Impromptu party

Wow. I actually filled my rooms and had to turn customers away this evening. I know the Tumbleweed is tiny, but I didn’t expect to have to turn on the “NO VACANCY” sign this early in the year. (For the record, the “NO” still works, presumably because the transformer has gotten so little use in the past 20 years that it hasn’t had a chance to wear out.)

An older couple from Vegas, heading home from a funeral in St. Louis, pulled in at 7:30 tonight in a great-looking ’79 Thunderbird. They’d been driving since 7 o’clock this morning and hadn’t had dinner yet, so Joey promptly invited them to have dinner with us. All I’d made for dinner was a Crock-Pot full of blackeyed peas and a pan of green chile cornbread, but I threw together a spinach salad and made some homemade croutons to go with it, and everybody seemed happy.

No sooner had I cleared the table and dished up dessert (orange sherbet — Joey’s favorite) than a couple from Mesa, Ariz., arrived. They were on their way to visit family in Illinois and wanted to check out the Tumbleweed, which they’d read about on Route 66 News. They were very nice. They were hoping to stay in Unit Three, but I told them I’d just rented it out. I gave them their choice of Unit Four, which is finished except for the carpet-glue residue I’m still trying to strip off the floor so I can put down a new rug, or Unit Five, which is clean but very shabby-looking.

They’re very enthusiastic about Route 66 and said they might be able to get the Tumbleweed listed in some guidebooks and things. The couple from Vegas told them they were welcome to take pictures of Unit Three, and the four of them wound up sitting around the lobby, swapping road stories for an hour or so. We were just about to call it a night when a guy from Vernon, Texas, showed up. Turns out he and the couple from Mesa knew each other.

Next thing I knew, somebody was opening a bottle of red chile wine, somebody else was putting a documentary into the DVD player in the lobby (do these people just carry Route 66 movies in their luggage? Weird…) and I was making a big batch of kettle corn.

The party finally wound down a few minutes ago, but I think I’m going to stay up a little longer and make a batch of biscotti or something to go with the coffee at breakfast.

If this is what tourist season is going to be like, I can’t wait.

— Sierra

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4 comments

  1. Laurel · March 7, 2010

    Let me guess…. The people from Mesa brought the chile wine. ;-)

  2. tumbleweedmotel · March 7, 2010

    Yes, they were! Lovely people. They actually grew up not far from my hometown, so we knew some of the same places. They’ve eaten at the restaurant where I worked in high school. Isn’t that wild? I could have made them a burger 20 years ago and never realized it.

    My hippie visitor the other night said this road is a mysterious place, full of strange friendly magic, and Coldwater is the most magical spot of all. I’m beginning to think he might be right. (Incidentally, the folks from Mesa and the guy from Texas knew him, too, and were very disappointed to learn they’d just missed him.)

  3. tumbleweedmotel · March 7, 2010

    Sorry — that should have said, “Yes, they did!” Too early in the morning, and I’m a little fuzzy after that crazy wine….

  4. Laurel · March 7, 2010

    I believe I know all of those people, and in fact that guy from Mesa once gave me several bottles of that killer wine. Yikes, deliciously scary stuff!

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