I sometimes like to show up at my company’s Charlotte, NC office uninvited. So that’s what I did on Friday.
But let’s take a step back.
Brian wanted to go see comedian Doug Stanhope perform at the Chop House in Charlotte on Saturday, but I wasn’t totally sold on the idea. Seven hours was a lot to drive for a 48 hour trip, and I never seem to have much PTO stored up despite the fact that I’m too broke for a real vacation.
But at the end of the day, homeboy offered to drive and get the hotel, and even agreed to put us up for two nights in NC if we could find a cheap enough hotel.
Man oh man did he ever find a cheap hotel.
I should have known after our experience planning our weekend in NYC that B couldn’t be trusted picking hotels (when I googled the hotel he recommended, the first suggested searches included hotel murder, hotel bed bugs, and hotel haunted. Now lay your weary head to rest, tourist.).
We got to Charlotte around 4 p.m. and I had a blast surprising my unsuspecting coworkers.
Yes. I was so excited that my one eyeball decided to go cross-eyed. Weird.
When they asked where I was staying, my response was met with trepidation, to say the least.
“Well if you want to buy drugs or hookers, that’s the place to do it,” my coworker Ryan told me. He later compared that area of Charlotte to the NE area of D.C. No bruno–which is of course what my Mac autocorrects “no bueno” to.
Nonetheless, we checked into the hotel, which clearly some people choose to live in because it’s cheaper than paying rent. The first thing I noticed was the smell of smoke, which isn’t a particular turn off for me in most scenarios because it reminds me of my Grammy’s house. The difference being Grammy’s house doesn’t usually have blood and other questionable bodily secretions on the wall.
Whatever, I thought. It’s not like we’ll be in the room much this weekend anyway.
We headed to Which Wich for dinner, because I’ve been obsessed with it ever since reading about it on Hungry Runner Girl–thank you Janae. Too bad there are no Which Wich near me.
Oh Which Wich. I never really cared until I met you.
After a few $3 sangrias from Brazwell’s, my 8 hours on the road caught up to me and we called it a night relatively early.
As I crawled into the bed at my 2.5 star hotel, I started to…itch.
“Brian, are you itchy?”
“No it’s in your head.”
“Are you sure?”
We checked the bed for bugs, but didn’t find anything. He covered my pillow with his tshirt, and I managed to fall asleep for about a half hour. My $40-a-night hotel slumber was forcefully disrupted by a loud slamming of the door to the room beside us.
“Ohhhhh helllllllll naw,” the neighbor next door yelled down the highway.
“Aaaaaaron!!! Aaaaaaron!!!” she called.
“We aint stayin’ here,” she told Aaron. “There’s bugs ‘n’ shit. Aw hell no. We’ll go stay down the street.”
Let me tell you, no words have ever spawned more fear in me than that simple proclamation. If the hotel wasn’t good enough for her, it certainly wasn’t good enough for me.
Brian and I managed to pack all of our stuff in 10 minutes and left the hotel, the Rodeway Inn, around 1:30 a.m. We were checked into the Holiday Inn 30 minutes later. I showered for what felt like an hour and strongly considered burning my clothes and my luggage.
While I don’t think the hotel actually had bed bugs, I did see some reviews that mentioned cockroaches. Either way, I’m pretty sure Brian learned that budget shopping for hotels isn’t always worth it. In this situation, it ended up costing him $90 and will probably cost me years of therapy.
And by therapy, I do mean bacon bloody marys from Terrace Cafe.
Is it a bad sign when your brunch costs more than your hotel? Probably. Even if your brunch consists of eggs benedict, where the ham is replaced with filet.
Southern food–you get me. You truly get me.