The Time Has Come

“Why do you want to move to a place that has tornados?” my front desk agent asked me.

“I don’t,” I replied.  “I want to move to a place that has hurricanes.  I just need to go through tornados first.”


Joplin, MO isn’t quite what I’ve been dreaming about, but it IS south-er.  And I AM moving there.  Like, NEXT weekend.  Because I’ve accepted the General Manager position of the hotel down there.



The lowly desk agent who was never “quite ready” for the next step under my first GM, has suddenly sky-rocketed to a GM herself!

I can hardly contain myself.

The decision to accept the position was a tough one.  I mean, my career goal was certainly to become a GM, but my lifestyle choice was to be way south and on the beach, or closer to St. Louis in a downtown hotel.  But as should be expected, those hotels go to experienced GMs, and although I know I can do it, I have to prove it to them first.

So Joplin it is.

I’ve been to Joplin once, soon after the F5 tornado went through and destroyed much of the town. I wrote about it here, and I’m still saddened by the destruction it caused and the lives it took.

It’s since rebuilt and the community has grown even stronger.  The more I research it online, the more excited I am to be there.  Knowing it’s only for a few years certainly helps.  By then I’ll have the experience they’re looking for, and my choices for other locations will broaden.

Of course the one thing weighing down my extreme high, is the fact that I’m leaving my family behind.  My hubby will stay back until Mario graduates high school, and Chip and Amp graduate college.  The plan is for the boys to land a job and get their own place.  Mario wants to keep her job over the summer, so we’ll need to find a place for her to bunk up until she goes away to college.  Once that’s all settled, Hubby will make the move down.  We’re hoping 4 months tops.

As for me, I leave next weekend.  I’ll live at the hotel for 2 months, and then find an apartment/duplex/condo to rent.  The relocation package our company offers is terrific, so working it this way will allow us to live in both places without much additional cost.

The hotel will be W-A-A-A-Y different than the downtown locations I’m used to.  I thrive on running around with my hair on fire, and this will offer none of that. But again, it’s all about the experience.  So I’m fully embracing the challenge.

And oh my gosh I’m SO excited!

Tornado Alley, Here I come!


Posted by on February 11, 2017 in Family, The Hotel





Now you see why we’re looking to fly south?  This type of winter is for the …. heck, this type of winter ain’t for anyone.

While most of the businesses in the area are closing down due to the ice storm and lettting their employees stay home, I am doing the opposite.  I spent most of the day yesterday, calling employees IN, telling them to plan to spend the weekend here so that I know our departments are covered.   Here.  At the hotel.  Where I’m spending my weekend too.

I love my job, but I hate staying in the hotel where I work.  I’m uncomfortable letting employees and guests see me in unprofessional attire, and I especially don’t like working out in front of them.  I got up way early, before most of them started, to get in a quick workout and then stealthily snuck back to my room.  I managed to avoid all but one employee and one guest, neither of whom were awake enough to know I was me.

But now it’s 7:30am and I’m ready for a nap.

Picking out my room last night was difficult too.  We have too many frequent guests who like certain rooms, and I didn’t feel comfortable sleeping in any of “their” beds.  I finally decided on a room where I can go out my back door and be right at the fitness center.  It’s at the back of the hotel, pretty isolated.  And I don’t know any of the guests who’ve slept here in the past.

I can make this work for the weekend, but my desire to move to Florida has increased ten-fold.  I gotta make this dream a reality soon.  I just gotta.






Posted by on January 13, 2017 in The Hotel


We Got Snow!

It’s so rare for us anymore to get snow during the winter.  It’s funny what a difference it makes in how I feel.

We’ve come to dread winter, mostly because all we see is gray skies, sleet, ice, or just very cold rain.   But the snow!  The snow makes it feel like a real winter.  I could sit inside all day and watch it.



