Hoo-boy, as Stan Lee used to say in Marvel Comics. What we've found on these past two days! Things just ain't what they used to be...
First of all, I was awakened Wednesday morning by my phone ringing. I answered it croakily. "What the hell, were you still asleep?" my sister-in-law's voice boomed. "I've been up since 5 am! When are you getting here?"
It was a good thing she called, or we would have slept until 10, or later. I remembered Bernie's alarm going off at 6am and him telling me to go back to sleep, which I gratefully did. We pried ourselves out of the hotel and onto the road by about 9:30 -- not an efficient travel plan. But we did get to Maumee, Ohio, where we rented a room from Holiday Inn.
Now Holiday Inn used to be a nice bet for travel. We've come to vastly prefer Holiday Inn Express, and just in case you haven't already found out, the two brands are totally different experiences. Holiday Inn Express, by and large, wants you to continue to use their chain and goes out of their way to make sure your room is wonderful, amenities unequalled, experience utter luxury. Plain old Holiday Inn could just give a shit as long as they get your money. Bare bones rooms, lack of customer service. We found out too late at night that the air conditioner in our room worked only with a noise like a train driving through the room. Higher rates, less service. WTF?
I forcefully fantasized that I was on a space ship and that the noise was the ship's engines kicking on. I got a little sleep.
Today, we made it to home base, a motel that used to be a Holiday Inn, back in the day, but is now a "Quality Inn". It has adequate facilities, but nothing special. It used to have in it the successor to Tony's Cottage Inn , but alas -- Tony's has changed. The signature salad is a shadow of what it was only a few years ago. And we went down town to grab some Laskaris hotdogs, but Laskaris has been sold, and it's secret chili sauce is gone, and the hotdog grill, and the poor folk who bought and run it are doomed. No one but us was in the restaurant, and the owners were ... sad, apathetic, clueless people who aren't even keeping their work counters clean.
I have a sad feeling that an Age has passed. At least the AC in here works quietly.