Ew. I have to sleep on that?

Seedy was an understatement. The motel was a dump.

The surprise family vacation had been going well. We had left home early that morning and gotten into Redding just in time to catch a dinner at In-N-Out.  No major arguments had errupted. Everyone was calm and relaxed. Just like a family vacation should be scripted. We should have known that it wasn’t going to work out when we saw the second story deck. Either the construction crew was tipsy when they built it or a California quake had knocked it slightly askew. It rolled up and down in gentle waves, the distance between it’s deepest point and the crest about a foot.

“This totally reminds me of a Monk episode,” one of my siblings said.


“Yeah. The one where someone gets shot right outside the creepy motel.”

“Oh,” piped in my dad, “I was thinking about the episode where he takes the wand and sees all the hidden germs on the bedspread.”

If your family starts referencing a tv show about a germaphobic detective, it’s not really a good sign. It is also a bad sign when you walk in your room and your first reaction is to wrinkle up your nose. Not because the decor is tacky but because your nostrils have been assaulted and you want to gag. No, you want to die. Anything to get rid of the smell of urine. The best way to delicately describe the experience is to imagine one of those circular sprinklers going off in a closed room. Now imagine that instead of water, the hose has been filled with the nasty yellow stuff. Sorry to spark your imagination in such a vivid way but it was quite vile.

The other bad moment came a few seconds later. You know how there are times when you want to jump, plop across a bed, just because you are so happy to have somewhere to lay your head? To be able to just revel in being able to relax. Not so. Thanks to my reading material (books on AIDS) on the way down, I was afraid of being stuck by an infected needle. I stood by the door, looked at the bed, and thought better of it.

The room was unacceptable. So was the one that smelled like bleach (want to really get knocked out?) and the other room that smelled like urine. We left and the motel is definitely on the list of “places to avoid for the rest of my life.” There was quite the hullabaloo with Travelocity, the motel, and my sister, but that’s another story best saved for never. It’s still being worked out.

We ended up in Red Bluff that night. In a lovely Inn with soft white comforters, an amazing breakfast spread, and friendly employees. No needles. No lingering smells. Just bliss.  And an awesome front desk receptionist gave us the corporate rate, making it economically brilliant.

Moral of the story: It pays to do your research.

One Response to “Ew. I have to sleep on that?”
  1. Fig says:

    Wow, and I thought we’d stayed at some nasty motels… glad this story had a happy ending.

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