I have a
goal to see all fifty states and to visit 50 countries by the time I reach 50
years old. I’ve made a ton of headway
and I just might be able to make it.
Reflecting back, I’ve stayed in some absolutely “palatial” hotels,
bungalows, and estates. The flip side of
this coin is, for every grand and extravagant place I’ve been fortunate enough
to spend time in, there is an embarrassing overabundance of places that, well…
aren’t anywhere nearly as impressive.
When I think about the rooms with carpet stains and empty beer cans on
the floor under the bed, I thank God for my Grandfather who used to tell me,
“Life’s rarely fair kid, suck it up and quit yer cryin!” Each horrible hotel you get stuck with should
harden your soul for the next one you know you’ll get in the future. Here are some tips for putting up with them.
- The trick
to enduring a crappy hotel is to avoid your room until you have to go
sleep. Seriously, hang out and watch TV
in the lobby; chances are it’s a nicer TV and the hotel staff spends more time
cleaning the public lobby than your room.
Service (if they have it) will suck, so drive an extra 10 miles out of the way
and find a cool old bar with pool tables, get a brew and a burger and meet some
to the manager is pointless since you’re on an expense account, and you know he
wouldn’t fix anything anyway. Whatever
it is, just let it go. Drive to a real
gym and spend $10 of your own money to work off your frustrations in a nice gym,
rather than the “workout room” they boast of with the universal
machine that has the snapped cable.
- I usually
drive away somewhere (or take a cab and tell the driver you need to break away
for awhile and you want some good local food), or walk for a few miles to see
some sights. Doing this, I checked out
the world’s biggest ball of twine, in a burg west of Cokato, MN, I walked past the massive Elm tree that the
state of Connecticut has on their quarter, and I once had a cabbie drive me to
a bar/grill that served food during the Revolutionary war! This is a culturally diverse and remarkable
interesting country if you take the time to get out and see it.
- If you have
to “work,” find a Starbucks or another place with a public internet
connection. Find the local library, give
the librarian a thrill and apply for a library card, then work there. At least there’s “atmosphere” and
fresh coffee and people and things to stimulate your brain. That beats a dingy under lit room with filthy
baseboards and an over-loud window unit for A/C any day.
So… Walk, eat,
drive, sweat, work, watch a movie, whatever, just don’t go back to your room
till bedtime. Three months later when
you look back on that trip, you won’t remember the flea-bag motel you got stuck
in, you’ll have fond memories of the local culture to mull over instead!