Read the reviews, always read the reviews

Day one and we were actually making pretty good time. My initial goal was to try and make it to Tennessee. If we made it that far, I would be happy. If we made it further, then great. We made it to Birmingham Alabama. I’m very impressed with my crew.

It was around hour 8 when I started to fade. I knew we needed to stop and eat. We needed to get out of the car, walk around and sit down and eat somewhere. I can’t remember who chose it, but IHOP it was. We have an IHOP at home, but I never go there. Well let me tell you, maybe it was long car ride, the exhaustion or the overdose of tootsie roll pops and jolly ranchers, but that shit was good. Like really good.

Of course the kids were bickering. Nothing out of the ordinary but annoying none the less. Brogan asked for a couple of Addisons fries, and all hell broke loose. She rubbed her grubby hands all over them, as if the salt was going to give her luck. Poor Darrian. I love that kid but if he still likes us after this trip, it will be a damn miracle. I ordered a second Pepsi because I knew I needed a second wind. Now it’s a running joke with Morgan that when the kids start bickering “ I just sit and drink a Pepsi” instead of whooping their ass. I can appreciate what my parenting style looks like from a set of 22 year old eyes. The older I get the more they wear me down. Everyone is fed, healthy, kind and clothed. I’ll just be over here drinking my Pepsi.

We made it to Birmingham Alabama before I knew I had to throw in the towel and get a hotel room. Now, finding a hotel is the responsibility of the co pilot. I am an avid Trip Advisor user. I love the ease of use, and the honest reviews. I verbally instructed Morgan on how to use the app. She found a hotel and tells me is $79 and it has 3 stars. I’ve stayed in some shady places over the years, so a 3 out of 5 for a quick overnight trip sounded perfect. Click, book and we were on our way. Apparently she misunderstood when I said what’s the review rating and gave me the hotel class. It was advertised as a 3 star hotel. Obviously they rate themselves and no reviews were read.

As we pulled up I instantly knew. I knew there was an obvious mistake. It was run down, and I’m pretty sure there was a woman passed out on a bench. I hope she was passed out. There was no way I was going to confirm that. I parked and Darrian insisted on going in with me to check in. I’m no damsel in distress but having a man to walk in with me was very comforting. As soon as we walked in it smelled like stale cigarettes, mildew, weed and cheap cologne. As we stood there waiting for the guy ahead of us to check in I was trying my best to look tough and not completely out of place. The check in process went as usual. We got our room keys and were instructed where to go. Now I’m usually a pretty honest person, but when there are 5 people traveling we always smuggle one in. There appeared to be one way in, and that was right by the front desk. I was too tired to really care and the guy at the desk didn’t seem like he was gonna care either. We went back outside and grabbed the troops. There was a side door that Darrian went up to to see if we could get in. The nice gentleman picking up the garbage from the parking lot told him they keep all the side doors locked because there’s some shady people over there…super.

As soon as I opened the door I saw the light switch. What in the Sam hell was this? Black mold, dirt, we will never really know. Morgan, Darrian and I were laughing so hard that I had to cross my legs so that I didn’t wet myself. Once we wiped the tears from our eyes, we started to actually look around. My God, I can not even begin to describe to you, the filth that was present. I tried to reason with myself, and the kids that it was just to sleep. We wouldn’t even take our clothes off. We could just lay on top of bedding. No one was buying it. Brogan insisted he was going to sit on the leather office chair that he cleaned with Clorox wipes and not sleep. No one was going to sleep, and no one was going to shower in that shower. My Clorox wipes couldn’t even fix this one. I caved, and we packed up and busted out of there. I stopped at the desk and explained the black mold situation, and that we weren’t staying. The only thing he said was, “Call Expedia, let them know and I will refund your money.”

Black mold, dirt, we will never know.
The bathroom door full of dirty finger prints

As soon as we got to the car I looked up the reviews. My lord, we laughed and laughed. I helped find the next hotel. At that point it could have been $300 and I wouldn’t have cared. Thank goodness it wasn’t, but it wouldn’t have mattered. We needed to sleep and shower. The new hotel was “Boujee” with electric powered blinds and clean sheets. Hallelujah. I ended up getting ahold of someone from Expedia after 3 attempts and got my money back. My goodness, we will never forget this one. It’s definitely going to be second to the laundry bomb of 2018.

Now this is what I’m talking about, sanitized and comfortable.
Went for a walk in Birmingham Alabama after a great nights sleep and stumbled upon this.
The laundry bomb trip of 2018

Making hella memories for sure

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