2017 has started off pretty smoothly in the Shadowrun household.  Link came home for Christmas for just a few days, but those few days did my heart good.  I worry about him daily – he has many struggles – so to see him with my own eyes was comforting.

Chip and Amp are still on their winter break.  Chip braved a trip up to Chicago to visit friends.  Good to get him out of the basement and into the real world for a while.  Amp, split his time between our house and a friend’s house.  Perfect really, since our house isn’t meant to have more than 3 people in it at a time.

Mario sleeps at home, although not sure how she enters her room.  For someone who is never here, she sure creates a big mess.  In fact most times, it’s so big it spills into the hall.  But I love how active she is, and how fearless.  She’ll hop into the car and travel to St. Louis without a second thought.  Scares ME, but I love seeing her create her independence, and I feel comfortable knowing she’ll be able to take care of herself.  The boys…. I don’t feel so good about.

This’ll be the year where we could see some big changes.  Fingers crossed.

Mario graduates high school in the spring and will move away to college.  Chip and Amp will graduate from their tech school and will land a job and move out of the house completely.   Link will find ways to create happiness and brighten his future.

And I will land a job in Florida.

At least, these are the plans.  But I know better than to get my hopes up.

Until then, I’m going to enjoy this snow day snuggled up with a warm cup of coffee, and nestled between mounds of laundry.




Posted by on January 5, 2017 in Everyday Living, Family


Holy Hell Week

They’re back!  Yep.  My favorite *cough* church group is back in town, and they are just as big a pain in my rear as always.  Seriously.  This group brings out the worst in me.

It started the week before they arrived.  We were oversold 30 rooms – a sickening amount. With this group, if they can’t come, they don’t cancel. They call a friend and let them have their room.  Our hotel, located right next to the convention center, with free food twice a day, is THE place to stay for these elderly men and women on a budget.

So when the oversell numbers weren’t moving, I began making calls to relocate people.  Anyone who booked outside the group block were targeted.  In total, I relocated 11 guests.  A very time consuming and un-fun task, as NOBODY wants to be in a hotel 7 blocks away.  They want ours. Even if we pay for one of their nights, they want ours.

Between that, and a few cancels, we worked out perfectly.  But sheesh, it was an exhausting task.  And it didn’t end there.  The group is in the hotel for 8-10 days, and every day they do something that really tests my patience.

Room 563 found a dead roach in their room. Right near the entry way.   A roach not native to our area.  The same guy who found a bug in his room last year.  Sorry. Don’t believe ya.  NOT giving you your money back.

Then there’s the lady who went on and on and on about how terrible it was that our front desk agent charged the wrong card.  (The only card he was able to get money out of.)  I explained that to her.  Told her her card declined.  I would refund the other credit card when I got payment from her.  And then dismissed her.  NOT giving you your money back.

Then there was the lady who swore up and down I promised her a wheelchair accessible room and because she didn’t get it she wasn’t able to shower all week.  I told her in all our conversations before checking in (and my god there were many), we did not discuss the accessible room.  But if she stays again next year, I’ll do my best to reserve her one.  Then she went upstairs and found a bug in her room.  The first complaint didn’t get her what she wanted, so she went for plan B.  Sorry.  NOT giving you your money back.

And there were so many more.  They all know our hotel’s policy of giving money back should their stay not be satisfactory, and every one of them looks for a way to make it happen.  We didn’t clean their room properly.  They don’t like the new pasta.  Their room’s too far from the elevator.

So when the hotel lost water early Sunday morning due to air in the city water lines, I about cried.  I knew they would all be at the desk wanting their money back.  We stayed strong as a team however, and explained it was a city issue, not a hotel issue, so we would not be refunding any money.  Only a few rooms wore us down to the point that we refunded some of it.

