When I created this crazy experiment known as Summer of Groupon one of the Groupons I was most excited about was the Astronomy Cruise. A late night ride on a boat with an Astronomer, showing you the stars and the Perseid Meteor Shower. Since the ride was from 9pm to 12am, we figured it would be best to book a hotel room as the cruise took place in Plymouth, about an hour away from Boston. Once we had picked our chosen date I took to priceline in an effort to find a hotel room and completely struck out. Not one single vacancy in a 20 mile radius and frankly staying 20 miles away was sort of pointless anyway, might as well drive back to Boston. Then I remembered Air B&B and that I had been meaning to try it. I did a quick search and sure enough there were a few different places to choose from.
After research, and consulting with Maverick, we landed upon a seemingly nice set up. private bedroom with a bathroom. The pictures of the property looked beautiful and it was priced a little bit under what a hotel room might have cost us.
This all happened months and months ago.
Rewind to this past week, I eagerly check the weather report in anticipation of our beautiful starlight cruise.
Great weather all week until we hit Saturday, wherein there is supposed to be thunder storms, clouds, and serious rainfall.
The man who runs the cruise emails and says “Cruise is canceled due to weather” on Thursday or Friday. We’ve already booked the Air B&B. I reasoned that since the room was already booked we might as well try to make a thing of it anyway. I assumed we’d go into all the cute little shops, we’d eat some yummy seafood. I also sort of thought that the rain would probably clear up at some point. Rookie mistake.
Saturday arrives and it’s raining.
We get to Plymouth and it rains some more.
We find the house we’re staying in and we meet our host. I cannot stress enough how nice and welcoming this woman was. Her house was also really nice. She asks if our cruise is still happening and I tell her unfortunately no, it was canceled. This is important for later.
We drop our stuff off in our room which looks a little different than how it looked in the pictures. it is totally fine, but you can tell we’re not staying in a guest room. We’re staying in the once childhood bedroom of one of the host’s kids. There’s stuffed animals hanging out places and a framed pencil drawing of a child riding a bike (that looks a lot like that scene in ET) above the bed. This is the downside of using a service like Air B&B, essentially you’re in somebody’s house, and until we were actually there and doing it I didn’t realize how truly weird that feels.
Anyway, despite the rain we decide to head for the town center and get lunch. I was wearing a sleeveless shirt and leggings, because it is August in New England. The weather is a balmy 60 degrees with cold rain. I was freezing. We headed to a restaurant that does Caribbean style seafood for lunch. We were in good spirits. I have coconut scallops and a cup of clam chowder. Mav orders a salad. We eat, we talk, we laugh. Very nice! Almost feels like a vacation.
After Lunch we set out in the torrential downpour to buy me a sweatshirt because I have not brought anything longsleeved. Again, summer, August, New England. Somewhere Grandmama is chastising me for not checking the weather report more thoroughly but frankly, the fact that I had enough foresight to bring an umbrella is enough or me. I buy a tourist sweatshirt with the word “Plymouth” emblazoned across the front. It costs 29 dollars. Grandmama just twitched and has no idea why.
Our initial plan to walk around and look at the shops has now been shelved. It is just raining too hard. A friend’s mother had told us of a place in Kingston that has glow in the dark indoor mini golf. That seemed like a nice summer activity and so off we set. The mini golf course was located inside of a giant one level mall o’ crap. It was seriously one of the more bizarre places I have ever been. Most of the stores were independently owned and had signs that utilized Angry Bird font.
Mav sees that Pac Sun is going out of business, presumably so an entrepreneurial Kingston person can open an eyebrow threading salon to compete with the two other eyebrow threading locations in the mall. We go into Pac Sun and Mav begins perusing the clothing options. I have learned that Maverick doesn’t really like to be hovered over when he shops. So I keep my distance and eventually decide I will make a bathroom run while he tries on jeans. In my search for the bathroom I end up walking the entire length of the mall and realize, with horror, that the mini golf course has closed. It is nowhere to be found. I feel slightly like crying, but almost just have to laugh. We’ve driven an hour to get soaked in the rain and wander a small town shopping center.
I meet up with Mav eventually and deliver the bad news: there is no more mini golf, and the good news: there is an arcade, an inflatable activity place called (unfortunately) PUMP N JUMP, and a movie theater.
We first set off to the arcade, where my gallant boyfriend bought us 5 dollars worth of tokens, which at the Kingston Mall happened to be a lot of tokens. We played a surprisingly fun Jurassic Park video game which was probably the best dollar we spent all day.
I also beat the pants off of Mav at three games of SkeeBall. After a few other games we set off to check the movie times. We arrived at the cinema just a showing of the movie Boyhood was starting. I consult heavily with Maverick if he’s okay seeing this one, I generally like the indies way more than he does and we both have this horrible need to always do what the other one wants to do and never ever want to make the other person compromise, but Mav being the awesome dude he is says he’s interested to see it. We buy the tickets and as is my custom I ordered myself a cherry ICEE, at this point in the story I would like to note that I offered to buy Mav many a snack, which he declined. Noted for the record.
