As most of you know, I travel a lot for
business. I've stayed in 100's of different hotels. Of course,
you wind up picking some favorites; comfy mattress, good continental
breakfast, roomy, great shower, easy parking, nice staff, etc.
I have also stayed in a few Motel 6's, generally out of necessity
in that they are the only horse in town. A couple of them weren't
bad. One was an old Comfort Inn that had changed hands, so the
beds weren't too bad. Most have the feel that you've walked into
an upgraded cardboard box, and the walls generally aren't much
thicker. I stayed at one where I had to get the moving pads out
of the truck and dump the contents of two suitcases onto the mattress
to make it soft enough to consider laying on. I swear it was
a slab of concrete that they had thrown the barf colored, smoke
smelling, and paper thin comforter over.
Speaking of smoke smelling....if the room is a smoking room, the
ashtray is right side up. If the room is non-smoking, the ashtray
is turned upside down with a no smoking symbol on it. WTH? LOL
Aside from the one I'm about to tell you
about, the worst one we checked into was just a wee bit too close
to a truck stop area. We checked in anyway as we were exhausted.
First things first, I pulled down the sheets. Then I turned
around and left! I'll spare you the details.
Onto my most recent Motel 6 experience.
As usual we're on the way to a show. Tucson Best Bead Show in
this case. We got a late start (common) and so we needed to make
up time by driving later than we like to. This basically just
means we drove until we were ready to pull over on the side of
the road and kill each other. And, as luck would have it, all
the rooms in the town on our route were booked. But guess what
was available in North Los Angeles? Yes, you're right! A Motel
6. The one with the sign blinking in and out, even! Oh joy!
We checked in, asked for a room not facing
the freeway (because this wouldn't be common sense to offer),
pulled our truck around to the back and parked. As I stepped
out of the truck a security guard was no more than 1 ½
feet behind me. In a weird Norman Bates kind of voice he says,
"You can't park here". I about jumped out of my skin
at the sound of a voice behind me. I turned to see a vacant eyed
man. I said, "Excuse me?" "You can't park your
truck here" in the same monotone voice.
Shawn came around the truck and conversed
with the security guard and discovered that even though there
were over 100 open parking spaces, at 1am, this guy wanted us
to park our truck out on the street, "Where the truck parking
is". Yeah, that is NOT gonna happen buddy! About ½
my business is inside that truck. I am in North LA along side
a major interstate. The truck will either be parked right outside
my door, or directly in front of the lobby.
After speaking with the hotel clerk, who
didn't like to hear me say, "I'd like my money back",
the truck wound up parked directly in front of the lobby.
We get our overnight bags and paraded around to the other side
of the motel to our room. I notice now an older model Cadillac
with an intense bright gold paint job, low-profile tires and spinner
rims parked a couple of spaces down from my door. Lovely!
We unlock the door to the cardboard box,
walk into the stale smoke smelling non-smoking room and prepare
to get what little sleep I think will come my way.
As I am opening my luggage to get the
air-freshener, I hear a small dog begin to bark, a yapping kind
of Chihuahua bark. Then another joins in, then a third. Yap,
yap, yap, yap, yap. But I don't hear a sound from the owner trying
to hush them. Maybe they'll stop soon? 10 minutes later the
dogs stop yapping. I have now washed my face, brushed my teeth,
laid down a blanket over the bedding, fluffed my own pillow and
proceeded to fall about a foot down into the "mattress".
It seems the box spring was broken. This will make for a nice
backache…I just can't wait!
The second I turn off the light bulb….not
the light, the light bulb, I hear a deep male voice outside, then
a second, then a third. The drug deal begins. It takes about
5 minutes. One of them returned to his cardboard box, the other
two got into a car, slammed both doors and drove away. The second
the car door closed the three yapping dogs started in again.
Shawn let out a small chuckle and I turned
to him with a look that basically said, "We are not amused",
channeling Marie Antoinette I am sure.
