I’ve had a little bit of time to think lately as I’ve driven a big circle in the state of Washington. Can you say road trip? 680 miles worth of road trip in two days? The weather was marginally nice, and that always makes a trip tolerable. I had to stay overnight and the first hotel I checked into, was also the first one that I came across. Note to self, when the parking lot is empty…keep driving no matter how tired you are. I stepped into the very seemingly comfortable lobby with high expectations. Perky music, appropriate smells permeating the dining area, that’s a good start. The front desk lady was cordial and helpful and didn’t hold her nose from the stench I felt like I was projecting after sitting in the car all day. When she gave me the key to my room I had to stop myself from saying, “A key! How quaint.”. It was an actual metal key, I haven’t had a metal key to a hotel in about 10 years. She may as well hit me over the head with a red flag. I retrieved my bag from the car and headed to the outside stairs to my room where the door was also positioned on the outside. Of course the doors are on the outside, but what I mean is, all of the hallways and doors to the rooms were situated in the elements. You know, the weather. Here is one of the very first rules of business women, oh hell, any woman traveling alone. Do not stay in the accommodations where your room is located under the stairs and the only window overlooks the second floor landing and the door is in the elements, and nasty mean people hide in the shadows waiting to pounce. I inserted the key into the door, peeked into the very dark interior, turned around and headed back to the lobby. On my trek down the stairs I considered asking for a different room, one that might have real light from a real window. However, by the time I dragged my bag to the lobby I had made my decision. I looked at the nice lady at the front desk and told her that I wasn’t going to be staying after all, the place looked too scary and I wasn’t having any part of it. Wow, from her reaction I think she’d heard that a few times from a few former customers. She looked totally dejected, but I know she understood why I was leaving, she looked embarrassed to work there. I know I would have been.
I had gone out for a walk last night before dinner so I was really tired from that or the driving for 9 hours and making the painful choice of not staying in the Bates Motel. Maybe it was the nice fresh air, and sunlight reflecting off of the water, outside, in the elements. Whatever it was, I was safe and content. Fast forward to me waking up refreshed this morning, in my third floor suite of my nice clean hotel, overlooking a marina on the Columbia River. I don’t think this particular hotel had been open more than 6 months, it sparkled.