This past weekend we spent with my in-laws who live roughly two and a half hours away in this very small town. Now, I live in a small town, but I’m able to drive 15-20 minutes away to a larger town. My in-laws? Not so much. Their town has maybe three inhabitable hotels, and I’m using the term inhabitable loosely. We don’t travel there very often, and probably should, but when we do there is one specific hotel that I feel is acceptable. Again, I use the term acceptable very loosely. Basically of the three options, it’s the only one I really allow. It’s mostly clean and they have a pool that doesn’t freak me out too much. Of course, wherever we go it’s required to have a pool – my daughter is a swimmer and she is much happier when she can swim.
So a few weeks ago my husband calls and reserves our room. Our family isn’t huge, it’s my husband and I plus our two kids. You’d think a normal sized room would be fine right? Wrong. Typically we rent two room suite type rooms. We like to have the option to put our son down for his nap and still watch TV or play board games. Having a two room suite makes this much easier. Well every time we call this specific hotel they state their suite is not available. Truthfully? I don’t think they have one. I mean, how can it be unavailable year round in a town that really has very few overnight visitors?! Anyway, my husband makes the reservation and we’re good to go. Our daughter will have her pool and I won’t cringe too much when I go to bed at night.
A few days prior to our trip, my father-in-law informs my husband that the whole hotel is under construction and they’ve taken out the pool. What?! So not only do I get the joy of dealing with construction sounds, but my daughter won’t have a pool either. Greeatt… I know I’m sounding like a total spoiled brat, but I like to be comfortable when we travel. I have enough issues as it stand I don’t want to worry about extra noise and lack of entertainment for my kiddo. At this point, I’m not looking forward to the whole hotel experience at all.
Friday night we roll up to the hotel. My husband handles the whole check in process for multiple reasons. One being he’s from the town and tends to know people. I’m sure another reason is simply because I can get a bit annoyed when things don’t go well. Anyway, he checks in and gets us a killer rate because the pool is out of commission. Of course when he tells me this I’m all ‘well they should have told you that when you made the reservation… ‘ Not that it would have changed our choice in hotel, but I had to complain anyway. The things my husband puts up with I swear.
I’m sure he knows I’m totally annoyed, I’ve never been one to hide my moods, so he sends me up with our son while he and our daughter load the luggage cart. I get into the room, situate my son and go about my normal inspection. I check the shower and bathroom area – all clean. I check the sink and see no sight of grossness left over from the previous guest. Then I move to the bed. What the hell? Each bed has four pillows. Normal right? Sure, but these pillows were no bigger than my throw pillows. Who the hell sleeps on a throw pillow?! I take a deep breath and think ‘it’s fine, I have my pillow in the car’… Except I didn’t. I had forgotten my pillow. Lovely. Just lovely.
My husband and daughter turn up and we unload our bags. At this point our son has decided he really needs a nap, so my husband takes our daughter and heads up to visit his dad. I get our son into his playpen for his nap and think it’s a perfect time for me to lie down and relax. I pulled out one of those half sized pillows and proceed to get comfortable. The minute I place my head on the pillow I can smell some awful plastic/rubbery smell.
So am I sounding entirely spoiled? Yeah, I probably am, but you need to understand a few things. First, I have cleaned hotel rooms as a job, I know exactly how things should be done and how to tell if they weren’t. I also know how gross people are when they stay in hotels. Add that to my strange phobias and you’ve got a nasty imagination taking over. I imagine just how many skin flakes have fallen from previous guests. I imagine how many bodily fluids have hit those comforters and just absorbed into the material. I know how infrequently said comforters are washed and let me tell you, that thought could give a person nightmares. Second, I am super sensitive to smells. Perfumed anything can give me one hell of a migraine. The smell of rubber makes me sick to my stomach and I don’t even use Ziploc bags for my food because they make it smell like plastic.
Now that you know all this, imagine just how excited I am to be staying in a hotel with half sized pillows that smell like plastic and rubber, on a comforter that has likely seen twenty previous guests. Yeah, panic attack here I come! I try really hard to rest. I had just had surgery two days prior and could use the rest. I needed to rest while my son slept. By some miracle I was able to fall asleep.
Later that evening, while my husband caught up with local friends and family, I stayed at the hotel with some cranky children. My son just had to get into everything. He slammed drawers on his fingers, threw remote controls, he was everywhere. My daughter was whiny because we didn’t have a pool and she was tired and there was nothing on TV. Me? Oh I was just peachy 😉
My son decides it’s a good time to crawl halfway under the bed. Great, I have minimal use of my right leg and my son could get himself stuck under the bed at any time. Lovely. Thankfully he backs himself out. I’m thinking ‘yay!’ until I see why he crawled under the bed in the first place. There, in his tiny 1-year-old hands is a Werther’s Original candy coated completely in dust and all those under the bed ickies. (Yes I did just use the word ickies). Inside I’m freaking out. I’m calculating just how many germs are on that thing, how many people may have touched it and just how long it had been under the bed. Not to mention, the fact that it was indeed under the bed, what else have the maids missed?? It’s a horrible moment in my world. I manage to maintain composure and snatch the horrid thing from my son, toss it in the trash and head for the sink with my kiddo to scrub his hands and face. Decontamination took only a few moments but I fear I may be scarred for life…
The rest of my weekend was full of some great family time with my in-laws. We had a blast with Easter Eggs and showing them how to play games on the iPad. While I may not appreciate the hotels in this small town my husband once called home, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the company.