It is relatively quiet now for about 10
minutes, until the next "customer" arrives. This time
the voices were much louder. Either the dealer was upset or the
buyer was, I couldn't distinguish, but I wasn't about to investigate
The dogs began their serenade. This time
their owner was disturbed enough to get up and use the restroom.
Remember the thickness of the walls? Yeah, no details here either.
This chain of events proceeds in the same
manner for the next couple of hours, then a new set of fun enters
the mix. I call them ceiling walkers. Normally someone will
check in, be assigned to an upstairs room, walk around getting
ready for bed and then be done with it until morning. Not the
case with my special ceiling walkers. There were two of them,
and they walked, and walked, and walked their cardboard box for
over an hour. Maybe they had just visited Cadillac Man two doors
down just prior to checking in?
They finally calmed down enough to stop
walking, and then apparently switched their moods to one of a
little romance. The visual of their bed falling through the floor
of their cardboard box and landing on mine was a bit unnerving,
to say the least. Not to mention that no amount of pillows over
my head would drown out the constant squeaking of the mattress
and floor boards. Thankfully, for me at least, this didn't
last too long. However, it did rile up the dogs pretty good.
It is now 3:50 am.
It seems that Cadillac Man's hours of
operation end around 4am, as his last visitor left the dogs barking
at about 4:15. Finally…a little quiet. Well, except for
my wonderful husband snoring loud enough to wake the dead next
to me. But I have learned, after 27 years, to tune that out.
Blissful sleep has now filled my brain.
4:45 am, the ceiling walkers seem to be
in a big hurry to leave, but before they can leave they must walk
for 20 minutes. And of course, the dogs must bark at their walking.
This in turn caused their owner to need to use the bathroom again.
SLAM!! I've heard the sound every single
time I've been stupid enough to stay at a Motel 6. It is the
sound of a door with no cushion hinges closing as someone exits
their room. The walls and windows shake, the plastic bottle of
non-descript shampoo/conditioner falls into the tub, and in this
case, the dogs bark.
Maybe I should start crying? No, that
won't change the situation. It might release a little of my frustration,
but it's not worth the effort at this point.
So, the ceiling walkers and the dogs and
their gassy owner have left the building now. Phew…maybe
a little rest will come my way!
5:30 brings light beaming in through the
crack in the plastic drapes and like a laser beam it lands directly
on my face and…..a rooster crowing! A rooster crowing?
In North LA? No way. I'm delusional. The lack of sleep has
made me nutty. The pillow smashed over my head all night long
has deprived my brain of enough oxygen to actually think coherently.
No, it is true. There is a rooster crowing.
And crowing, and crowing and crowing.
Oh My God! I give up! I toss my covers
off, and proceed to haul myself out of the hole I've been wedged
into in my mattress. Stomp over to the bathroom, flip on the
light switch….flip on the light switch…..flip ON….I
can't believe it. The FREAKIN' light is burned out!
Yo, Tom Bordett, I would like YOU to personally
come change this light bulb!
I turn on the light in the "vanity"
area so I can see without breaking my neck in the bathroom, then
I turn on the water in the shower where it proceeds to drip out
of the faucet. Did I not turn it all the way? No, I turned it
all the way. All the way water pressure is equal to someone pouring
a glass of water over your head.
I turn it back off, take a standing bath
in front of the vanity sink, brush my teeth, get dressed and am
out the door in 2 ½ minutes. I need to get out of here!
As we walk around to the front of the
building where I pray our truck is located so I don't wind up
in prison for murdering a security guard, I notice on the other
side of the wall the roof a barn and other outbuildings. It appears
we were lucky enough to stay right next door to the last remaining
farm in North Los Angeles. How special! BTW, the rooster is
STILL crowing. Every living thing, with the exception of Cadillac
Man is wide awake, you can shut the #%*& up now!
A 500+ mile drive through the desert and
we arrived in Tucson. I was a little grumpy…just a little.
What's that you say? It must be fun getting
to travel all over and do shows? <blink, blink>
Seriously, I can't imagine myself doing
anything other than this! =o)