No Room in the Inns, Part II

Tell us about the worst trip you ever took.

Yesterday I started the story about the worst trip that I ever took. If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, then go read it now and come back.

Yesterday’s cliff hanger was left with my brother and me going from hotel to hotel in Chicago looking for a room. I can’t even remember how many places we checked, but I know we were nearing ten, if not more. We did find a Super 8 who had a room for $125! Seriously? A Super 8 for that much? Ah, we kept looking.

We finally found a small motel a fair bit away from the convention center that had available rooms. YAY! The lobby smelled like curry, appeared to be run by a family and the place needed some updating, but at least the room was under $100. We were tired, and we settled. This is where is all started going wrong.

Typically unless you request a room with a King-sized bed, you get a room with two Double beds, right? Not at the Garden Inn and Suites on Mannheim Road in Franklin Park, IL (no, not the HILTON Garden Inn). My brother and I got to the room to find a single King-sized bed and a dumpy sofa across the room. I went back downstairs to ask if we could be moved to another room and was told it would cost me $20 more a night. What?!?! Ugh! I figured they just didn’t want to deal with me, and I really didn’t want to give them $40 more for the two nights we were planning to stay there. Besides, Matthew is my brother. We slept in the same bed plenty of times when we were young kids, right? Also, I was not about to have Matthew sleep on the horrible sofa in the room. I didn’t even want to sit on it!

Little did I know that when I returned to the room, I would find out that we also needed another pillow since there was only one in the room. Seriously? I went back downstairs and 15 minutes later they finally found another pillow for me. I don’t even want to know why it took so long for the guy to find one while I waited in the lobby for him to return.

Once settled into the room, Matthew was flipping through the channels while I was reading. I look up, and the TV was on a porn channel! Matthew?!?! The remote was one of those cheapo universal replacement remotes that only had Channel Up/Down, Volume Up/Down, Mute and Power. So yes, our TV had a porn channel that we had to flip past to channel surf.  I’m so glad that Matthew wasn’t a 4-year old.

The next day, we returned from a very long day of Chicago sightseeing to find that our room had not even been cleaned the whole day that we were gone. Why I was surprised is beyond me. I went back to the lobby to complain, and they said they would see if they could find someone to clean it in the next hour…or so. It was late, we were tired, and I was picturing them waking their grandma to go clean my room. I sighed and declined the offer. I did ask for more towels and toilet paper, which again took 15 minutes to get to me and once again I didn’t want to know why it took so long.

The room was dumpy, oddly shaped and in desperate need of some updates, but it served its purpose of providing us a place to sleep for two nights. It may have been the worst motel experience I’ve ever encountered, but it was BY FAR the most interesting experience, too.

I’m actually kind of surprised that they didn’t rent the room to us by the hour.

Have you had an “interesting” lodging experience? What’s your story?  

Has your life been shaped by a mentor or have you been a mentor to someone else? Tell me about your experiences!

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I‘m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

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No Room in the Inns, Part I

Tell us about the worst trip you ever took.

One of the best trips that I have ever been on also contained the worst motel experience I have ever encountered. The year was 2008, and my divorce had been final for a little more than a month. I went in to work one day and decided that I needed some time off, so I scheduled vacation for the following week. I didn’t know what I was going to do or where I was going to go, but I knew I wanted to get out for a few days.

I’m not sure how it all came about, but I decided to go to Chicago. I had been to Chicago one other time in the summer of 2001 for a Pampered Chef convention when I was a consultant. I spent a few days in the Windy City being bused back and forth between the hotel and the convention center, but I never saw anything beyond the bus and hotel windows. My mom thought it was a terrible idea for me to go on this trip alone (despite me telling her that after my divorce, I just wanted to be free), so she made my brother go with me. In hindsight, it was a good idea, but you know how that goes.

We made several stops to and from Chicago and made a huge trip out of it that included Louisville, Dayton, Sikeston and Martin, but I’ll talk about those another time because those were the good parts. We’re here to talk about the worst part, right?

I made no/zero/zilch/nada reservations for this trip. I was going to be FREE, remember? We drove into Chicago in the evening, and headed toward the O’Hare area. My dad had suggested that we stay in that area and to avoid the Cicero/Midway area like the plague because he said it wasn’t the safest area in town.

I also knew I wanted to stay in an area near the train so that we wouldn’t have to drive into Chicago for tourist stuff and sightseeing, so we ended up in the Rosemont area. If you’re not familiar with the area (and I’m still not), there’s a convention center nearby that apparently drew in billions of people to the area who booked up all of the rooms in the nearby hotels.

What happened next? Read Part II of the story!

Have you ever been faced the possibility of having nowhere to stay when going out of town? 

Has your life been shaped by a mentor or have you been a mentor to someone else? Tell me about your experiences!

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012