CITY: Salt Lake City, UT

SMELL: The subtly frothy scent of carpet cleaner, the increasingly less subtle scent of carpet cleaner, and over the top of it all, carpet cleaner

PLACE: Anniversary Inn

THE WAY: On my last tour, I asked my publicist if I could stay in a themed hotel near Chicago, and upon investigation, she had told me “that is not a place authors go to sleep. That is a place authors go to die.” This time around, she relented, and allowed Tessa* and I to book the Mysteries of Egypt room at the Anniversary Inn. Brenna opted for the more tasteful Biker Roadhouse room. We arrived, sweaty and spent, at 1 pm, and discovered the Inn would not allow us to check in until 5 pm. If we paid $50, however, they would allow us to check in at 3 pm. I angrily and impotently posed by their fire escape and then we raged and killed time for two hours. There was champagne waiting for us in the room when we returned. It was non-alcoholic. 

PEOPLE: A guestbook in our room quickly revealed that the Anniversary Inn was a place couples generally came on their honeymoons. In the interests of privacy, I will not reveal the other guests’ handwritten experiences, but know that the notes left in the book involved many exclamation points. They also expressed gratitude that the bed wasn’t squeaky. I can confirm that the bed was not squeaky. I did not, however, leave any exclamation points.

*the photograph of Tessa collapsed upon the stairs captures the moment she realized there was no shower curtain in our room, and that exclamation points were being forced upon us.