Rating: Two stars
Good for families: Yes
Romantic weekends: No
We decided to stay at The Manger while returning from Nazareth for the census ordered by Caesar Augustus.
I’ll be honest with you: It wasn’t our first choice. My fiancé really wanted to get a room at The Inn, but there was no room at The Inn. Frankly, that was fine by me: I stayed there once while visiting family and they billed me three shekels for some figs from the minibar. Who am I, King Herod?
The Manger wasn’t much to look at, even for a place named after a feeding trough. And the service wasn’t any better. We arrived after a 70-mile journey over harsh terrain and frankly all I wanted to do was take off my sandals and sink into some hay. But we had to wait for a couple of asses to check out. Normally, that wouldn’t have been a big deal but, oh, did I mention, my fiancé was in labour!!!!!! I told the camel at the front desk but he just sort of stared at me. Didn’t even offer an upgrade.
Anyway, the kid was born, a multitude of angels heralded his birth with a heavenly cacophony heretofore unimagined and – finally! – we got our stable. Then, just as Mary (that’s my fiancé) was dozing off, some rugrat strolled in and started playing his freaking drum. Hello… security?? And this on top of the fact the lobby was chock-a-block with shepherds and you couldn’t throw an aromatic resin without hitting a magi. Anyway, the drumming was tolerable at first but he just wouldn’t stop. Even the ox and lamb got into it. Eventually I called down to complain but the camel just kind of snorted at me. I’d call that rude.
Pah-rum-pum-pum-pum. Pah-rum-pum-pum-pum. Even now I can’t get it out of my head! I mean, here we are: my virgin fiancé has just given birth to a baby, so already I’ve got a lot to process, right? And now I’ve got this holy terror on the snare to contend with. Plus, no mints on the pillows. Or pillows! Finally, the baby cracked a smile and the drummer boy stopped playing and left. The joke’s on the kid though because everyone knows that when babies smile it’s just gas.
Anyway, when you read it on The Manger’s website, the thought of cattle lowing sounds kind of romantic and peaceful. Take my word for it: it’s not. Kept the kid up all night. And the stars – could they be any brighter? A little garish if you ask me.
To sum up: The Manger is decent enough in a pinch. All things considered we had an okay time – but it’s not exactly the kind of stay anyone will be talking about years from now.