coaxed him into the bath when I’d decided to call and check on them.
Needless to say, I was no longer in my state of blissful ignorance. Things only got worse when I asked about the state of the vehicle.
Lacking any on-site detailing service, the valet’s solution was to crack the windows a bit, and store it overnight in the parking garage, ensuring we’d likely be dealing with leftover stains and scents well into the summer.
I jumped off the phone and began calling every mobile detailing service I knew of – or could find on Google.
Of course, this being past 6:00 PM on a Friday, you can imagine how well that turned out for me. One of the guys outright laughed at me.
I started a mental list of everything I thought I might be able to find at Walmart, and prepared myself for a long night of scrubbing carpet under the dim lights of a luxury hotel’s parking garage.
Fortunately, my phone rang just then. It was one of the local car washes I’d attempted to call, but hadn’t answered. Sensing my desperation, the gentleman on the other end of the line informed me they’d be open until 8:00 PM. Having three children of his own, he understood my predicament.
Wash Out Now
Employing every jerk-driving-move I could (or in other words, driving like I grew up in South Florida), I rushed to the hotel, immediately summoned my wife’s Lexus, and made it to the car wash by 7:30. For the next hour and a half, a team of workers shampooed, scrubbed, and washed as well as they could in the cool, dark night.
By the time they were done, there was only a subtle hint of puke left tainting the vanilla-infused interior. It was about as good an outcome as I could have hoped for given the circumstances.
Calling to check-in once more, I was relieved somewhat to hear that our 4-year-old was in good spirits, and my wife had somehow found her rhythm thanks in large part to the en-suite washing machine and dryer.
On my way back to the scene of the crime, I picked up some ginger ale for our still-suffering son, and laundry detergent, dryer sheets, and Jack Daniels for my frazzled wife. Arriving to our room a little before 10:00 PM, I was instantly greeted with another bout of vomit and cleaning.
I finally settled down to munch on some pizza we’d ordered a couple hours earlier, before retiring with our youngest to the second bedroom while my wife and oldest remained quarantined. I remember having a small tinge of hope that this would all make for an entertaining footnote for the weekend.
The Night Just Flu By
At approximately 2:30 AM, I felt my youngest son start to stir beside me. Those stirs quickly turned to heaves, and I jumped out of bed just in time to see him cover his pajamas in partially-digested pizza. In a daze, I carried him at arm’s length into the bathroom in case more bodily fluids needed to be evacuated. My wife, already awake, came in and cleared the bed sheets, adding them to the ever-growing pile in front of the running washing machine.
A quick aside – that laundry set up was truly life-saving. There was no way we could have possibly contained the mess (and probably would have been banned for life from all Benchmark Resort and Hotel properties), without it.
We set up some towels for our little one to lie down on, and began to discuss how our lives had spiraled out of control. Twenty minutes later, he threw up again.
Between the two of them, there were three more bouts between 3:00 and 6:00 AM, bringing the total tally at this point to 12. By 8:00, with our youngest retching again, I’d had enough. I called and e-mailed our contact at the resort, and explained that we’d be checking out that morning, as there was no way we could properly review their shiny new hotel when we couldn’t be more than five feet away from a toilet at all times.
Fortunately, she took pity on us, and we agreed on a to-be-determined round two on a future weekend.
To Be Continued
While I’m not writing this in front of a majestic view of condos and high-rises, with the gentle lapping of waves to my left and slowly setting sun to my right, I can’t say I’m completely disappointed. My wife and I are a pretty good team, and have not only nursed the boys almost completely back to health, but now also have a really clean car.
I am greatly looking forward to revisiting the Beachwalk Resort for a proper review soon, but with slightly less vomit involved.
Be on the lookout for an update in the coming weeks.