Tuesday, January 5, 2010

#TravelFail

Hotels are dirty. Well, at least according to Dateline and the Regulator. Oh, and I guess I have inside information—take it from me, the bathroom in room #314 at the Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago will never be the same. Anyways, we were scarred raised with a very specific set of hotel occupancy rules.

1. NEVER step bare foot on hotel room carpet no matter how nice you think it looks. (The carpets are only cleaned once a year.)
2. NEVER use a hotel comforter. (My husband likes to play this game where he traps me inside the comforter which results in me having a panic attack. Fun!)
3. ALWAYS wipe down the toilet seat before sitting. (You can't be 100% sure that they've been thoroughly disinfected. Apparently the Regulator had friends who worked housekeeping in high school and she's never looked at hotel rooms the same since.)

For the record, I follow these rules religiously. I have even added a couple of my own.

1. ALWAYS check for bedbugs. (You don’t even want to know.)
2. ALWAYS avoid touching shower curtain with anything more than your nails. (I almost cried once when the entire thing got stuck to my body.)
3. ALWAYS avoid letting your bare skin touch anything within the hotel room. Particularly upholstery. (It can't be disinfected.)

I guess I sound like a germaphobe. I guess I am a germaphobe. Damn you Dateline and your black light, damn you. Anyways, during my most recent travel fail, I learned that these rules do not apply to 20 month olds. Let me back up…

We rang in the New Year with family in Charleston. It was fun (aside from the fact that Lydia woke up no later than 5:00 AM. Every. Single. Day.) The morning we were scheduled to leave, Lydia woke up barking. BARKING. I never believed that a cough could actually sound like a bark, but I stand corrected. Watch out fellow flyers, we’ve got a barker on our hands. Good. Times.

We made it as far as Atlanta and were trying to console our little barker when the delay to Cleveland was posted. First an hour, then two, then three…then CANCELLED. Throughout the four hours we were in the airport, Lydia managed to touch a piece of chewed gum stuck on a chair, pick up a furry-looking French fry and bark in the face of at least five people. I have rules for the airport too, but I was forced to abandon them after I watched Lydia pick up and promptly consume an M&M she found in between the cushions of two seats.


Lucky for us, the airline put us up in an airport mhotel. I threw the ‘m’ in because “hotel” is a loose term. I didn’t even need a black light to know that the comforters on the bed hadn't been cleaned since the early 90's. And, I know, I know, it could have been worse. We could have been stuck sleeping in the airport. Now that would have been an epic blog post.

Anyways, within minutes of unlocking the mhotel door, Lydia had cuddled up on the bedspread, wedged herself between the wall and the bed making contact with bedspread and carpet simultaneously, put the remote control in her mouth and touched the toilet seat. My head almost exploded. Because our luggage was on its way to Cleveland (how that works, I’m not sure), I used a bar of soap to wash my hair and scrub down Lydia, attempted to “comb” my hair with my fingers and threw the barker in an unsanitized mhotel-provided pack-n-play.

Silver lining? She was asleep within seconds. Bark + one hour flight + four hours in airport + touching as many pieces of germ-infested mhotel furniture as possible = one tired baby.

Flight from Charleston to Cleveland: $300
Tetanus shot to clear baby of any germs ingested via the dirty M&M: $145
Mhotel Room provided by the craptastic airline that stranded you in the first place: $0


Child sound asleep in potentially swine-flu-infested-mhotel-provided pack-n-play?


Priceless.

62 comments:

Tamika: said...

You are too funny! I do share your sentiments about public places. I'm a germaphone when it comes to public restrooms. My kids know never to ask me to use the bathroom in public if you want a happy mommy. Urg!

Melissa said...

Ohhhhh TravelFails...I truly understand how terrible they are haha and public bathrooms are just...ick.

Shelby said...

unfortunately, some hotel rooms are cleaner than my own bedroom.

sad.

but quite true.

the baby is absolutely precious.

Suzanne Young said...

I'm so sorry about the sick baby :-(

The parts about germs though--HILARIOUS!!! And I think a skit with someone trying to avoid the shower curtain only to have it stick to their entire body would be AWESOME!

What a great way to start my morning! Thanks!

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Three kids later....I gave up lol! It's easier to just carry around a bottle of lysol and spray them down and continue on with what you were doing. Pray that they are not oozing with germies that touched you before you sprayed them lol!

Hotels are yuckie! But sleeping babies are precious! Hope you had a fun trip!

Lisa Marie said...

Oh poor sick girl:( traveling with a sick kiddo is not pleasant...
I too was a vicitim of Dateline's blacklight. I also watched Dr. Oz do one about cellies and handbags!

Carrie Harris said...

One time that I went shopping, my son actually LICKED the outside of the mall toilet.

