I invite you all to find humor in the misery I experienced this past weekend while staying at an independently-owned hotel near Kingston.  May you all learn a little something about hotel-booking in the process.

This past weekend, I attended a wedding near Kingston. Not such a great distance from Albany, but far enough to merit the necessity of a hotel room, especially when the presence of an open bar at the reception played a significant role in the evening's events. Let me start off by saying that the responsibility of booking of the room was not my own, so the following disclaimer is of the "it wasn't my fault we had such a crappy room" variety. As with most weddings, rooms were blocked off at the local chain hotel for the convenience of any out-of-town guests. Unfortunately, procrastination on the booking-party of this tale led to a search for other accommodation as all other rooms at the aforementioned chain hotel were already occupied.

Upon arrival at our "off-the-exit" haven, my boyfriend and I immediately took note of the mysteriously taped door leading to the entrance for all the rooms within that unit. Talk about top notch security! Should any vagabonds need shelter from the wind and rain, they must have been welcome guests in the foyer of our little dwelling. While that may sound charitable on paper, I assure you, it was quite disturbing. Next, we were greeted by numerous mosquitos and flies occupying the hallway leading to our room. Though pretty gross, it wasn't such a big deal so long as they knew their place and remained outside the door.

Have you noticed we haven't even gotten inside the room yet?

Now, most people would have had enough serious second thoughts to demand a room in the "nicer" part of the hotel - you know, the ones with functioning doors? - but for all we knew, the room could have been spectacular and come complete with mini-bar, pillow mints, and free HBO. We decided to venture on and see what awaited us behind door #1.

First inspection of the room seemed adequate - no bed bugs, "clean" sheets (cuz really, how clean are they in any hotel), complimentary soap and shampoo, mini fridge and microwave. Things appeared to be looking up - or so we thought.

I went into the bathroom to put on the final touches of makeup; in doing so, I had left the door open and soon noticed my boyfriend examining the door. Curiosity got the better of me, so I asked what he was looking at. His basic reply was something to the effect of "I'm looking at this fist-sized hole in the door." Upon closer inspection, one could indeed see, the peeling/chipped paint that attempted to hide the large dent in the door. Scary? Yes. Cause for alarm? Not quite set to panic just yet.

A few minutes later, I went over to the dressing table to put my makeup back in its case when I happen to look over at the lamp next to me. Something didn't seem right, so I looked at the shade a bit closer and discovered what appeared to be a mass of a long-dried, red liquid substance surrounding the top portion of the lampshade. For all I know, this could have been spilled Kool-aid or dripped nail-polish, but how exactly it got to that awkward spot is still something I find myself puzzling about and cringing at the possible answers. After bringing this new discovery to my boyfriend's attention, he countered with a gruesome discovery of his own on the outside of our window - what looked like bird feathers stuck to the window as if someone wanted to see if a sparrow would stick to a window if you threw it hard enough. And these weren't just feathers randomly plastered in various locations on the window either, if you looked closely enough, you could actually see the outline the wings made when the bird slammed into the window. Charming!

Finally, and my personal favorite, was the actual door to our room. From the outside, seemingly pretty normal; unfortunately, it’s a different situation on the other side. After our period of bird homicide investigation, I turned around and had an odd sensation.  I realized that when standing in a specific location in the center of the room, a strange light was coming from the door. Looking at it, I noticed it was because the door did not properly fit the frame, giving us a rather clear, inconvenient view of the parking lot outside! It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before, or probably ever will again. The boy went outside to see if anything was visible in the room from the hallway. According to him, we were safe, but just to be certain (and to keep the glaring hallway lights from beaming into our room at night), he took the bedspread off the second bed in the room and duct-taped it over the door. This experience was so bizarre, we actually did take pictures of it in case people didn’t believe us. I haven’t been able to procure said photos off his camera yet, but be satisfied in knowing they exist.

Between circumstantial evidence pointing to domestic abuse, physical evidence of bird deaths, and potential peepshows in our room by visiting vagabonds and other hotel guests, it was certainly an horrific experience that won’t soon be forgotten (and I'm not even going to get into the obnoxious noises emanating from the refrigerator all night preventing yours truly from getting an ounce of sleep). And although this may not exactly be one of Aesop’s fables, there is still a lesson to be learned – when you need to get a hotel room, don’t wait to book it or you may have to deal with a seriously pissed off girlfriend, and who wants that?