So my husband and I traveled to Upstate New York to visit my family for the holidays. We arrived Thursday night.

To save a little money we decided to stay at a Microtel. The property is fairly new as it’s sitting on the grounds of one of the many malls called “Pyramid Mall” that formerly dotted the landscape in my old stomping grounds. We figured we just needed a place to sleep and it was relatively close to my family so it should work out. It was a decent bargain.

The stay has been good. Not great, not even very good, but good. It adequately fit the bill. But there’s been some weirdness going on.

When we checked in, the young woman behind the counter looked at us but didn’t say a word. I stared at her, she stared at me. It appeared she used a Sharpie to apply her makeup. Finally I cocked an eyebrow and she said she needed my license. She scanned it (when did that start happening?) and gave us two room keys. She eyed my husband the whole time, either wondering why he was waiting with me or wondering how the two of us were going to fit in a queen sized bed.

After getting the two room keys I started to walk away. She made some noises that beckoned my attention and apparently I needed to sign here, sign there, initial there, sign here. So I did after she pointed a scribbling on the paper she had placed on the counter. After I was done we walked away.

She didn’t say a word, she went back and curled up on a couch in the lobby.

She was still there 12 hours later when we headed out for breakfast. The next evening, when we came back from a fun filled day of touring my hometown, she was there, albeit in the same Sharpie but in different clothes. Feeling daring I said, “good evening!”. She blinked and said hello in the most monotone, deadpan voice one could imagine.

Some other things that were odd: it was faster for me to walk up, down, and up the stairs again than taking the elevator from floor one to floor two. The coin operated laundry units were in the hallway, not a laundry room. And the air conditioning/heater unit, which was located under the couch built into the window casing (like other Microtels I’ve been in) was loud enough to wake the dead. I have no idea as to why hotel chains feel very loud heating units are a pleasant experience, but then again I write software, not manage hospitality.

We probably won’t stay there again. I hope the woman at the front desk can contain her excitement.