I'm not a germaphobe, but that still squicked me out.

storyqueen said...

Eeeewwwwww!!!

Dear God, how DO babies find all of the crap in the world to stick in their mouths???

Well,on the plus side, her immune system is going to be really great...

confused homemaker said...

I'm totally this way too about hotel rooms and public restrooms are just too much for me. I'm like a female Seinfeld.

Alissa said...

I have a sister who is a complete germaphobe, and I once dated a WHATEVER-YOU-DO-DON'T-TOUCH-THE-COMFORTER! kind of guy, and I admit, it is a little fun to make these people freak out. Sorry, but that look of absolute terror is a bit funny! I guess I've always been something of a hippie when it comes to things like sharing food or sleeping in hotel rooms.

Nisa said...

Oh man! What an adventure... She does look so peaceful though!

Christina Lee said...

Ewwww--I cannot stop itching now. Sounds miserable. I had a barker this week too. He wakes up barking every other month. I guess if you get croup once some kids will get it again and again. He's our little seal. Glad you're home safe and sound...

Simon C. Larter said...

I'm sorry, but does it make me sadistic, or just easily amused if I laughed at the mental image of you hopping around in the shower trying to free yourself from a clingy, plasticy shower curtain, shrieking and batting at it with a loufa. Okay, maybe slightly sadistic.

I went the opposite way concerning germs after I had children, actually. I figured, since their tiny little immune systems could absorb day old rice puffs and fuzzy candies from behind the microwave stand without so much as an errant burp, mine could deal with that kind of thing too. My no-second rule for dropped food kinda disappeared after that. (I do still cringe at the pre-chewed gum touching, though. Gah!)

Hopping in shower. *snarf* *snort*

Karen said...

Ergggg! Worst travel nightmare! The hotel pack-n-plays are the worst, too. Blech!

Hope your baby gets better soon. :(

(Word verification is even "harsho")

Little Ms J said...

I have an image of you standing under scalding hot water in the shower, hugging yourself and shaking. My favorite hotel was the Marriott that checked me into a room where someone had left pee in the toilet and had obviously "done it" on the bed. "Um, hi. I'm in 350 and there's pee in my toilet and sex in my bed. No, no. You can't come clean it. I need a new room and a can of Lysol."

Ian said...

You guys (gals) are just too much....TOO MUCH!!!!!!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Ha! I've lived a lot of those stories as well. Those are the times where you're like, "All I need to do is survive. That's it" and keep muttering it to yourself over and over...

I'm not much of a germaphobe... I guess it comes from what I do for a living. Most people would faint at some of the stuff I've done. But, hey, what doesn't kill you... :0)

Tess said...

I just say to myself:

no one ever died from hotel room germs.

er...I think.

KarynOstler said...

My husband and I are just as germaphobic when it comes to hotel rooms. When travelling with our two little boys, we did some research on other ways to "clean" a hotel room. We started carrying a UV wand to sanitize our rooms when we first arrive. There's a bunch of stuff out there for us germaphobes! I'd recommend germtools.com and ehealthsupplies.com if you're interested!

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Ahahahahaha that was awesome! We need more #travelfails. I can't wait til you two go on tour! It will be epic.

Rachele Alpine said...

Amen! I HATE hotels...I think they are nasty and gross. I couldn't stop laughing when I read about your husband trying to wrap you up in a comforter. I would have freaked out. I backpacked through Costa Rica when I was in college, and I stayed in some places that would make you faint! I try to block the memories of the rooms from my mind!

Rachele
www.freckle-head.blogspot.com

Bethany Wiggins said...

Kids+travel=ugh. Now try it with three. Thanks for another hilarious post!

Kimberly Derting said...

My husband loves to remind me that the dirtiest thing in hotel rooms are the remote controls (they *never* get wiped down), so when you said Lydia stuck it in her mouth I almost gagged! I don't even like to touch shopping carts. Although, with Suzanne, I would pay to see the skit!!!

Larissa said...

Sorry, but that was HILARIOUS! Ah, kids and their complete lack of germophobia.

I have three kids six and under. I have blocked out these types of experiences for fear I will go nuts and try to buy plastic bubbles for each of them.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Haha! This is so funny and yet so gross at the same time. I'm with you on this. I love to go places, but traveling sucks. Don't even get me started on European hotel rooms. You know we ALWAYS travel with our own pillows and sometimes even our own blankets (except--funny story--while in Paris, in a very nice hotel, housekeeping actually took OUR pillow cases off OUR pillows, so the hotel, unable to reproduce our pillow cases, had to give us some of theirs to take home.)

Anyway, the baby's an adorable little squeezable bundle. I'm hopeful he didn't pick up swine flu or ebola from that sleeper.

Tere Kirkland said...

