Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rest Your Weary Head

You might think this is funny.  Two nights ago when we couldn’t find a hotel in Yellowstone, the girls suggested we sleep in the car.  Mind you, this is after out wild west buffalo experience. After seeing elk with horns as wide as the car and about three feet tall.  The same elk I might ad, that we were warned are very aggressive this time of year – if you catch my drift. Armed with the knowledge that bears and wolves and mountain lions all live in this park ... they want to sleep in the CAR.

Now, I was driving.  The windshield was littered with bugs, so many that it’s almost like trying to drive while looking though a kaleidoscope -- in the pitch black darkness. After driving all day -- about 400 miles -- we stop around 9:00 pm.

Today, Mom’s driven about half the miles, is complaining about the bugs on the windshield in broad daylight, and at 6:30, she thinks we should stop for the night.  Her argument is valid for three reasons.

  1. She’s tired.
  2. Grandma’s tired.
  3. I’m tired.

But we’re still more than 200 miles short of our goal -- Newcastle, Wyoming.  And guess who I bet is driving much of the day tomorrow?

Tisk, tisk … I’m such a bad daughter.

Let me tell you what booking rooms is like.  The girls set a budget of $70 per night.  That’s $70 total. Do you know how hard it is to find a place you would want your own Mother – let alone Grandmother – to sleep for seventy bucks?  I mean, I have standards, but I’ve also been to India, where the carpet is wet and the bed bugs bite and leave welts.  There’s a strange correlation here with Grandma’s insistence that they moved the Alamo. 

They moved the hotel prices!

The hotels where we’ve stayed that fell in the target price range were definitely frill-free, but not bug free.  With the exception, of course, of that GREAT place in Deming that was about the same price Gram paid for a top-of-the-line place when they went out West half a century ago.  And the only reason we got it for that price was because there was no working TV in the room.  Apparently, to the average clientele, a TV is worth about $25.  Frankly, I’d rather not have one at all.

I’m off subject.  My point is – it’s a pain in the butt to try and get a decent hotel for under $100.  First, I call  They have a loyalty program where you stay 10 nights and you get one free.  I thought it would be a great way to get us a free night somewhere. But it’s not always cheaper.  So I cross-reference it with the hotel itself. If neither of those prices is close, we pull over so I can pirate someone’s internet.  That’s definitely a crap shoot worthy of thousands in Vegas.  

Will Amy get on line, or won’t she? Place your bets ...

Tonight, has a Comfort Inn located in Worland, Wyoming for $109 per night.  The hotel quotes the same price.  After three attempts, I get internet access and find that Priceline is offering the same $109, so I try their bidding option starting at $50.  Nothing.  I call the hotel back and negotiate $93.99.  We save $15. 

Not bad, considering that at my current stress level, I’ll need a $100 massage to get back to normal. Or a martini, but I think this is the sort of town where you’d get shot if you ordered one in a bar.

I'll settle for a muscle relaxer and a nine-hour love affair with my ear plugs.

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