Yes, this post is a wee bit late. We had to pay for Wi-Fi in Chicago on 11 September, which means we didn’t have internet access, and then we were at my grandparents’ home last night in Pennsylvania. No internet there either. So yes, I have a wee bit of catching up to do.
Photos have yet to be uploaded, but I’ll share those later.
This is what I wrote on 11 September in Chicago and saved to my computer:
Well, technically the day started in South Dakota, not Minnesota. But we weren’t in South Dakota for very long.
I still like to think I’ve been in four different states today.
We’re up to 2500 miles, or thereabouts, in four and a half days. Not bad!
For the record, Red Roof Inn sucks. We had stayed at Red Roofs all over the US on our trip from Virginia to Washington in 2003 (yes, folks, this is my second cross-country trip in four years, and we did the long route last time. Virginia to Alabama to Tucson to LA to Santa Cruz up to the west side of the Puget Sound. It took 13 days, but that’s because we did a lot of visiting with family. We had all three animals last time too. The only additions this time are a larger vehicle, as last time we drove a two-door Chevy Blazer and towed my Chevy Cavalier behind it, and Grace), mainly because they had a liberal pet policy. Pets stayed free! No extra charge.
Our only disappointment on the whole way was the Red Roof in San Dimas, CA, I think it was. That place was a literal dump. There was a hole in the wall where maintenance was working on some pipes! It was just a terrible place to stay. We were so glad to get out of there.
But all the other Red Roofs were quite nice.
So this time, when Kurt was planning our trip, I asked him to reserve at a Red Roof as often as possible. However, there aren’t a whole lot of them on our route. This one here in Chicago was the only one he found. The price was right, so he called them and got a room.
Now don’t get me wrong – the room is nice. Small, but nice. It’s just one king bed in the room, with a shelf bolted to the wall to act as a desk, and a large sink area at the other end of the room. The décor is very modern and up to date, and it looks very clean.
But there are two major flaws with the room. Firstly, no free wi-fi. How is that even possible??? I didn’t even have cell phone coverage (well, I would have, if I were willing to pay for roaming rates, which I’m not) in Yellowstone, but our motel had internet! Free, to boot! This Red Roof close to downtown Chicago wants us to pay per hour or per day to connect to the internet.
Highway robbery, I’m telling ya.
Secondly, no free breakfast. And there isn’t even a restaurant attached to the motel! You have to go a block down to hit a Denny’s… but then, who wants Denny’s for breakfast? My system can’t handle that much grease that early in the morning.
Our other hotels have been very nice. The only disappointment we’ve had thus far is being forced to take a smoking room in Yellowstone. The Days’ Inn there requires pet owners to be in smoking rooms, even if they’re non-smokers. The smell didn’t bother me after about 10 minutes or so, but it was rather oppressive at first. The other problem with that room was none of the outlets worked properly. You had to balance each plug in the outlet just so to make a full connection, and if you even breathed heavily, the plug would fall out of the outlet.
I think yesterday’s hotel in South Dakota was the absolute nicest. The room was huge – two queen beds with plenty of space between. Plus we had a fast internet connection, and we could even make waffles for breakfast! What more could you ask for??
Maybe it was so nice because it was a non-franchised hotel. Maybe that’s what we should aim for next time – no chain hotels.
So today we drove from South Dakota through Minnesota and Wisconsin to Chicago. No offense, Minnesotans and Wisconsinites, but your states are awfully boring to drive through along I-90. Get some cool scenery out there, people! *wink*
To be fair, it is lovely country. It just looks a little boring after seeing the spectacular geography and landscapes of Wyoming and Montana.
Once we got to Chicago, I called up my friend David, whom I have known since 1990. Scary thought. He lives here in Chicago, so we met up at a restaurant to have dinner together. We had entirely too much fun, of course. His mother “adopted” me years ago as the daughter she never had, so she was oohing and ahhing over Grace as if she were her grandma too.
Grace has lots of honorary grandmas. She’s a well-loved kid, what can I say??
So now we’re back in the room. I am completely confuddled by this whole Headline News Prime channel. Where did regular Headline News go? I want to just know what the heck is going on in the world; I don’t want 30 minutes of speculation on how fat Britney’s gotten on Headline News Prime, or any of the other talking heads on Fox News or MSNBC or CNN proper.
Ah well. I’m already starting to sound like a grumpy old woman!!!
Tomorrow – Pennsylvania! No internet connection at my grandma’s house unless I go to an internet café, but once I get to my father’s house on Thursday or Friday, I’ll have all the wireless my little heart desires. YAY!