I’m sitting in a grungy Motel 6 in Baltimore Maryland, preparing to go to the Natural Products Expo East. I’ve left my room only once since arriving to buy water and snacks; the area seems a sketchy.
On the way back to my room, I was stopped on the stairs by two young men who warned me that the FEDs have been doing a sting on the motel, apparently it’s a popular spot for escorts and their johns; so if I did that ‘sort of thing’, I should be careful. They then added that we should hang out and get to know each other. I smiled, extended my gratitude for the information and walked to my room wondering what about the baggy hiking gear I was wearing gave off that impression.
Later that eve, lights off, enjoying a mildly peaceful napping slumber, I heard a series of knocks on my door and saw the shadows of 4 feet. I sat up and paused, listening. I could hear them listening. They knocked again, and waited. I sat as quiet as possible barely breathing, eyeing the latch across the door. Finally the shadows disappeared, but I still remained motionless, waiting to make sure they were gone. Both men seemed nice enough and I appreciated the warning, but you can never be too careful.
As for the room: the bathtub’s inner ceramic is cracked and flaking, decorated with little black hairs, that I can assure you, are not mine. I have to wear my flip-flops inside the room because my feet were actually dirtier walking on the carpet than outside on the pavement. I cannot imagine the last time they might have cleaned this bedspread and to top it all off, the wi-fi doesn’t work. But hey, the AC blasted out such cold air it gave me brain freeze; so at least I wasn’t hot.
To those that might be questioning how I could ever choose to stay in a place like this, didn’t I read the reviews?! Yes, I did read the reviews and yes, there were a few bad ones; but come on, how this place even got 3 stars is beyond me.
My original reservation, which had been booked months previously at the Holiday Inn Express, had been mysteriously ‘canceled’ and they were now booked solid. Unfortunately, I didn’t find this out until after I flew into Baltimore, standing at the hotel counter, holding my ‘You Are Confirmed’ email in my hands. At this point, my choices were very limited.
It’s now 5 in the morning, 7:15 rapidly approaching, with a full day ahead of me and still awake watching bad television; hoping that my itchy skin is due to my imagination and not bed bugs. Boy, does this situation make that $300 bed bug killing thermal suitcase I saw in the sky mall magazine so very appealing, I wonder if they have one big enough for me to crawl inside.
But, I’m here and for the next couple days, I’m dedicated to finding out what’s new in food, organic, regulations, GMO’s, and sharing it all with you…
Welcome to my trip to Baltimore folks…