Last Friday, as I mentioned earlier, Kim and I went out and had a nice date and stayed in my parents' hotel room while they stayed at our place and watched Robbie. The hotel was a Holiday Inn and was, for the most part, very nice. Successful navigation of the hotel's interior hallways, however, proved...difficult.
We were staying in the south tower on the second floor. Our room was right by the elevator, which was nice and easy to find. We entered from the South Tower parking garage, not the front entrance. Shortly after we arrived, I decided to go in search of a vending machine for some late-night snacking. Unfortunately, the vending machine on our hall had no snacks, only drinks, and no good drinks at that, so I decided to go downstairs and check out what they had there and, if snackage was still a no-go, head toward the front lobby, where there would certainly be something good to eat.
I followed the signs to the door that said "Stairs to all other levels." That seemed like a promising place to start. I enter the door and go down a flight of stairs, then another, then, oddly, a third, and finally a fourth. The further down I went, the narrower the stairways became, and the dimmer the light, and the dirtier the floor. By the time I had reached the door on the bottom level, I was feeling a tad claustrophobic and there was a half-dead light flickering overhead. I opened the door and stepped outside. Literally outside. I had reached the end of the hotel and was standing just a foot from the driveway as the door slammed shut behind me with no means of opening again.
However, I could easily walk from this sudden exit to the front door, and it was a nice night, and I really had no choice anyway, so I walked to the entrance. I found the snack counter and bought some goodies for Kim and I and then headed down the hall back toward our tower. My first thought was to take the elevator this time, but I realized my problem earlier had been that the second floor of the tower didn't connect with the second floor of the main building, so instead I went in search of the hallway that connected the two buildings. I knew there was one, I had just walked along the outside of it to get here.
I followed the hall to a dead end and then hooked right--as I'd looked out a window, I'd seen what appeared to be a connector tunnel this direction. I came to a door, and though it didn't seem to be facing the right direction, I couldn't see any other way to get to what must have been the hallway I needed, so I went through it.
Do you remember that scene from the Heroes season one finale where Micah is trying to escape from Candice, and he leaves the room while she's in the shower and runs down the hallway and then opens a door and finds himself right back in the first room he tried to escape from? That was kind of how I felt when I found myself outside of a door that slammed and locked behind me and I stood on the driveway again.
Whatever. I walked back around the front of the building and through the parking garage entrance (the automatic gate decided it wanted to come down on me, but I was too fast and too clever for it), entered a side door, and took the elevator back up to the room.
Here's the thing: for the most part, I was following the signs that said I could get where I wanted to go. The arrow pointed vaguely in the direction I went to get back to the south tower, and I ended up outside again. I almost wished I'd run into some people who were lost in a cave the next day who needed some advice. I'd offer some, of course, and they'd ask, "Oh, are you a spelunker?" And I'd be able to say, "No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night."
Those commercials suddenly make so much more sense now.