When we went to Volcanoes National Park, we stayed in a "cabin" a few miles out from the main hotel building (the park only has one hotel on the property). The "cabin" basically consisted of 4 walls, a ceiling, and several large, fat resident spiders. About 60 feet away was both a men's and women's bathroom complete with running water, real toilets, and one very creepy shower stall. The bathroom was also home to several over sized, hairy arachnids. But more on that in a minute.

You might wonder how we came to stay at the cabins and not the main hotel. Here's the story. While we were planning the honeymoon, I did a lot of research over my lunch hour at work. As I was narrowing down a place for us to stay in Volcanoes National Park, I perused the Volcano House website and was stuck: should we reserve a crater-view room for $225 a night, or a garden-view room for $200 a night? I couldn't decide, so later that evening I pulled up the website to show Husband our room options so he could decide if viewing the crater was worth the extra money. He scrolled around on the website for a minute and then said, "What's this room for $50?" I came over behind him. I purposely hadn't listed that among the options. "Uh... that's not a room, it's a cabin," I told him quickly. And he replied, "That sounds fun!" I think at that very moment I regretted showing him that website more than almost any other mistake I'd made in my life up until that point. But, a plan was born. And it involved roughing it on our honeymoon.

I have to admit the idea grew on me, and by the time we left for our trip I was a little bit excited about it. I mean, we'd essentially be camping on a volcano. Even I can see that's pretty cool.

And it was! Except for the spiders.

The first place I noticed them was in the bathroom. Up in the peaks in the white wood vaulted ceilings, just hangin' out above the sinks and the toilets. Seriously, I'm supposed to wash my face (which requires closing my eyes and turning my back on them) while they're lurking above? I don't think so. I chose the one crappy sink in the whole bathroom (the other two had adjustable water temps and knobs that turned the water on so that it actually stayed on). The crappy sink had only cold water and turned off the minute you weren't cranking the handle, but it didn't have a spider directly above it. As for toilet choices, there weren't any decent options. Let's just say I peed REALLY fast the whole time we were there.

But, the first night we spent in the cabin, I was under the soothing (but false) impression that our cabin, at least, was spider free. See how calm I look in our bare bones double bed? Husband is up on top of the bunk beds taking this picture.

The next day we toured Volcanoes National Park pretty much in its entirety, which was SO AMAZING. But exhausting. By that night our lungs and eyes burned from sulfur, we were achingly tired from hiking, and it had been a long, full day. As we headed back to the cabins, I was ready to relax. After we walked in the door and turned on the (one) light, I made the dire error of looking up. And then I saw it. Holy f*ck.


There was a fat, black spider with thick legs curled up in the corner of the ceiling. Not directly above the bed, but close enough. And then I flipped out. I demanded and pleaded that we drive up to the hotel and get a room there. I was already so tense because of those damn spiders in the bathroom. And now there was one in our cabin? I was adamant that I could not sleep with that spider there.

It was about 8pm and we hadn't even eaten dinner yet. Time was not on our side. Husband offered to pack up our stuff, but wanted to know how much I was willing to pay for a last minute room at the much pricier (but not all that much nicer) hotel. That paused me for a second, seeing as how we were dropping major cash on this trip as it was. I looked at the price list pinned up on the cabin wall, then at Husband, then at the spider. Then back again. "Can't you just kill it?" I asked him. Husband believed that the spider would not move the entire night, and didn't feel right killing it since we were, after all, in the out of doors. I saw his point. It was more the spider's turf than ours. Reluctantly, I agreed to shower and eat before making any hasty decisions.

So I grabbed my shower stuff and headed to the bathroom. At this point, all the other cabin campers that had been around the previous evening seemed to have vacated the premises, which made it eerily quiet and dark. I opened the bathroom door, walked to the very back of the room to the shower stall, and turned around and walked back out, not stopping until I was outside. I stood outside the door to the men's room with my fist raised, ready to bang on the door and have another temper tantrum. But I didn't. I thought of Husband in there, getting ready to take a shower, desperate for a little bit of peace from me. So I turned around and went back into the women's room and marched to the changing stall. I got undressed and stepped into the shower. And looked up to see a spider lurking in the corner. Oh, come ON. I was pushed to my limit. Well, I figured, this spider IS on my turf. The damn shower gets to be my turf. I grabbed my flip flop and whacked the sh*t out of that thing. It was cathartic.

But it wasn't my only worry in the shower. In the back of my mind I was also keenly aware that this was a horror movie waiting, dying (no pun intended), to happen. So every hair on my body stood on end.

When I finished showering I felt a little bit better. As I exited the bathroom I noticed with annoyance that the same spiders were over the same good sinks as had been the night before. I was once again going to be forced to brush my teeth after dinner in the crappy sink, but at least it seemed to prove Husband's point that they really don't ever move.

But then I started to think about that. Why don't they ever move? I trudged back to the cabin and asked Husband. He told me that they never move because they just sit and wait for their prey to come to them. EWWWWWW! "And then what?" I was stupid, or determined, enough to ask. "Then," Husband told me, "they paralyze them with venom, tie them up in their webs, and leave them alive while they suck their blood out." EWWWWWW!!!! That's GROSS. I mean, seriously. Something's not right there.

Naturally, I was now all creeped out about that. I told Husband I'd thought about it and decided I wanted to go get a room at the hotel. He suggested we find someplace to eat dinner first, and then reevaluate.

We went to a cute Italian place about 10 miles outside the park. I had copious amounts of wine. Okay, I only had one glass, but I was feeling *way* more relaxed by the time we got back to the cabin. Malleable as I was, I agreed to stay put for the night. Husband praised me for being so tough, and promised we could take a picture of me looking tough in front of the cabin if I survived the night.

The next morning, the minute my eyes fluttered open I was out of bed like a shot. I had my bags packed before Husband's feet even hit the ground. I was loading up the SUV while he was still looking around sleepily. "Let's go!!!!" I encouraged him, all smiles and energy as I grabbed the sheets and blankets off the bed and stowed them back in their original hotel duffel. I was SO happy to be leaving, you couldn't have gotten me out of there any faster. "Do you want to go get breakfast before we check out?" he asked me. "Nope," I said, "Time to hit the road. We'll get breakfast on the way. The Hilton awaits!"

Ah, the Hilton. Where the only thing that comes in eights are SPF levels and # of poolside drinks ordered in one day.