The movie was actually really amazing, and we both really liked it. I will save writing about the movie itself for another time but instead focus on what happened during hour three (yes, a three hour movie, I know my bladder is crying too.) All of the sudden I was consumed with a voracious wave of nausea. The type that comes out of nowhere. The kind that occurs and you think “Why would my stomach be.. I had clam chowder for lun…..NOOOOOO.” I gagged into my sleeve a couple of times and started practicing my deep breathing. I made it through the movie. After it ends Mav starts talking about how hungry he is. I should mention we had planned a nice romantic dinner at a restaurant on the waterfront and I suggested he get a snack because I need to go home and change out of my wet sweatshirt and into something romantic restaurant appropriate. But also, I inform him, “I’m actually kind of nauseous.” Mav buys a snack in the food court and gets me a large ice water which I sip pretending I am a baby bird and mentally weighing which is worse, going to make yourself throw up in a mall bathroom in an attempt to feel better, or just waiting it out. I decide to wait it out. We head toward Target so I can buy a toothbrush because of course I forgot one. On the walk to Target I am hit with another wave of nausea, conveniently in front of a trash can, I idle between the trash can and the table, shuffling back and forth slightly, all the while gagging, willing myself not to throw up in public. Behind me I can feel Mav stop in his tracks, mid sentence, watching but not watching. I regain my composure and whirl around to say to him with crazy eyes and giant smile “HAPPY VACATION.”
Blessedly we make it to Target and I boy a tooth brush, a long sleeved shirt, and a bottle of Pepto Bismal. I assume we’ll got back to our room, I’ll lay down and let the Pepto kick in and be ready to go to dinner in no time.
Basically this never happened. I laid in the bed and waited to feel better and it never happened. Eventually we decided we’d make one last venture out, I’d get ginger ale and saltines at Stop n Shop, Mav would get pizza across the street. The pizza place was closing as soon as we arrived. But thankfully we were able to procure the crackers for me. I yelp and quickly find a pizza shop ten minutes away that is open for another hour, we set off. As we wait for Mav’s food my stomach continues to flip and remind me how unhappy it is. When Mav’s steak and cheese arrives at the table I encourage him to eat it now, while it is hot. I can’t take the smell and again retreat to the bathroom.
While Mav ate his dinner we hoped that our hosts might be asleep when we got back. Since it was a rainy night we wanted to watch television, but they were using the TV when we had been there last. Because, ya know, you’re just staying in the room of somebody’s kid in the house that they live in. Which I think would be a fairer slogan for Air B&B but whatever.
We finally arrive back to our room at 10pm and immediately I am struck by something small and reddish brown moving around on the quilt. On further inspection I am still unsure what type of bug it is, but it looked very, very similar to every google image search for “bed bug.” Mav immediately freaks out because Mav has a phobia of insects from a childhood trauma I’m sure he’ll tell you about in his side of the post. I use my bed bug knowledge and though I see no stains on the mattress I find a couple other little bugs that look the same.
Immediately it became a case of “what do we do?”
There wasn’t a good answer either way in my opinion.
I knew right away that Mav wasn’t going to be able to sleep at all in that bed, and I didn’t feel that great about the idea either. They most likely weren’t bed bugs but I frankly wasn’t keen on taking the chance. I thought to myself that if only it were a fly, or a lady bug, or even a centipede, I would have killed the damn thing and just gone to bed. But the lurking suspicion was just too much.
At this point our host had gone to bed, and I played out what would happen in my mind over and over. Walk upstairs to a strangers bed room where she is sleeping with her husband whom we haven’t been introduced to and say “Ummmm there’s some strange looking bugs on the covers?” I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Eventually we decided enough was enough. We hung our key up on the hook by the door, packed our things, and drove home to Boston at 10:20pm. When we arrived home we immediately washed all of our clothes and jumped in the shower. I sent a short but pleasant email to our host informing her that we had left and that it was because there had been bugs on the bed and we hadn’t felt comfortable. I also asked if any sort of refund would be possible as we hadn’t been able to stay.
Guys, I felt horrible asking for a refund. I didn’t believe she would knowingly put us in a bed that had bugs. I had a suspicion that one of the outdoor cats had brought it in with them while we were out as I found a small clump of cat hair on the covers. The lady had been so nice, I didn’t even want to ask for the money back, but Mav (and the rational part of my brain) knew it was bad idea not to ask for the possibility of a refund, after all the room hadn’t been that cheap. It just feels so weird to say to someone “there were tiny scary looking bugs on the bed in that room. I don’t want to sleep there.” I kept imaging how upset she’d be and I hate making people upset even when they’ve made me upset.
I am going to save all that went on the next morning for Maverick to write about because he has a much clearer experience of it than I did but I will tell you this much: we got our refund.
And will never Air B&B again.
Stay Tuned Tomorrow for Mav’s side of the story!