I Survived The Red Roof Inn

Brian and I recently took a little overnight trip to Columbia, so he could take his state boards. Considering the fact that we’re still on a “student” budget (until he gets his nursing license) we weren’t willing to spend much on a hotel room for the night. 

Brian found a great deal on the internet for a room less than five miles from the testing center for $43 a night.

Naturally, I was slightly skeptical. But Brian, who’s much better at being frugal than I am, was adamant.

“We’re just going to be there for a few hours. To study, to sleep, and to shower. That’s it. How bad could it be?”

Tuesday night, we checked in, got our keys, and were directed to room 122. We unloaded our bags and headed to our room. Upon first glance, it looked like we were the only ones staying in the hotel. And as we approached room 122, our theory was confirmed. 

The rooms weren’t just empty, they were all under construction.

Thanks to all the practice, I felt my eyebrows automatically go into “The Rock” position. (It really is so handy in instances like this one.)




But I kept my mouth shut. After all, it was my chance to show solidarity. Team Abby Gabs, for the win. 

And since the rooms on either side of us were empty, I was slightly relieved to know there wouldn’t be any drug deals or hooker sightings going down while I tried to watch reruns of Betty White’s ‘Off Their Rockers’ on the twenty-four inch television.

Upon first inspection, the room wasn’t all that bad. It was clearly newly renovated, and even smelled a bit like fresh paint. 

Upon second inspection, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut. So I went around the room, pointing out all the things wrong with it.

Abby: There are ants on the bathroom vanity.
Brian: Pretend we’re camping. It’s fine.
Abby: Do you hear that? I think the toilet is humming.
Brian: Call it white noise and come to bed. It’s fine.
Abby: So I just tried to brush my teeth, and when I turned on the water in the sink, it also came out of the shower.
Brian: That will come in handy if one of us is brushing our teeth while the other is showering. No big deal. It’s fine.
Abby:  We only have one towel. And it’s a hand towel.
Brian: I’m sure I can fix that. I’ll just go up to the front desk and ask. Don’t worry. It’s fine.

So off he went to the front desk. When he asked for towels, the manager told him she was going to have to “find some.” 

Ghetto-fabulous status, confirmed.

Exhausted from my criticism of the room as a whole, I decided to just let the whole thing go and settle in for the night. Pajamas were donned, teeth brushed, and bed checked for stray hairs and stains. And then I climbed into bed, hoping beyond hope that it would be the diamond in the rough that was the cave of our hotel room.

OMG, the bed. I’m convinced it wasn’t really a mattress, but a pile of all the hard things in the world covered with a scratchy comforter.



We took out Brian’s lap top and flash cards, and pretended we were comfortable on the rock-hard king-size “mattress” while we studied for his test.

Needless to say, sleep was elusive.

Wednesday morning, I drove Brian to the nearby testing center, dropped him off, and headed back to the ghetto fabulous hotel to shower, pack up, and check out. I was only slightly nervous about being in this part of town all alone (.) In order to assuage my nerves, I took my iPhone into the bathroom with me, in lieu of a radio. There were no shelves or anything to support my phone, so I put it on the floor in the corner. Eighties tunes bumping, I hopped in for a quick shower.

Ten minutes later, freshly scrubbed and wholly relaxed, I wrapped up in one of the three tiny towels we’d managed to procure from the front desk, whipped open the shower curtain, and stared at the floor in horror.

The tub had flooded the entire bathroom. The only dry space was the 1 foot square around my iPhone. And the water was quickly infringing upon that space.

I hopped out of the tub, snatched up my cell phone, and put it up on the safety of the bed. Then, butt-naked, I proceeded to try and mop up about six gallons of water with 3 towels the size of postage stamps.

By the time Brian called and said he was ready for me to come pick him up, I was MORE THAN READY to check out of this hotel. 

A little while later, as we chatted over our pancakes, I told Brian the story of the Great Flood of Room 122. Expecting him to finally relent and confess that the room was horrible, I was surprised with his response.

“It was the Red Roof Inn. Not the Ritz Carlton. You survived. It’s fine.”

I need a t-shirt.



For those who are curious, Brian did very well on his test. We won’t find out his official results for a few days, but he’s confidant that he passed. Thanks to all who texted, called, or sent messages of support! Hopefully, the next time we stay in a hotel, we’ll be able to afford the Ritz Carlton instead. Or at least we’ll be able to afford to design and purchase the awesome t-shirt seen above.

6 thoughts on “I Survived The Red Roof Inn

  1. Laverne Smith

    Eeekkkkkk!!! Ooooooooo. Oohhhhhmyyyyy I give ou credit. We did that once for a wedding to be cheap and save money. Hubs said almost the same reason Brian did… must be man code… but never never ever again!!! I am happy you survived and I give you credit for sticking it out and not totally freaking!!

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