*shudders*

I think I need a tetanus shot after just reading this story.

Glad to be home? ;)

Suzyhayze said...

A- dorable!

XO

Dara said...

Sometimes I wish for the days when I was a baby, not caring about the legions of disgusting germs out there :P

Hotels = ICK.

Kristy said...

I'm so grossed out right now...

I wear flip flops in the shower at hotels, I'm afraid of planter's warts.

Wendy Sparrow said...

Yes, but this made for a blog win, so there are upsides... sort of.

Yes--on the comforter. I once was watching a comic live who pointed out that you know they never wash the comforters because you never see cleaning carts in the halls stacked with comforters--just sheets. Eww!

My kids really enjoy the complimentary shower caps from hotels. My son was wearing one for half the day as part of his super hero garb.

Katie said...

Laura!!!!!!!!!! You are hilarious!!!!!!!!!!!

Mariah Irvin said...

I'm also a germaphobe, so I'm not even going to click on that link you have of Dateline and their black lights. Eww.

casiecook said...

Ohhhh - I'm SO sorry I didn't save you. Though I love my fabulous new purple blackberry, it wasn't worth having my best friend sleep in a rat motel in College Park, GA. Just be thankful you weren't mugged.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Is this a bad time to tell you about how my son threw up all over a hotel room we stayed at - the floor, the bedding, the luggage stand...

What? You didn't want to know about that? :-)

Tara McClendon said...

"Quinn, where did you get that gum?"

"I found it."

"Where?"

"Over there." Points to bench.

This is one of too many conversations like this. Thankfully at 6, he's learning not to eat things he finds on the ground (or in other places). I feel your pain.

Kim said...

baahaahaaa! You're going to be in need of some major blood pressure meds after that trip. All you need now is to come over to my house for dinner. I believe you may still be scarred from reading about my worm infestation.

Hope your sweet angel is better soon!

Carolyn V. said...

EWWW! I was in two hotels during the holidays. Did I wipe down the toilet? I can't remember!

Sorry you got stranded. But glad you made it home!

Conda V. Douglas said...

Then of course, there's the opposite problem of we've become so fearful and CLEAN that our children aren't developing healthy immune systems. Of course I take two showers a day...

Danyelle said...

o.O

*hugs for your little one*

Germs are ick! Thank you for reminding me why I don't like to sleep anywhere but at home. >.<

Sarah said...

Omg! I feel scarred and sorry for you and that was hilarious but scarring and...your getting stuck to the shower curtain nearly made me die of laughter. That's just not.. okay. What about public restrooms - they're okay, right? Can we trust *those*?

ElanaJ said...

Hey, I work at an elementary school. Mhotels are nothing compared to what I've seen and touched. NOTHING.

Sara McClung ♥ said...

I think we'd get along really well if we ever took a trip together! I follow the exact same rules.

And PS what an PRECIOUS little baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love the pic SO CUTE :-)

Angela said...

My sides are busting!

Kids like to give us heart attacks daily I think. I found my 2 yr old in our fenced back yard with a cat turd on his palm, set on a collision course to his mouth. He'd found it in our sandbox. Thank you, neighbor who can't be bothered to follow cat bylaws!

I intervened, just in time. Then I bought a cat trap and trapped the buggar. :) Neighbors had to pay a nice tidy sum to get him back.

Shannon Messenger said...

LOL. I LOVE IT--I'm making my husband read this. He's always getting on me for my germophobic ways. My new one: I pack dish soap so I can wash the glasses in the hotel room before I use them. Have you ever noticed that you never see replacement glasses on the housekeeping cart? So what are they washing them with?!?!?!?!!

His argument is that the more germs you're exposed to, the stronger your immune system is which makes NO scientific sense at all, but is REALLY annoying because I get every cold/flu virus that goes around and in the 5 1/2 years of our marriage he's gotten sick once so it almost proves him right! Grrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!

And your baby is ADORABLE--and I'm not even much of a baby person (I know, *gasp* right. But c'mon, their heads are so disproportionately huge--it's a bit bizarre looking. And I can say that because when I was a baby I had the most gigantic head of them all, so I don't even think I was a cute baby)

Okay, I need to stop--this comment is ENDLESS. This is why I shouldn't comment when I'm hopped up on Pepsi. *runs away with flailing muppet arms*

Kimberly Franklin said...

Hotels are gross! Maybe we should rename them...Grosstels. And those bathrooms...Yuck!

Don't you just love the holidays???

Hope you had fun!

Gail said...

OMG Laura, I didn't know I could shudder, laugh, snort, gag, and almost wet myself all at the same time!!!!!!! This was too funny. But I understand the necessity of those hotel rules- that's why I carry flipflops with me on every trip, they can go on the carpet and in the shower and are cheap enough to throw away before you get home!!!

