Life on the Edge – My Homeschool Convention Experience

I had the privilege of attending a gigantic homeschool convention and helping a vendor. My husband got to tag along with me and he had plans to stay in the room with some good books while I worked at the convention. The kids were sent off for a wonderful week with the grandparents which made our trip possible.

We had a room booked at a hotel near the airport. Since neither of us had been to that city before we weren’t familiar with the area.

We arrived at our hotel with all of our bags, checked in, and took everything to our room. We decided to run a few errands to pick up water bottles and snacks before I had to go to the convention hall to set up.

After leaving our things in the room, we took the elevator back to the lobby. As I stepped off the elevator I noticed a scruffy looking man with a huge handlebar mustache in the area near the vending machines. He turned around as we stepped off the elevator and I saw a bullet proof vest across his chest, a badge on a silver chain around his neck, and a walkie talkie in his hand. He quickly spoke into his walkie talkie as I stood there staring at him. I’m sure my mouth was hanging open and I could feel myself start to panic.

I glanced over at my husband who pulled me over toward the front desk. He quietly asked what was happening and was told repeatedly not to worry and that everything was fine. I was about to lose my temper so I told the lady that obviously things were not fine and that *I* was not fine. She just kept trying to reassure me without telling us anything. So, I told my husband that I couldn’t stay there anymore because I knew I would not be sleeping one bit that night. He just took my arm and said we would run our errands and then come back and work out something with the front desk.

I took a deep breath and realized his wisdom in leaving the hotel right then. I started to follow him out of the front doors when I was nearly run over by a team of men sporting bullet proof vests rushing through the doors. I stopped mid-step in shock. The first man who rushed past me looked exactly like Samuel L. Jackson in his younger days.

All the men were dressed in plain clothes and all were slightly scruffy looking. Every one of them had a giant silver badge dangling from a chain around his neck. They all wore vests and carried large handguns. Samuel L. Jackson carried the other walkie talkie. So, that’s who the first man was signaling as he crouched near the vending machines.

I stood in the lobby and watched them flank one of the hallways of the first floor. One man guarded the back door, another positioned himself behind the front desk, two crouched on either side of the hallway. I was still standing in the center of the lobby watching big-eyed as they took their position. I felt like I was in the front row of the newest action movie and I was starting to crave popcorn.

The man nearest me yelled to me that I needed to come over by him and away from the door. My first thought was, “Umm, no thank you! I’ll stay here and watch.” While I was scared out of my mind, it was too cool just standing there and watching my personal action movie staring Samuel L. Jackson and Handlebar Mustache. Plus, that man looked really scary and he was holding a huge gun. I didn’t want to be his friend and stand anywhere near him. I thought I had a good distance and the perfect vantage point.

My hubby had other ideas. He told the man that our car was just out front and that he and I were going to leave right then. The man nodded and my hubby dragged me out the front door. I admit that I pouted a little that we had to leave. I wanted to watch the take down! I had no idea why those men were in my hotel but I definitely wanted to find out.

I did convince my hubby to drive around the hotel to check for more of the men. We saw no police cars anywhere nearby – not even unmarked vehicles. There was not a single person visible outside of the hotel. However, I did notice a second floor window that was wide open.

At that, we drove away.

We came back a few hours later to witness a quiet hotel and a calm staff. You would never guess anything had happened earlier.

We quickly walked up to our room, grabbed all of our bags, and hauled them back to the front desk where we informed the lady that we were checking out right then. She refunded us and we marched to our car and headed to another hotel on the other side of the highway.

All day I was convinced that we had just watched a team of undercover DEA officers storm the hotel looking for a drug dealer. I’ll probably never know though. I do know that I don’t need action movies anymore. I lived one!

Homeschool moms – we live life on the edge! What we won’t go through for a convention experience!

And craziness aside, the homeschool convention was awesome…….and Fort Worth, TX was too!

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