Smoker – Travelling across the USA – 2

After our stay in Minnesota we headed home by the same route across the northern U.S. and south along the Pacific coast. My wife did not care for the Moorhead motel we stayed in on our earlier trip and we found other accommodations at a Travelodge on our return. They didn’t have a smoking/ADA room and we settled on a third floor smoking room (elevator). A nicer room than before but no ADA bathroom and farther to walk.

We “flew” across North Dakota and landed in Miles City, Montana the next day at a Super 8 motel. Smoking but not ADA and no elevator. The room was on the third floor (no elevator); my wife went up once when we checked in and down once when we checked out – I, however, got a lot of exercise with our luggage.

Even though we tried to get a room at the Homewood Suites in Bozeman, Montana a couple of weeks earlier, it was booked. My wife got a smoking room at the La Quinta Inn. When we got there, we found out that it was a non-smoking facility. We found out that the booking had been through Hotels.com/Expedia, not directly with the hotel, as my wife thought she had done. After forty-five plus frustrating minutes on the phone with Hotels.com and Expedia they couldn’t find us in their system even though there was a reservation at La Quinta and my AMEX card had been charged by them the previous week. The La Quinta was fully booked, with a waiting list, and we were able cancel the room with them – but not with Hotels.com/Expedia. The busy and harried young man at the desk also found that the Holiday Inn just across the Interstate had smoking rooms available – we called and got a room with no trouble. It was not ADA but it was a short walk for my wife from the parking lot.

After a calming cup of tea and a bit of shopping, we had dinner at the Holiday Inn’s on-site restaurant – yummy.

I spoke with American Express that evening and they cancelled the Hotels.com/Expedia charges – the first time in the forty years I’ve had the card that I’ve had this kind of problem.

The next night we stayed at the Super 8 in Spokane Valley, Washington. Once again it was a smoking room but not ADA, on the third floor, but close to the elevator. My wife had to do little walking and I got my exercise with the luggage and a short walk to the local Subway for a couple of sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies (the last two in the store).

Then it was on to The Dalles, Oregon and Cousins’ Country Inn. Good food and an upstairs non-ADA smoking room.

The Mill Hotel and Casino in North Bend, Oregon was next with a downstairs (but long walk) smoking room. The problem was the restaurant. We got a bad meal at Whitecaps. The food was cold and my wife’s appetite was spoiled so she went off to play the slots. My dinner was re-done; the seafood was dropped back in the fire and overcooked but the fresh potatoes and veggies were still cold. The manager again apologized and took the meal off our charges. It was the first sub-standard meal we’d had there, so we’ll give them another chance next year, maybe.

Eureka, California. Best Western Plus Bayshore Inn. My wife had made a reservation for their one smoking/ADA room and gotten an email confirmation. When we arrived, we found we had a third floor, smoking, non-ADA room. I was told that we had not requested an ADA room – WRONG – as the email confirmation confirmed. Our room had been given away to someone else and my wife now had to use the elevator and walk to the room farthest away from the elevator; we expressed our displeasure and the clerk promised to make a note of it. (The service at the on-site Marie Callender’s was also bad this evening and we left without eating.) I called American Express, since the room had been guaranteed through my AMEX card. I was told that since the motel had not yet charged for our room to wait a few days and then contest the charges. We checked out the next morning and my wife gave the assistant manager a good talking to. She apologized, said that the person responsible had already been spoken to, and said she was going to discount the room. I mentioned my conversation with American Express and the “discount” quickly became NO CHARGE for our stay at the Bayshore Inn. Will we stay at the Bayshore Inn next time through Eureka – stay tuned, film at eleven. Will I keep my American Express card – YES!

Lessons learned:
1. Book through the motel directly or the motel’s website – DO NOT use Hotels.com or Expedia.
2. Don’t leave home without it (AMEX card).

Smoke, Di and Mist

Smoke, Di and Mist

And.

We stopped and visited with our friends in Gilroy, California (garlic city) the next day and arrived home the day after. On Monday we picked up our new four-footed kids – two chocolate point Siamese kittens. I had wanted to call them Smoke and Mirrors but my wife decided on Smoke (male) and Mist (female).

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