The Heavenly Hampton Inn

“The Cure to anything is a good laugh and a long sleep” -Irish Proverb


I write this from a hotel room in Charleston.

Why are you in a hotel in Charleston Celeste? We thought you lived there? Why yes, readers, I do live in Charleston. I am in a hotel because I was displaced tonight by the biggest storm I have ever witnessed.

I knew it was bad when Mom and I left the Piggly Wiggly with our groceries in tow, only to witness a beautiful display of jagged lightning dancing across the sky. Because remember, I live on an island. An island only accessible by ferry.

Also, yes-my mother was with me. I refer to her as Mom, the Cathy, or super nugget. She embodies all three terms. She is a nugget because she is short. She gets a “the” in front of her name because she is fierce.

The Cathy and I made it to the ferry dock, and it was already pouring rain, which is never good when you’re about to load yourself and all your stuff into a golf cart. The rain began…oh excuse me i mean THE HEAVENS OPENED UP. So did the lightning and the thunder. I looked at the Cathy, and I saw something I’ve never seen. Fear.

And let me tell you, when Cathy the Conqueror is scared it is time to pack up shop and get the hell out of Dodge. She looked over at me and said:

“Well maybe we should get a-”

And then the biggest crack of thunder I have ever heard shook the tiny ass ferry dock. And by that I mean if this thing could’ve talked it would’ve said:


I hopped onto to that tiny nugget like I was five again. And the funnier part is that she jumped into my arms as well. This might have been a moment of bonding, but we both have the arm spans of a t-rex. This was my first realization of the night: the Cathy is afraid of thunder. And if the Cathy is afraid….we should all be afraid.

We then made the executive decision to NOT get on the ferry of death and to retreat to a hotel room. So we gathered our already soaking bags and began wading back to the cars. And wading in ankle deep water (which on me is practically up to my knees) i felt truly miserable. I hadn’t felt miserable in awhile, and I’ve been pretty well acquainted with misery for the past 2 months. I was mad at myself for being miserable, but I just felt MISERABLE. I was soaking wet, wading through the river Styx that had developed in the Dewees parking lot, and wanting to just give up. I think we’ve all felt that way from time to time. I had been working so hard to be strong, and to feel better that I hadn’t given myself a chance to feel miserable. It had found me in the form of a torrential storm.

But I did make it to my car and drove through the horrid lightning and thunder to heaven’s pearly gates: The Hampton Inn. Now, I haven’t ever really had an other worldly experience, but this moment can only be described as religious. There it was, big and yellow, and friendly and welcoming. It’s sign read: HAMPTON INN AND SUITES, but all I saw was HEAVEN. So the Cathy and I dragged our soaking wet selves through the lobby, and I’m sure the man behind the desk thought the girl from The Ring had invaded his lobby. But to me, I had just walked into heaven and the man behind the desk was St Peter, waiting to let me through the pearly gates.

Shaking from the near death experience with the lightning and the hypothermia from exquisite, arctic air conditioning of the Heavenly Hampton, we asked if there were rooms available. And in that moment, he could’ve said that a room cost a bazillion dollars, my kidney, and my first born and I would’ve blissfully signed the receipt.

….Sorry, kidney and future first born.

This was also when my mother handed me a cup of coffee, and I had my second religious experience of the night. This coffee was glorious. This coffee was incredible. It was like drinking delicious, high octane jet fuel. It was like Chuck Norris rode in on a unicorn with a caffeine bat and hit me so hard all I saw were cherubs with lattes in their chubby cherub hands. I had reached nirvana. I had found the nectar of the Gods, and it was in the heavenly Hampton Inn.

That night, I lay in my fluffy, cloud-like bed, warm from a piping hot shower, and shaking like a coked out Chihuahua. Despite the caffeine buzz that made me feel like I was having a stroke, i felt better. And I realized that what I had needed so badly, was comfort. And to not be struck by lightning. But I needed comfort. I think it’s a basic human need to feel comforted at times. I had spent so much time trying to be strong and invincible that I had forgotten how easy it is to miss basic necessities. So that night I found my comfort in a warm bed, a hot shower, and a cup of coffee strong enough to kill an elephant. No matter how old we are, we will always need these basic items of comfort.

I pondered this as I fell asleep.

I also hope that heaven actually looks like a Hampton Inn.



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