Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Musings on motels

We have spent a lot of memorable time in motels, most of it with young children, which gave us ample time and reason to muse on the motel gestalt.

Wall-mounted soap dispensers. Usually only the cheaper or seedier motels have these. The "fancy" motels (Super 8, Best Western) insist on giving you individual packages of soaps and lotions. At America's Best Value Inn, where we're currently staying, shampoo and soap are mounted on the shower wall, as soap is in a public restroom. It is awesome: so convenient and I assume much more ecologically friendly, as there's much less packaging. And I assume that motels do it because it's cheaper all around. It has so many good qualities, it shouldn't give a negative impression of the motel, but it always does, despite the fact that we prefer it! Our brains work in mysterious ways. I haven't seen Breck shampoo in eons...

Free breakfast. Almost every motel (definitely all the national chains and some of the locally owned) provide free breakfast. When we traveled x-country with Alice, Motel 6 offered only coffee. (When free breakfast isn't available, and sometimes even when it is simply to be nice to our waistlines, we have cereal and fruit in the room.) I've discerned what makes a free breakfast good or bad: the presence of protein. Some of them have 20 different items to eat, but they're all (simple) carbohydrates: waffles, french toast, muffins, bagels, cereal, etc. There is simply no way to feel satisfied after such a meal. The rare motel provides protein. If you're going to get fancy, as the Best Western in Wauseon, OH did, you provide steam-table scrambled eggs and sausage. Or if you're my new favorite Howard Johnsons in LaCrosse, WI, you simply purchase giant bags of peeled hard-boiled eggs (and mine didn't even have a green tinge!) and then dump them into a cold bowl. Now THAT was a satisfying breakfast.

Cost. 4 1/2 years ago when we traveled the other way across the country with Alice, we stayed in motels every night. We stayed mostly in Motel 6, as Daddy is in love with them (no complaints from me, either). I remember paying about $50-60/night. Now, travelling with 2 kids (which means we need more space...at least a king bed or 2 queens, and when we indulge, a suite with 2 separate rooms) and in the Northern part of the country, even the Motel 6 for 1 person is going for $75 sometimes. We are spending anywhere between $80 and $120 per night, depending on how fancy (or desperate) we're feeling.

Rags. Several of the hotels in Montana and Wyoming offer rags to patrons, free for the taking. Evidently to clean either your truck, or your boots and guns.This is a new one for us.

Indoor Water Slides. Throughout the midwest, water slides and water parks (often times indoors) in motels/hotels are a huge thing. Because outdoors is warm enough only 2 months of the year? I have no idea where this comes from. We never did take advantage of it (how much would Alice have loved that?), but there's always the return trip.

1 comment:

  1. Waterslides! That would have made my childhood road trips with my dad so much cooler (literally and figuratively!).