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After the show, we drove about 90 miles to Albany, Georgia. It was my idea since it would get us closer to an airport in the morning and there were few hotel choices where we did the show. My producer wanted to drive the three plus hours to Atlanta and I said too far and too late. Needless to say, we were tired having gotten up early to fly to Georgia and then drive three hours to the home of missing Tara Grinstead.
We arrived at our hotel in Albany, Georgia at about 1 a.m., half dead from fatigue... only to discover it had no power. As we drove up to the hotel, since it was in dark, we wondered whether it was closed. Did FOX Travel put us in a closed hotel? It looked scary — as did the pitch-black neighborhood. It did not help that we really had no idea where we were and it was the middle of the night.
We knocked on the hotel door since it appeared strange to us that a hotel could be closed. A nice man — hotel clerk — answered the door with a flashlight and said there was no power and he had no idea why not. There was obviously no generator. We were so exhausted that we debated trying to maneuver in the dark hotel — no elevators, etc — but decided it was insane to walk around the interior of a pitch-black hotel at now 1 or 2 a.m. or later.
We then got back in the car, drove around Albany looking for power and three hotel rooms. Needless to say, we were not feeling happy. We finally spotted a Comfort Inn — so we stopped. We were very tired but delighted that our journey was ending... or so we thought. We walked in and learned there were no rooms. It was filled. The clerk called a few other local hotels and likewise they rooms were filled. Our luck was not good. We got back into the car... things were grim. There was discussion about driving four hours to Atlanta or even sleeping in the car. We had slept in a bus in New Orleans so why not a car in Albany, Georgia? I knew my husband would strangle me if he learned I slept in a car! He worries and the video of me getting banged around in the F-18 last week had lowered my marital stock. He thinks I am not careful or sensible.
Every hotel we tried was filled. We drove and drove... and it grew bleaker. We finally drove back to our originally planned hotel hoping our luck had changed but it had not. Again, no power. It was getting later and matters did not improve... so the vote in the car was 3-0 to drive three hours to Atlanta. Then we got a bit crabby with each other trying to decide what was smart to do as we re-thought driving to Atlanta. We were very tired and now finding each other a bit annoying. I was cold in the back seat, which did not improve matters. The annoyance with each other instantly changed when we noticed that the area we were now driving in had power. So, our Atlanta plans were temporarily aborted.
We did our third trip past our original hotel and it had power. We were thrilled. We went in, announced our presence to the desk and we were told that the computers were down for check in. A short time later a man showed up and manually checked us in. I'm not sure what time that was — not sure I want to know. Incidentally, I can't pre-print my boarding pass to help move things at the Albany airport — I have "SSSS" on my boarding pass I am told.
We are headed back to D.C. from Georgia today. We obviously did not find Tara Grinstead nor did we expect to — but we did get a better understanding of the facts surrounding her disappearance. On Wednesday I will post some pictures from our trip to Georgia.
In case you read Monday's blog, Roger Moore of Orlando Sentinel has not apologized. I very much appreciate all your help — I know many of you sent e-mails and called Mr. Moore. Perhaps we can get his boss, Charlotte H. Hall, vice president/editor — (407) 420-5195 — to review the matter. Do you want to call and ask her?
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