I tell ya I am exhausted.  I finally lost it, if you can even call it that, when a lady called to ask if her UPS package had been picked up.  I explained it had not, and she went on a rant about how we promised her it would go out that day, and we should have told her UPS doesn’t always come every day, and now she was going to have to call them to schedule a pick up and shouldn’t we have offered to do that for her.  I impatiently told her I would call and schedule the pick up.  “What, now you’re getting crass with me?  Let me talk to a manager.”  I am the manager, I responded.  “You’re the manager?  And you’re talking to me that way?”

**Sigh** Yes.  I am.  I’m sick of the way your group is treating us.  We’re working our tails off for you.  Responding to your every need.  Feeding you two meals a day.  And patiently listening to you bitch about everything.  My patience is running thin.

That’s what I wanted to say.  Instead, I took a deep breath, apologized, and let her know I would make sure the package was picked up.  Even better, I would drop it off at the UPS location near my home.

I left work that night mad at myself.  I usually don’t let people get to me that way.  I like to make them feel bad about talking that way to me by remaining patient and friendly long enough that they eventually wear down and start talking nicely.  But this time I stooped to their level.  Ugh.

I finally have a few days off.  Much needed days off.  It’s gonna take me a few days to decompress.  I plan to do nothing stressful.  Mario has a bowling match I’m excited to watch, and tomorrow we’re having lunch with Amp to celebrate his 20th birthday.  I hope to be my old self when I return to work on Saturday.  I don’t like my church group self.



Posted by on November 17, 2016 in The Hotel


Tour de Mounds

Another good couple of weeks has been had by us may-as-well-be empty nesters.  Mario still lives at home, if you can call it that. But between school,  the play, work, and band, she’s never here. (But when she is, you can bet we know it.  Just sayin’.)

Hubby and I have continued our field trips into the city and surrounding area on my days off.  Last week, we visited the history museum in Forest Park.  It currently has a Route 66 exhibit that was quite interesting.  I knew we were on the route, but I didn’t realize how big a stop St. Louis was along the way.


It was quite windy that day, but that didn’t keep us from eating at The Boat House restaurant on the lake near there.  LOOKS beautiful, so it was worth anchoring down our napkins and water cups, and sometimes even our table.


We weren’t so lucky weather-wise today, but I was determined to visit the Cahokia Mounds.  I somehow avoided this field trip during my kids’ elementary years, and I have been itchin’ to get there for a while now.

It’s amazing to see these hand-made “mounds” dating back to the 1300s.  These would have been a project to build during this day and age, yet back then, they used homemade shovels and baskets to carry dirt from one place to another.  And as the mounds got bigger, they had to climb the mountains with the dirt!  Sheesh we have it easy these days.

Monk’s Mound was especially impressive.  Who knew I had my own little “Incline” right in my backyard?!





View from the top. Not quite as good as Pike’s Peak. But not bad for Illinois



This week also marked Mario’s Senior Night for band.  Hubby and I bundled ourselves up to watch the only performance we’ll see this year.  The band’s getting smaller and smaller each year, but they did a great job.


Here’s your chance to play “Where’s Mario?”.  My hint is the same as Abby’s – she’s the one in the white hat.

So yeah, a couple of good weeks.  Had a birthday in there too.  This one kinda came and went with no real fan fare.  The boys all sent me texts which was nice.  (Thanks to my hubby for reminding them.). Mario wished me a happy day on her way out the door.  And then I headed to work.  That’s my kind of birthday.  They’re much easier to forget if there’s not a lot of hoopla….


Posted by on October 29, 2016 in Everyday Living, Family


Oh The Guilt

I think about it everyday.  Honest I do.  It’s just sooo hard to put pen to paper these days. I got no excuse really.

Except maybe the seemingly endless days at the hotel.  Actually, that’s a pretty good excuse.  I’m going with that one.

They’re fun days though.  We had three conventions in a row.  Two were pretty needy, but this last one has been a blast.  Single occupancy, young National Parks people.  They like to have just enough fun.  Not so much that they become trouble, but enough that they’re fun to be around.

