by Allison Struber, Guest Contributor
A Temporary Lodging Facility, affectionately known as a TLF, is not like booking a Best Western where you know the rooms look the same no matter the city.
We have experienced our share of TLFs, but in our most recent stay, I’ve been reminded of 4 things that are always the same despite the differences in the rooms.
4 Things That You Will Find At Most Temporary Lodging Facilities
It is loud. One evening I was walking down the hallway of the hotel only to observe the clarity of sound that traveled from the individual units out into the public space.
It was bedtime and my kids were screaming. As I saw others entering their rooms, I desperately wanted to wave and walk past our door in a way of saying “whose kids are those!?”. Thankfully they entered their rooms before I had to reveal my parental identity.
Next time I’ll try to find a room near a barking dog. We all have our issues and it helps to be in good company. Plus, dog people are cool people.
Mealtimes are really interesting. Recently, in a plan to avoid buying extraneous groceries, I came up with the bright idea of cashing in my promotional dinner prep service. The box came and I put the items in the fridge feeling extremely accomplished.
It was all well and good except I did not account for the 40-minute prep, utilizing every dish in the cupboard and the failure to have basic ingredients on hand such as salt and sugar.
Despite the setbacks, meals 1 and 2 turned out fine. By day 3, I was so tired from lack of sleep and moving preparations, I cooked only the chicken and put the other ingredients on the table raw. We were ravenous, so most everything went – except the garlic cloves. The baby grabbed for them, but they seemed like a choking hazard.
Global footprints are left. I try to avoid waste in our daily living but in TLFs, the challenge is real. Does it help if I just use a little bit of the provided lotion? Surly they won’t throw it away with so much left in it – the conservation signs are everywhere.
I desperately want to save the planet like the signs promote, but I also don’t want to be doing dishes every time I eat, so I buy paper products. Please, someone eat the remaining mustard out of our container so I don’t have to trash it!
Friends are made. Perhaps it was the time we checked in and I became extremely ill. Thankfully the neighbor had kids and instantly took on the role of family by watching our little girl. I am forever grateful for their help.
Or maybe it was the time we met another family on the lawn outside our units. The situation was less than ideal since we were waiting for the fire department to come. I burned a bag of microwave popcorn and the fire alarm went off (oops!). Our friendship grew and this more experienced couple offered great encouragement to us in the years to come – beyond the advice to skip the popcorn and buy chips.
TLFs are their own adventure within the adventure and I’m grateful for them. When my persistence in calling pays off and I finally hear “there is room at the inn” I smile and say a bit of thanks I’m not having to stay in a barn.
We want to hear about your TLF experiences. Share the good and the bad in the comments section.
Allison Struber is a mother of three and a lover of all things outdoors. Read more at her blog.