Copyright 2010 Randy Hunt
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Every so often I catch a TV news magazine story about dirty hotel rooms. The reporter enters a room with CSI-like equipment, including a black light, sterile swabs, and ZipLock freezer bags for specimen collection. (I’ve often wondered if these bags with a label strip are right out of the box from the grocery store or if they cost $10 a piece because they’re purchased from an approved state vendor list.)
Inevitably the investigative reporter finds exotic bacteria, an assortment of bodily fluids, and live creatures—some microscopic, some not so tiny. It’s enough to convince us never to pull back the sheets again in a hotel room.
I wish I had owned several DreamSacks back in 1998 when we took the family to
for a Disney vacation. Being as cheap as I am, my idea of a Disney vacation does not include staying at a Disney hotel. Instead, I searched out the lowest priced hotel room within a reasonable driving distance to Mickey & Minnie. Los Angeles
In fact, my plan was to spend Wednesday scouting out attractions around
and Vine, waiting until Thursday to hit Hollywood Disneyland. I had studied the daily attendance stats for Disneyland and determined that Thursday is the best day to avoid long lines.
So it made sense to find a hotel within walking distance of the
Hollywood Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, and the . With six kids and the need to rent two rooms, price is paramount. I found the perfect place, just half a block off Hollywood Boulevard: Motel 6. Hollywood Wax Museum
It wasn’t until we were driving at night in our rented Lincoln Navigator—which, in spite of its size, didn’t have room for all eight of us with our luggage, so we had purchased bungy cords to lash the suitcases to the roof rack, making the vehicle look remarkably like the truck driven by the Beverly
Hillbillies—that I noted an abundance of red lights close to the hotel.
And I don’t mean traffic lights. Who would have guessed how friendly these scantily-clad ladies would be when I stopped to ask directions to North Whitley Avenue?
We eventually found the Motel 6 and I became even more uneasy when I walked into the office and saw the night manager sitting behind bullet-proof glass with one of those metal speaker things.
He leaned and over spoke into the speaker thing, asking if there was anything he could help me with, as if the last thing on his mind was that I might be there to rent a room.
Against my better judgment and because it was already 11pm, I rented two rooms. Not being a complete idiot, I paid for the rooms in cash, thinking that my credit card would be charged to the max before our wake up call.
We rode an elevator that barely accommodated the eight of us and found the rooms. One of the kids questioned, “Eeeew! What’s this sticky stuff on the door knob?” I have no idea to this day what it was, but I made him wash his hands until they were raw.
The rooms were visibly dirty, not like the ones on TV that appear to be clean, but aren’t. No need for a black light here. Did we pack sleeping bags?
The two girls stayed in our room and the four boys occupied the adjoining room. I told the kids to sleep with their clothes on, including shoes, and to use some of their packed clothes to make a pillow. Try not to touch anything in the bathroom, I warned. Sleep tight. See you in the morning.
I didn’t sleep too well that night, imagining all sorts of things that had never occurred to me before. I know the girls were pretty apprehensive as well, but the boys slept just fine. Boys are like that. In fact, their room at home had gotten pretty disgusting from time to time, thanks to hoarding food and who knows what else.
The next morning, nobody was dead. Good start to a fun day. First on the list of To-Do’s was to reserve two rooms at the Beverly Garland
Holiday Inn. Twice the room rate but, as they say in the Mastercard commercials, “Priceless.”
Copyright 2010 Randy Hunt