Part 4: Operation Iraqi Freedom vacation - in Europe!Author: Ben Shakman (More Trip Reviews by Ben Shakman)
Date of Trip: March 2006
I explained to the kids that there was a mistake and that they should try to get some more sleep, but they were way too excited for anything of the sort. A few minutes later the police arrived and I went back downstairs to discuss the issue with them. I saw someone who I supposed was the manager talking to him already so I walked up to the two of them and told the officer that I was the one who had called. I asked him for a few minutes to tell him what had happened and we spoke on the side for less than two minutes before he called the manager over and explained to her that she needed to produce the car quickly or else he was going to take my statement and then start making arrests. She scurried off and left me with the officer at that point. He was prior USAF so we had a nice conversation about the military while waiting for the vehicle to come back.
The van was returned and I grabbed the kids and the luggage and loaded up for the rest of the drive over to Dover. I stopped at the front desk and presented the hotel bill to the manager. I asked her if it would be necessary for me to contact their corporate customer service folks or if she just wanted to take care of the bill locally. I probably should have asked for something more considerable, but all I wanted at that point was to leave. She apologized and took the bill. I did not say anything, but I certainly hope that she reached the conclusion that the idiot desk clerk needed to be fired over this mistake and her behavior towards me.
We drove back to Dover, picked up the porter at their Avis location, and then proceeded to the base. We loaded up our truck and set out on our thousand-mile drive back to Illinois.
We arrived back home on the 7th - 21 days after leaving for this vacation -- and the kids and I decided that we were very glad to sleep in our own beds that night.
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