It's been about a month since we've moved. Into a hotel that is. There's a major gas leak in our neighborhood. Like major. It doesn't sound as glamorous as a hurricane or an oil spill. But it's annoying enough that we had to leave our home and relocate. Us and about five thousand other families in this city. We've pretty much infiltrated all the major cities within a 50 mile radius. And today was moving day. We moved from one hotel to another. In 2 weeks, it's back home to the old hotel. The boys love it. Why? I have no idea. All their toys are home, they get to watch good TV at home. But no! They wanna go to the hotel. It's not so bad, I'll be honest. We get to come home whenever we need to which is ALL THE TIME! With the holidays and all the online shopping I did, I literally had at least 2 packages waiting for me each day. Ridiculous.
At first, I thought people were over reacting. I didn't even smell anything. But P and I would get these annoying headaches. Well, I guess all headaches are annoying. But yeah, day after day, there it was. That's when I knew it had to be the gas leak. Oh and W has had this cough for weeks! First I thought just a cold waiting to mature. But it never did. He would cough more and more every day. Two urgent care visits later, it turns out his lungs are completely clear and his throat is just "irritated." And it happened before we relocated so I know it's not from hotel life. It's almost New Years and he's STILL coughing! In fact, N and I are coughing, too! What can I say, we do everything as a family. Even getting sick.
There is an upside to this man-made natural disaster. T he gas company is paying for all the hotel accomodations and giving all the families a daily food stipend. For us, it totals up to be about $140 a day. A lot, right? Some people were complaining it wasn't enough but I've tried to use it up on food, it's not easy. These folks must be eating from silver plates or something because it's a lot of money. So most days, we eat out and then spend the rest at the grocery store. I have yet to see a reimbursement check (4 weeks in) but hopefully it'll be in our hands soon.
Home values have dropped a little, but I have confidence they'll bounce back. I think the worst part is having the spend the holidays in a state of limbo. We came home for a few days because I refused to spend Christmas in a hotel, but it's still weird. We set up the tree on Thanksgiving weekend and then left for the hotel the same night. Our gas bill has doubled. Yup. Not sure what that's all about. It sucks more for those who aren't directly affected by the gas leak. They gotta pay double, too. I've gained about 10 lbs from eating out so much but look like I've gained 20. Which in turn, had me signing up for Weight Watchers again. I'm sure local businesses have suffered and burglaries have increased. Oh and they closed down 2 of the main schools, including the one W is supposed to go to next year. It's really just an unfortunate situation all around.
I'm just thankful that it's not a more serious "disaster" and that we are all able to live a predominantly normal life still. It's not like most families can just check into a hotel, expenses paid whenever there's an earthquake or tornado. So we are very lucky indeed. I'll say this much, I don't think I'll be in any rush to go on a vacation any time soon. Maybe we'll even save a little money this year!