Lost In The Opryland Hotel

“It’s an Atrium. It’s just a Man-Made-Atrium, ‘Lynn,'” I told myself. “This isn’t ‘Gilligan’s Island.'”

I had gone to an “After-Show” Party and returned to the “Opryland Hotel” after 1 AM.

The hotel has over 2800 rooms.
It’s the size of several football fields.

I had taken an “Uber” to get back to the hotel, and all I knew was that I had to go over the bridge in the Atrium to get to the elevators that took me to my room.

The Atrium is beautiful. It’s everything you’d find on a Desert Island.
And, …I was lost.
And I was lost in a bad way.
My Blood Sugar alarm was going off on my phone, and I needed some sugar quickly. It was in the ’60s — and going lower by the minute.
I was sweating profusely and developing a “Mental Fog,” which happens when my Blood Sugar goes low.

The only workers in the Atrium at that late hour were Spanish and did not speak English.
I walked up to one Spanish Man.
He smiles at me.
“I’m lost. Can you tell me how to get to elevator ‘D?'”
He smiles at me. I notice one front tooth is silver. “Yes…No…Yes…—No Speak ‘Englaise.'” (That’s how he pronounced it) And nods his head up and down as if he were saying “Yes.”

I say, “Coca-Cola Machine? Direction?”
“Yes…Yes…” and he nods his head up and down. “No ‘Englaise.'”
I nod “Yes” back to him, turn, and walk away.

As I said, the Atrium is like a desert island.
Palm Trees, Water Falls, and a nice Stream with lots of fish swimming around, and during the day, you can even take a Gondola Ride.
And I feel like I’m a “Castaway” on a deserted island.
I am alone, except for a few Spanish Workers.
It’s dark, it’s quiet, and I’m getting a bit scared.

I say out loud, “Good work Opryland Hotel! You know your Fake, Man-Made Island is good when you’ve got people stranded on it!”

My phone beeps again.
I check my Blood Sugar. “59.”
I had been eating and drinking the proper amounts of sugar all night and never drank any alcohol.
I even took a Sugared Coke with me in the Uber. I had drunk it.
I didn’t plan on or think I would get lost on the “Fake Island” at the Opryland Hotel. So, I was out of Sugar.

“Just go back to the beginning, ‘Lynn,'” I said to myself, and I began Back-Tracking.
“I’ll get to the front desk, grab a Coke from a machine, and all will be fine.”
I see the entrance to one of the millions of buildings they have. I walk in.
The name of this building is “Cascades” or something like that. The elevator has a “C” on it, and I know I need the elevator labeled “D.”
“I’m close,” I say.
I inspect this building and find it has no front desk—just rooms.
I find a Coke Machine.
It takes Cash and Debit Cards.
I swipe my card.
The screen reads, “Error. Cash Only.”
I pull a Five Dollar Bill out and put it into the machine.
The machine spits the fiver back out and says, “Exact Change Only.”
I had no One Dollar Bills, so I returned to the “Island.”

“If that was ‘C,’ then ‘D’ should be next.” I continue walking.

My Sweat was getting worse, and so was the Mental Fog I had developed.
I call Mom on my phone.

“Hey, I’m lost on this Stupid Fake Island in the Atrium. I need a Coke. My sugar is in the ’50s.”
“Oh my God, son, I’ll come to get you.”

At that time, two people passed by me; a man in his ’30s and a female who might have been 21.

“Excuse me, how do I get back to the front desk?”

The man says, “Follow us,” which I do.

They are both drinking and in good spirits.
We made small Chit-Chat while I followed, and I even made a few “Gilligan’s Island” jokes. They laughed.
While following, though, I got a bad feeling about something. I got a bad feeling about following those two.
I follow my “Gut instincts” because I figure they’ve been put there by God. So, I decided to leave and get away from them.

“Oh, this is where I need to go, right here. Elevator “G.” Yep. Thanks for y’alls help. I’ll take it from here. Nice meetin’ Y’all,” and I walk to elevator “G” and press the button.
When those two were out of sight, I returned to the Fake Island.

I see another Spanish person with a Hose in his hands. He is rinsing off the sidewalks.

“Excuse me, Do you know how I get to Elevator ‘D?'”
He smiles, nods up and down, “No ‘Englaise.'”
Again, he nods up and down, smiles, and says, “No ‘Englaise.'”
I follow his hose, thinking it leads somewhere, but it doesn’t.
It just connects to a Spigot behind one of the Palm Trees on the Fake Island.

I call mom back.
“Ok, come find me, please. And bring me a coke.”
“Where are you?”
“Elevator ‘G.'”
And I yell to the hotel itself.
“You know you’ve done a great job with the Fake Island when people begin to get stranded on your Fake Island!”
I added, “I hate you hotel!” Speaking to the building.
My mental fog was really getting bad.
I tell mom, “I’ll meet you at Elevator ‘C.'”

I walk a little farther back, trying to get back to elevator “C.” Sweat still dripping from my head onto my shirt.
I sit under a Palm Tree and give up.
“W-I-L-S-O-N!” I yell out loud.

I begin singing the theme to “Gilligan’s Island” aloud:

♪Just sit right back, and you’ll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this tiny ship.♪

I see a sign that reads “Delta” with an arrow pointing me in the correct direction.
I get up and follow that arrow but continue singing the theme from “Gilligan’s Island.”

♪The mate was a mighty sailing man,
The skipper brave and sure.
Five passengers set sail that day
For a three hour tour, a three hour tour.♪

I walk inside a building and see Elevator “D.”
I call Mom back.
“I found it. I’ll be there in a second.”

I take the elevator to the 6th Floor, get a drink from the machine and head into the room.
My Aunt told me that she had been keeping up with my time, and it took me over 45 minutes from the time I got out of the Uber and returned to our room.

I took my shirt off.
It was as wet as if I had walked in the rain.

You’d think I wouldn’t get lost again after that, but that’s untrue.
I did get lost again.
The following day, while searching for Breakfast, I got lost. I saw the people eating at the tables but couldn’t figure out how to get to the tables to eat. I would’ve had to cross the stream to get to the tables.
So, I sat under a Palm Tree and watched people eat their Breakfast.

When I got back to the room, I said, “This place has everything. I mean everything. They forgot to put a path to everything, though.”

As I said, the Opryland Hotel has 2800 rooms.
And as Barney Fife once said, “It’s Big! It’s Big Big!”