8 states and 5,252 miles in 17 days days through the Southwest. Our road trip was everything I had hoped it would be: beautiful mountains, stunning high deserts, fascinating places and wonderful experiences.
The first half of our tour included visits to many friends and family who opened their doors to us and gave us a place to sleep, cajoled us with libations and plied us with delicious meals. But once the "mooching" part of the trip was over, we were left on our own to find a hotel along the way. We didn't want to make reservations as we don't like being strapped to a "schedule". There is nothing worse that happening upon an adorable little town that you want to explore and having to leave because you have to be somewhere else by Tuesday.
When you decide to do a trip flying by the seat of your pants so to speak (remember my post on Croatia?) you take a risk. We had at least one incidence of "no room at the Inn", and the Inn was the only one in town. So we just kept driving until we found one.
Hotels come in all shapes and sizes, and since we were not on the 5-Star road tour, we were always on the lookout for comfortable, affordable places with clean beds and fresh towels. Hotel chains that we are familiar with were not always in the towns when it was time to call it a day. Beggars can't be choosers, but that isn't always bad.
In Colorado we finished the day in a hell hole of a town that looked like it had been abandoned: wood on the doors and windows on the main street (there was only one street), empty stores with junk piled to the rafters, one restaurant...etc. So Dave says "oh come on...it will be adventure!"
Looked kinda sketchy, but the proprietor was as kind as she could be. The bed was comfy and clean. And the chicken fried steak in the sole restaurant was as good as you can get. Everyone said hello to the strangers in town. Sweet.
We took fewer chances when we knew we were going to be staying in a town for a couple of days. I did reserve a room in Santa Fe at a wonderful establishment owned by Native Americans. Stunning place and the service was impeccable. Hotel Santa Fe Hacienda and Spa...next time we come here I'm getting the deluxe room just for fun!
When I finished ravishing the town of Santa Fe we moved on to Flagstaff and Sedona. Both were on our bucket list, as was a trip up Hwy 64 to the Grand Canyon. Usually you can count on a Best Western motel to be pretty good, and the one we chose in Flagstaff did not disappoint. We got a huge suite for a very reasonable price, the breakfast in the morning was tasty...an all around solid place to stay. You gotta love those waffle machines!
|Dave's plate...not mine...I didn't use that much butter!!!|
I can hear her tromping down the hall, her flip flops popping on her heels, and hollering to someone at the other end of the hall. It's 5:15 a.m. REALLY? She drops a couple of F-Bombs, as she is apparently irritated with the other member of her party. I hear a baby crying, needing attention. She plows down the stairs and starts her diesel SUV, which just happens to be parked under our window. REALLY? 30 minutes later, several trips back and forth tromping up the stairs, she is now outside with her travel mate, diesel still running, issuing orders, slamming doors, etc. I take a peak out the window and see a older chick with a slightly overweight crying baby slung across her hip, and she is chowing down on a Styrofoam container full of last night's Chinese food, sans fork, like a cow eating out of a trough. REALLY? She has a tramp stamp on her behind which is hanging out of her too tight shorts and is still yapping at what appears to be her grown daughter, who is also sporting multiple tats. It's now 5:45 and the diesel is still running. They throw the baby in its car seat and grandma then proceeds to finish her "breakfast"...but she's got a fork this time. Daughter has come back into the motel and Grandma finishes her meal, all the while rocking back and forth in front of her SUV, looking behind her like shes afraid she's going to be caught or someone will take her breakfast...kinda like she's a tad "hopped up", if I know my druggies. REALLY? The daughter returns, snaps a couple of last minutes of the hotel windows with a very expensive camera, they get in the expensive SUV and then sit there for another 10 minutes, doing God knows what. As they finally pull out of the parking area, grandma still chowing on the leftover Chinese, it's almost 6:00 a.m. I am almost ashamed as I see their California license plates. REALLY?
We aren't all like that, I promise.