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Love the Robe!

Part III in the Search For Madonna: Room Tours

Article by: Cindy Smith

May 3-8, 2006

Event Hosts: Dustin & Andrew Locke

As I sit down to write this I can't believe that 5 months have passed since Stephanie and I were at the Madonna Inn. Sometimes it feels so long ago; sometimes it feels like we were never there. But then I take a moment, quiet myself and turn my thoughts inward and when I do, I can't help but chuckle.

The day started off quiet enough: no alarm clocks; no early morning rush to get the car packed; just a leisurely breakfast planned with Dustin, Andrew, Bruce, Debbye and a few other SDMC members. After breakfast, some were taking off to go shopping; some for a spirited run to the car show in Morro Bay; but Stephanie and I decided to just take a breather and hang low until the San Luis Obispo Grand Get Acquainted Tour which was to start at 2 PM. Besides, I needed to get some 'hors d'hoerves' for the evening's Room Hopping Parties.


Photo by Stephanie Smith
Cars on the run!

We were joined on our trek to the local shopping center by Dustin and Andrew. I was a bit surprised to see that they didn't head off with some of their SDMC cronies, but then again, the two of them and Stephanie had had their heads together, doing a lot of whispering and laughing. Something was up, and just as I was beginning to feel a bit left out, Andrew came clean: seems like they had a little surprise planned for Bruce during the evening's room tour. Apparently what started this devious plotting was Bruce's teasing of Andrew during the last Madonna tour for being too quiet and not being jovial enough during the evening's festivities. And Stephanie's involvement was a shoo-in after Bruce had blinded her on the bus to Hearst Castle with the flash on his camera-phone the night before. Well, you know what they say about paybacks, and you do remember, don't you, when I said it was the quiet ones you have to watch out for?

Andrew didn't want to compromise me in anyway – because paybacks are hell – but they swore me into secrecy, and although I can't take any credit for the prank they later pulled, I did put in my two cents worth; like the fact chocolate frosting would work better than pudding for what you have in mind and oooh, look! Chocolate Dreamwhip! The rest of the morning was getting the "prop" ready and then it was time for our afternoon run.


Photo by Tom & Marna Wood.
Group Photo in bathrobes

That's where the SHARP LEFT! SHARP RIGHT! SHARP! SHARP! came into play. Now I am normally the one who is white-knuckling it when it comes to these kinds of runs. However, Tom was in Washington and I was in the driver's seat this time. That left Stephanie as the navigator. Like the day before, we tried to slide in towards the rear but SDMC wasn't having any of that. That left me with the thought that SDMC wasn't going to go home saying it was too bad that lady from Washington didn't know how to drive! All I can say is Thank heavens I have High Bridge Road in my backyard and have had the fortune to "practice" on it going to and from Monroe, because it turned out all that practice was put into use that day. It was a blast, but I have got to say that I think both Stephanie and I were a bit relieved to finally see the road straighten out. We were both ready for a breather and for the good food at Big Bad Bubba's BBQ in Paso Robles, where the poor waitresses were overwhelmed but still managed to keep our rowdy crowd happy. Then it was back to the Madonna Inn and that infamous room tour.

For each guest room, the Madonna Inn generously provides two pretty, fluffy PINK bathrobes, so someone along the way decided it was only proper to don said PINK bathrobes when doing the room tour. Bruce Lewis, however, (like some in our club) likes to embellish his attire for the evening; he adds the shower cap and has his complimentary toilette paper stuck to his foot. Unbeknownst to him, he had an additional "accessory" to his robe; one, with the help of his wife, Debbye, we were able to get past him without his notice. When I came downstairs to join the festivities, it was all I could to contain myself and quip, "Looking good, Bruce!" Of course, by this time, Stephanie, Andrew and Dustin had lost it and were out rolling with laughter in the parking lot! It wasn't until "Aunt Pam" laughed and made the comment, "Bruce, I just love what you've done with your robe!" that Bruce (or as he is now known, "Deuce") noticed the long, dark, brown "hash" mark streaking down the backside of his robe!

At first, I didn't think we were going to get him out of his room, but then he took it all in great stride and eventually became the hit of the evening. In fact, I think he got more attention than all the outlandish rooms put together!

Stephanie and I took his good-hearted threat of payback seriously that night. Before retiring for the night, we pulled Stephanie's bed in front of the door (remember, we were sharing a suite with them), and since we were leaving in the morning before Bruce would be stirring, we figured we would be safe for now.

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