Super 8 is really pushing it with the "super" part

I'll bet you were getting worried that I wasn't going to bore you with details about my vacation. Fret not, mon ami! Our vacation started out a bit rocky, got dicey again in the middle, and then ended up just fine. My other half and I left on July 2nd, embarking on a long car ride that made us really glad that our daughter was already in Virginia. Nothing makes a long road trip even longer like an unruly tween complaining about how hot/cold/hungry/bored she is.

Our departure was a bit delayed because we couldn't drop our dogs off until a certain time, but we got on the road as soon as we could . . . and then hit massive traffic that delayed our progress by at least two hours. Grrrr. The drive was mostly uneventful once we broke free of the congestion. We usually take turns driving, each of us staying behind the wheel for two to three hours at a time. The full drive to my middle sister's house is about 16 hours. I wanted to do the lion's share of the drive on Thursday so that we could coast into town at a reasonable hour on Friday. Sometime after midnight, I started looking for a hotel. Normally, I would make a reservation in advance but we weren't sure how far we'd actually want to drive in one day. So, I set the GPS to search for hotels and kept driving.

My main goal was not to drive too far off the tollway we were on (in the great state of Ohio). When you're driving 1,000 miles, you don't want to add even one mile to the trip if you can help it. The GPS was showing me lots of "mom and pop" type places and since it was already very late, I was worried about waking up some poor soul who'd have to amble out of bed to check us in. Then I saw "Boy Scouts of America" listed. They must have a campground nearby or something like that. "I think they'd take us," I told my husband, "Seeing as how we're not gay and all." Mr. M was in no mood for jokes at 2 a.m, though.

"There's a Super 8 coming up - how about that one?"  He nodded.  So, I pulled off at the exit and found the Super 8. By then it was around 2:30 a.m. I parked and headed to the lobby while my other half snoozed in the car. A nice woman named Janet was working the front desk. She was on the phone and I heard her say, "I have a guest who wants to check in."

She set the phone on the counter so that she could pick it back up when she was done checking me in. I was dying to ask her who on earth wanted to talk to her at that time of night. I only know one person who stays up that late, which is my mother. I was dying to ask her, "Are you talking to my mom? How are the cats doing?"

Janet said she had a room available and issued me two keys. I noticed she had a tattered bible on the desk. I wondered if I should start praying for stuff like a clean bed and towels. I am not a fancy-schmancy person when it comes to hotels. Amenities are great, but mainly I just want a clean bed and towels . . . particularly when I'm only going to be there for a few hours before getting back on the road. My fingers were crossed.

I went back to the car and we drove across the parking lot to our room, which was on the second floor. We hauled our luggage up the steps and then entered our room. We were greeted by a huge stain on the carpet, directly in front of the front door. There were two queen-sized beds, which featured bedspreads that were at least as old as I am, if not a little older. The secondary lock on the door was broken. I tried to turn on a floor lamp only to find that it . . . had no bulb in it. The hits just kept coming. Here was my favorite feature, though. I'm sorry I didn't take a photo. The toilet was situated under the bathroom counter in such a way that you could not fully lift the lid. In order to pee, I had to sit on the potty and then pitch forward, like a sprinter on the start line.

We were just glad to be on vacation so we took showers and then went straight to bed. We were trying to take it all in stride. I had found out a bit earlier in the evening that there was an issue with the boarding situation with my dogs, so my anxiety level was through the roof (obviously I knew I couldn't do anything about it until the next morning). Also, I started thinking about bed bugs and that didn't help matters much. Eventually I settled into a Tylenol PM-induced sleep with my head on a flat pillow.

The next morning, we got up and prepared to get back on the road. I asked my husband to run down to the lobby and get some ice for our cooler. A few minutes later he was back. " Guess what? The ice machine is broken." Shocking, I know.

I'll bore you with some more details about the rest of my trip in the coming days. For your amusement, though, here are some reviews of the Super 8. You can click/tap it for a larger version, I believe. Either way, you're sure to notice phrases like "worst motel ever."


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