Monday, September 28, 2009

on travel

We travel quite a bit. Historically, more for rugby than for work or personal (not that rugby isn't personal but it's not vacation)...

When you travel for work, you expect decent hotels (even if they have weird features). For personal travel, its up to you. Generally, we go with cheapo places if we're only passing through - how much will you enjoy a hotel if you arrive at midnight and are leaving at 8 am? - and a nicer place on the rare actual vacation.

My last rugby trip was in March, to Nashville. We stayed at a Super 8. The sheets on my bed had a couple of holes, the kind of holes you get from wear-and-tear and excessive laundering. There was a bottle opener on the back of the bathroom door. But the hotel was clean and had a decent breakfast and I think even had a pool.

Then Princess Charming and I went on our belated honeymoon. On the way home, we spent a couple of days in Seattle and stayed at a lovely joint (free on my credit card points!). Remember my love of their bathrooms? All that sparkle and light. This was the sort of hotel with white linens, multiple pillows, and a separate seating area. And a closet with doors.

This past weekend, I traveled with my rugby team to Boston for a league match. After a few hours of searching - literally - I found a Travelodge about 25 miles west of the field, right on our way in, that had 10 available rooms for the low low price of $92.50/night. If we only had 1 or 2 people per room it would only have been $68/night. Why do 2 more people cost almost $25 more? Its not like they remove beds if less people are sleeping there...and we certainly didn't use $12.50 in electricity and water each, nor in free breakfast cereal. (Maybe next time I should fib when making reservations?) We didn't even use the back-of-bathroom door bottle openers.

I looked for perhaps the first time in my life with disdain upon the multi-color with no particular pattern bedspread. I briefly considered wearing sandals in the shower (I decided this was a level of paranoia I am not ready for). I complained at some length about our beds being made up with only bottom sheets, so that as I tossed and turned all night on the hard plank posing as a mattress, I eventually had skin to mattress contact (and probably woke up my roommates, causing their own noisy tossing about).

This hotel also had a Beary Sleepy Suite, which by amazing luck of the draw, became the coaches room. Why does this room even exist? Do people leave their kids in a first floor room of a motel with exterior doors and hope they'll be happy with the bear-themed curtains and bedspread, kid-sized chairs and cable? It wasn't even a connecting room!

I am also pretty sure that this hotel, nestled in the shadow of a Crown Plaza in the middle of a fairly nice suburban shopping district, is the locale of choice for locals soliciting ladies of the night. Why you ask? When I went to get a duplicate key, this is the conversation of the "gentleman" in front of me:

Man: Do you have any rooms for tonight? Blah blah blah, I'm paying in cash.
Desk Clerk: Sure Guy's Name. (He walked in right before me and had not presented ID).
Man: OK great. Sure is busy here tonight.
Desk Clerk: Blah Blah blah, I'll give you Room 115. I have a couple of customers who really like that room.

Hence my conclusion. If I'm wrong, then let's move to conclusion B...
He's a) having an affair (hence the cash payment) and b) is a cheap bastard. (If you're treating your spouse like crap, at least meet your mistress someplace nice.)

What I learned this weekend:
I am becoming a snob finding myself to be a more discerning consumer.


  1. Hahaha that's great. Isn't it fun to travel?

  2. that's when you ask a local! I could have told you no... :)