There was a time when I might have thought living in a hotel would be fun, but at this stage of my life I say, “There’s no place like home!” Even if that home is a new home that I’ve only spent one night in. The backstory on how Hubby and I became hotel dwellers can be found in my blog posts Anything Worth Having is Worth Waiting For! and Anything Worth Having Is. . . Chapter Two.
One of the first challenges we faced was simply figuring out how to perform the basic functions of living. Eating and storing food, sleeping, laundry and conducting our everyday business. For example, my blog, Dianna’s Easy Real Food Recipes is impossible. There is no cooking while living in a hotel and even eating somewhat healthy is a task we are just getting the hang of.
Fortunately, the hotel we’re living in now provides a wonderful complimentary breakfast. We love the made to order omelets, just pick your fillings and it’s ready in a couple of minutes. This one is chicken sausage, spinach and mushrooms with fresh cut fruit and a muffin on the side. It was substantial enough for Hubby and me to share.
It’s difficult to get enough fresh produce each day with only a small hotel refrigerator to store groceries in. Especially, when the temperature in the fridge fluctuates between being too warm or freezing our food, so we are grateful for what the hotel provides. We’ll take the help wherever we can get it!
The trick with the variety of appealing options available for breakfast each morning is making the best choices. When dealing with the stress of being displaced by a fire, it’s easy to get involved in some emotional eating and turn to food for comfort. So, for a lighter breakfast, I chose a blackberry and pomegranate smoothie with a small bran muffin, even though that muffin was sitting right next to a tantalizing cinnamon role.
For a more substantial breakfast, when facing a particularly long day recently, Hubby and I tried the scrambled eggs with cheese, chicken sausage (it’s not as fatty as other sausage), French toast and, of course, some fresh fruit.
Hubby suffers with severe chronic pain because he was rear-ended in our SUV several years ago and the stress of the fire as well as living in a hotel away from his doctor prescribed electric bed has taken a toll on him, and me too. So, one evening when we weren’t able to go out and bring healthier food in (he’s the driver in the family), we decided to try room service.
We took a look at the room service menu and actually weren’t all that surprised to see even a simple cheeseburger was $15.00. We decided to share one with some hand cut fries, since we weren’t in the mood for a $30.00 steak or $27.00 piece of fish, and probably won’t do that again. Just a little too greasy for us.
One of our strategies is to keep chicken or turkey in the little fridge for an easy sandwich, we’ve been eating a lot of sandwiches, and here’s one that was particularly good. I picked up some coleslaw from the deli along with a couple of rolls from the bakery at the grocery store and already had an apple on hand as a side. The coleslaw makes a great addition to the sandwich with the vegetables and mayo already combined together, just spoon some on.
Another benefit at our current hotel is happy hour each evening. I don’t drink, but I love the Crudités! Fresh celery, carrots, cucumber and sweet little cherry tomatoes. Or the cubes of cheese and multi-grain crackers. I added some mango soda water to feel pretty good about our choice that night. We had purchased a couple of baked chicken breasts at the deli and added the protein to make a well-rounded dinner.
Or if we just want a snack, humus served with baked pita bread and paprika or fresh veggies is an option. We can always get fresh fruit infused water in the hotel lobby and enjoy that every day. This day we had my favorite, orange infused water. If we’re careful and pay attention and don’t give into stress eating, we can do pretty well making the most of the situation.
It took three hotel changes to finally get the amenities we wanted. When you’re suddenly driven from your home, it takes a bit to realize what is needed to live in a hotel long term. For example, laundry facilities, a separate bedroom and living room, a kitchenette and some kind of food offerings.
We’re making it work, but obviously can’t wait to go back to our new home. We just made our first mortgage payment, but have only spent one night in our condo. The latest update is that the work has begun to replace all the windows on our side of the building, which is the fire side, and the doors that were broken down are in the process of being replaced. The wiring for the elevator was severely damaged and it seems that is going to be the hold up. We’re probably looking at a minimum of another four weeks of living in a hotel.
Finally, on the subject of “Understanding Emotional Reactions to Traumatic Events,” I’ve learned a lot. The reactions that have surprised me the most are how real the vivid memories about what happened that night are and the emotional reaction to noises, like sirens, and images that look like fire and even smells. We have been blessed over and over again through this experience and I thank God for walking with us!