This is our first trip to leave Meraki so far away (parked in a small town at South Carolina) as we're in the DC area for few weeks. We won't see her for a long time and we miss her tremendously. Seriously. Staying at a really sleazy inn did not help at all. I had hopes to be way up north, close to DC, yesterday. Unfortunately, we had a late start due to a storm that had us stuck at Acworth, Georgia. Ya know, the tornado-flash flood warning type. I swear, we have had all types of global warming shit thrown in our path since we started (heat wave- the 116 degrees type, ice from the hard freeze, near hurricane wind gusts, flash flood, smoke from the fires, tornado warning...). So, we ended up being stuck in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I could not drive anymore. I was beyond exhausted and used Kayak to find a good deal that had free hot breakfast, free wifi to get the boys off of my back and a fridge to keep our foods cold. I found Days Inn of Northlake to have good deal, the photos looked good and the indoor pool/spa looked amazing.
Wrong. As I went to the front desk, I should have seen the warning signs, I was assaulted with cat piss smell. I've NEVER smelled a space that strong with cat piss. Holy. I looked around, it was also the same place for the "free hot breakfast." I gagged and proceeded to sign in. I already paid for the reservation and it was nonrefundable. The young lady at the desk seemed to be high on something and clapped her hands in glee several times because I was writing her a note (Deaf, you know?). Okkkaaayy.
I walked out and to my horror, saw the pool. Whatever it was supposed to be, was actually a building in ruins with wooden panels hammered in the wall and some windows broken off. I told myself, oh man.. there goes the free breakfast and now the pool.
The room. Getting to our room was creepy AF and my boys were shocked. We could smell human piss as we walked up the stairs. I hoped, fervently, that the room would be decent and that the wifi would be good.
No lights were working. The tv was broken (it was a 1980 tv), wifi? It trickled like a riverbed plagued with drought. The remote controllers (yes, plural form for a broken tv......) had sticky substances on them. The front door wouldn't shut fully and the air conditioner randomly went on, sending the dirty drapes floating upwardly, ever so gently.
I know I should have told the boys to forget this place and just go. But, I was SO tired. I thought that our staying in that sleazy inn was safer than me driving some more (it was 9pm and I've been driving since 10am). I told the boys NOT TO TOUCH anything and to stay in their dirty clothes for bed. None of us could sleep. We were creeped out, my boys freaked out and I told them that I wouldn't endanger them. Finally, 12:30am came, they all were fast asleep and I? Not a wink.
I complained to my husband about the inn and he told me to take photos. That was a mistake. I started taking photos and noticed that there were strange marks in the sink and the bathroom door had signs of damage that seriously looks like someone was trying to claw out of the door. The stairs right out of our door had caution tape with furnitures blocking it. Oh My God, I thought to myself, "did I take my boys to a crackpot motel?!"
As soon as we woke up, made a beeline out of that Days Inn and I lead pedaled outta of that area. We had 7 more hours to get to our destination in DC. I honestly did not want to drive that long and I also struggled with taking another risk of a shitty inn/motel/hotel.
I decided to find a hotel somewhere and to be more vigilant when choosing. Rather than choosing price as a filter, I picked "ratings" and was recommended for this family friendly Springhill Suite. We pored over the photos and even googled it. It looked legit.
And legit it is, indeed.
I told the boys as soon as we got into our room, to not sit on anything, to peel out of those clothes and take a shower. It was the fast shower turns ever and I went last.
When it was my turn, as soon as the water hit my face, I heard a chorus of "hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelllllllluuuuujjjjaaaahhhhhhh!"
just a mother who fled from society's constraints and is super excited to wake up to the outdoors, remain braless daily and teach her boys the art of boredom and discovery.