Colin goes ‘hoteling’* for the first time

17–18 February 2014

Colin spends his first night away from home—and takes his first train ride, to boot.


Colin hangs out on the bed in our hotel room in New Haven, Connecticut.
Colin hangs out on the bed in our hotel room in New Haven, Connecticut.

Right around the time I started to get used to my surroundings, one day Mama and Daddy and Fiona started packing things into these boxes—“suitcases,” they called them—and then they packed me into my car seat in my stroller and away we went to some places I had never imagined before. It was an interesting experience, I guess. Not what I was expecting (I didn’t really know that there was anything else to expect besides going to our house, to church, and on walks).

First we rode the subway, which wasn’t that unusual. But then we went into a huge room that almost looked like it must be outside, it was so big. And then we got onto a train. Not a regular subway train, but a different kind of train. I looked out the window some, and slept some, as usual.

When we got off the train, we were someplace else. I don’t really know that much yet, so it’s hard to say, but it seemed new. And cold. We walked and walked until we got to a new building and went inside. I was pretty hungry at that point, so I mostly remember crying until Mama gave me a bottle while Daddy talked to a lady at a desk. Then we got on an elevator and went upstairs to a new apartment! There were two big beds, and later someone brought a little bed for me. I got to flop down on some really soft blankets on one of the big beds. Fiona flopped down on the other one. She seemed pretty excited about “hoteling.”*

After a while someone brought in another thing that Mama and Daddy said was going to be my bed. That sounded good to me. But then we went outside again and walked around. I don’t remember much of that, but eventually we went back to our new apartment while Daddy went to buy something sweet and cold that big kids and grownups eat. And then someone knocked on the door, and they handed us some food! I don’t eat that kind of food, of course, but it seemed pretty nice that it just showed up. I had my dinner—my usual—while Fiona, daddy, and mama ate theirs and watched something with lots of colors and sounds. Then I went to sleep in my new bed.

The next day we went outside again, and there was a ton of that white stuff everywhere. I mean, it just seemed to go on and on. I could see it out the side of my stroller as we went around town. I was perfectly cozy, of course, but Mama, Daddy, and Fiona didn’t seem quite as comfortable. But that meant that we stopped in at a few interesting places, like one place with giant tables where they got something hot to drink, and another place with lots of pictures hanging on the walls. That was a pretty neat place. I slept, of course.

After a while, we went back to the train station and got back on a train to go home. It was an interesting experience. It’s kind of weird that I slept in that bed just the one time, and I haven’t seen it again since. But it’s okay, I think, because it was so nice to come home to the place I know best.


* This is a Fionaism that simply means staying in a hotel. (Perhaps it also includes watching a movie, eating pizza and a treat, and drinking soda in said hotel, since that’s what we always do, too.) Except she normally pronounces it as if it were spelled “hooteling”.

This article appeared on page 12 of Issue 14 | April 2014.

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