Punith said...

This was hilarious..but thanks for the heads up rules and information about mhotels. I need to make my own mhotel safety kit now with Lysol Wipes, Safety Glove, Snuggies Blanket and my own inflatable bed.

sunna said...

Lord, what a trip! I love the word mhotel. For some reason I keep imagining Austin Powers saying it.

I am never, ever letting my husband watch that particular dateline show. He's bad enough already and he travels about 45% of the time. I think he might actually go insane. (Hell, even I'm going to be a little paranoid now.)

Kelly H-Y said...

BEST POST EVER! I am so sorry she was sick ... and that is the sweetest picture ever of her sleeping ... but, OH MY, I was laughing through your post because I'm just like you!

Jemi Fraser said...

Your barker is a cutie patootie :)

My paranoia level was already pretty high regarding mhotels, but you've sent it soaring!

Shelli said...

girl you should have come to stay with me in atlanta - I clean my rugs at LEAST 2ce a year. (ok i laughed at this b/c I am the same way). First step in hotel - strip comforter, wash glasses and

Donna Gambale said...

I love this blog more and more every time I read a post. OMG. And I thought I was a germaphobe. Those shows make me paranoid too! And I physically cringed when I read about the shower curtain clinging to you. Now that's good writing!

jessjordan said...

I watched that Dateline special, too, and I've been forever traumatized. Damn you, Dateline. Damn you to hell!

Shower curtains = EWWWWWW. One stuck to my body like a leech once. It was one of the most disgusting experiences of my life. It didn't help that there was sometehing that resembled a booger on it. I've never felt dirtier after scrubbing for so long.

Don't get me started on the comforters. I heard they're only washed 2x a year, so I get grossed out when I have to touch them to remove them from the beds and throw them in a ball in the corner.

By the by, who says you can't disinfect fabric? My friend and I used to use an entire can of Lysol on everything in our hotel room, from lamp switches to toilet seats to the bottom of our tub to yes, the couch, b/c we had to sit there to study. The cleaner was so strong you could've gotten high in there. Or maybe you could've died. One or the other. :)

Lori W. said...

This made me laugh so hard I sounded like I was barking! I'm sorry about your sick little girl, though. I remember those days of traveling w/sick little ones so well. Sometimes, a day is so bad that you can either laugh about it or cry about it.

Airport carpets, should also, of course, never be slept on. I've got some nasty stories about those.

Natalie said...

I'm no germaphobe, but I would definitely think twice before having my baby sleep in a hotel pack and play! I know what my kids have done to THEIR pack and play--many, many gross things, that's what--and I shudder to think of what is possible. I'm glad you made it through alive. :)

Solvang Sherrie said...

Oh man, that's just hilarious! My husband is a hotel manager and believe me, he is anal about any place we stay at, no mhotels allowed!

I'm a total germophobe too. I feel your pain. And for the record, as soon as we check in, we remove the comforters. Ick!

But what a sweet photo of the babe :)

Rebecca Knight said...

The phrase "put the remote control in her mouth" made me scream a little. *shudder*

April said...

Ahhhhh, gross!

Desertson said...

The remote control is #1 for germs. Just imagine some old geezer in there doing his "duty" then he grabs the remote and starts pressing buttons...arrrrrrrgggg. #2 is the door knobs! Don't forget to wipe the door knobs people.

katfalt said...

you are ridiculous. this is ridiculous. I googled "mother's worse
nightmare, and THIS is what i found? You don't know anything about a
mom's worse nightmare! I know that hotels are germy. That does not stop
me from making myself comfortable, yes, right on the bedspread, and
with barefeet and all on the carpet and guess what? I'M ALIVE AND WELL!
I have a 3 year old, and some germ exposure will help him buid a strong
immune system, which is something i'd never deny my son. Your daughter
will probably get all kinds of sick for the rest of her life because
now is critical to immune system development. I know 30 year old people
who get sick every time someone within a mile sneezes because their
mothers were like u. stop ur freakish snotty behavior, lighten up, and
let ur daughter just be a kid. it's good for her.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Good heavens. The above comment is kind of ... uh, harsh, and lacking in humor.

I was just writing in to mention that a vaporizer is good for a barking cough. I know this because my husband has driven out on *countless* late night CVS runs to buy cheap vaporizers in various vacation spots. We used to bring them home, but then we stopped bothering, because we knew we'd have to buy another one anyway wherever we went on our next vacation.

Hotel comforters and shower curtains ... blech ...

Erica Chapman said...

I shudder to think what I'll be like when I have kids, because I feel the same exact way you do. I treat the comforter like it has the plague in between the fibers...

Sorry it was so nuts! What a cute pic though ;o)