No one likes to stay in a place that doesn’t feel like home. Add bed bugs to that and the situation goes from unlikable to nightmarish.
Last Saturday night, my sister and I drove down to Panama City, Florida for a two night vacation on the beach. We looked forward to a weekend away from the stress and troubles of life, but troubles followed us. Payton and I checked into the hotel around 11.00pm, read another chapter of Harry Potter, and crawled into bed.
I noticed throughout the night that I was itchy, but I attributed it to the laundry detergent the hotel used. I am allergic to everything, so let’s just add this to the list right? Sunday morning, I woke up before Payton and headed into the lobby for breakfast. It wasn’t until I was back in the hotel room bathroom that I noticed something was up. I looked down at my legs and saw bright pink spots. EVERY WHERE. The tops of my thighs were covered in bites.
By now Payton was awake. I walked out into the room and said, “I think I got attacked by bed bugs.” Never before in my life had this happened. We noticed that my legs, arms, and stomach were covered in bites. Immediately I walked to the front desk. I called the receptionist off to the side because I didn’t want to cause a scene in front of the other guests.
Hiking up my shorts I said to the receptionist, “I think my room has bed bugs.” She looked at my legs and said, “Oh my God! Ooooh my GOD!!!” This particular lady was a wonder! She walked me to the desk and gave me a full refund, comped me for the two night stay, moved my sister and I into another room, and ordered for room 102 to get a deep, dark, dense cleaning. The receptionist printed a confirmation of the refund and I headed back to the room thinking everything was okay.
Payton researched what to do in the case of bed bugs while I was at the front desk and suggested we get our clothes washed by the hotel too as they had been exposed to the bugs. We were supposed to be heading to the beach in an hour but had no clean clothes. I decided to send her to Wal Mart to get us clothes. While she was shopping, I would get a shower.
It was in the shower that I noticed the magnitude of my attack. I called Payton into the bathroom and explained to her that I didn’t really feel like going onto the beach looking like I did. People would stare and the Florida sun would probably only make the bites worse. We decided to go home twelve hours after arriving. While I was in the shower, I shaved everything in efforts to remove the top layer of my skin and I washed my hair and body twice. I felt so disgusting.
When Payton returned, she told me that the receptionist said the manager said I had to pay for our stay the night before. Um, no. I would not pay for a night’s stay in a hotel that gave me bed bugs. No.
I walked back up to the front desk and asked the receptionist if I could speak with her manager. I was never mean to her as she was incredibly kind to me and answered all of my questions and acted as a good host should. The manager? He was a squat, frog faced Indian man who wanted to get every penny out of me possible. He walked to the desk but before he could say anything, I held out my arm and said, “Do you want to see my legs? Stomach? Back? Feet? I will show them to you!” He responded with, “No.”
“You will give me a full refund. I did NOT look like this upon my arrival last night. As soon as I noticed it this morning, I brought it to your desk’s attention quietly so as to not cause I scene. You want a scene? You got one. YOU’RE HOTEL GAVE ME BED BUGS. DO YOU SEE ALL THE SPOTS ON MY ARM? THAT’S FROM ROOM 102. I WILL NOT PAY FOR THIS. YOU WILL GIVE ME A FULL REFUND.”
“Why didn’t you say anything last night?”
“Because we checked in at 11.00pm and went straight to bed after a five hour drive down here. Bed bugs bite AT NIGHT. HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO SAY ANYTHING LAST NIGHT?”
“Well we cannot prove you got those from us.”
“I did not look like this yesterday when I drove down here. I did not look like this when I went to bed last night. I looked like this this morning when I woke up. I will not pay for this. A reaction like this is severe. I’m going to need actual pharmaceutical medicine to get over this. I have to rewash all of my clothes. My sister just spent almost $50 at Wal Mart buying me itch creme, trash bags to take our stuff home in, and clean clothes to wear home. We are not staying here another night. I want a full refund.”
“Yes, yes. I told the receptionist to give you the full refund.”
“Then why did you recharge me? She had already given me the refund.”
At this point the manager walked away and the receptionist printed me yet ANOTHER refund sheet for the night before. I received my second refund receipt, smiled at the receptionist, and walked back to the bug infested room. Payton and I bagged our luggage into trash bags to take home and left.
Below are pictures of me taken in the hotel room of the bites. The images really don’t do justice to the magnitude of the bites. And I apologize for my paleness. We were at the beach to get tan. But you know… bed bugs.