It’s been good to have these guys inhouse.  We’re going through some changes at the hotel that have most of us a little sad.  Our GM received a promotion to regional manager.  And while we’re all excited for him, it means he’s no longer with us on a day to day basis.  The absence of his quirky, energetic ways has left a huge hole in our hearts.

That hole will remain for another month or so.  The new GM has been named, however he needs to wrap up some work at his hotel, and won’t start til the beginning of the month.  I’ve taken on some of the GMs responsibility, which I really love, but when added it to all the responsibilities I have already, PLUS trying to run a busy hotel while short one manager…  well…  by the time I get home, I’m tired.  And all I want to do is read what someone else wrote rather than write my own.

But the guilt has overwhelmed me, so here I am.

My days haven’t been all work and no play though.  On my off days, Hubby and I have been playing hometown tourists and going on field trips.  St. Louis has so much to offer, and I share it all with my guests, but I rarely take advantage of them myself.

We’ve been bike riding along some river trails.



We’ve dined in some favorite local restaurants. (It was fun making him squint in the sun.)



And we’ve toured the Anheuser Busch Brewery.







And this is just the beginning.  We have a whole long list to get through.  But for now, I gotta get back to work.


Posted by on October 11, 2016 in Everyday Living, Family, The Hotel


I Dood It!

My big ride this past weekend was everything I had hoped it would be and more.

I arrived early Saturday morning, unpacked Grace from the vehicle, and trudged through the mud, courtesy of some pretty bad storms the night before, to my team’s tent.

I felt a little out of place among the more experienced riders with all their gear – padded shorts, spiked shoes, etc.  I had on capri running pants and some old tennis shoes.  (Now full of mud.)

We started the ride as a team, but to me, the pace was too slow.  I powered up a hill and continued to ride at my usual speed until the first rest stop.  I waited there until the rest of the team arrived.  I hooked up with a few of them, including my boss, who agreed that if we were going to do the 100 mile trail, we better pick up the pace.

Even still, I felt the pace was too slow.  But since I’ve never ridden more than 30 miles in a day, I figured it was probably best they were pacing me. I had fun pushing the two guys to keep up with me though.  I’d hang with them until a hill, and then I’d race past them to the top.  They’d eventually catch up and then fly past me the down hill.

All the while, they marveled that I was riding without padded shorts, and that I could power up the hills without clips.  (Clips?  What are clips?). I just shrugged my shoulders.  “I don’t know,” I told them.  “I just pedal.”

I did hit a hard stretch about 60 miles into the ride, however.  We turned onto a 15 mile stretch of highway with a slight incline and the high winds (leftover from the storms) directly in our face.  I’d never been more happy to reach a pit stop.

The last 20 miles were filled with more hills, but as we climbed closer, my heart swelled with pride.  Me, a “rookie” as they called me, had ridden my first century ride.

8 1/2  hours after we started, we crossed the finish line, and immediately pedaled to the beer stand.


Jack, Me and The Boss




Close up of my proof

After a quick shower at the gym, we headed out for a much needed dinner.  You burn a lot of calories riding a hundred miles.

Afterwards I didn’t feel like pitching my tent in the mud, so I laid blankets down on the floor of my hubby’s Tribute, and tried to sleep.

I awoke Sunday morning, a little sore, but determined to ride the 75 miles I’d been bragging about the last few months.  Getting back on the bike was a little uncomfortable at first, *ahem* but soon I was feeling good.

So good that when I got to the 100 mile cutoff, I decided to go for it again.

The rest of the team thought I was nuts, and maybe I was, but I love a good challenge.   This time, without anyone to slow me down, it only took me 61/2 hours.



It was a great weekend.  Riding with thousands of people all there to support the same great cause was pretty heartwarming and inspirational.  I immediately signed up to ride again next year, and I’m making my hubby go too.

As for me, I’m quite proud of what I accomplished, especially since I just got my bike a few months ago.

Now on to find my next big challenge……













Posted by on September 15, 2016 in Health and Fitness