Thursday, March 22

Mama Kat Prompt: The Case of the Misplaced Reservation

      The lucky Mama Kat Blog Prompt for today is #5: "Write about the last time you stayed in a hotel."Since we just came back from our trip and did stay at a hotel, this is perfect!

       There was a time when we used a tent and a State Park for a hotel on our various journeys, but that fell out of preference with tides and time. When we did camp, we used a tent we could stand in and a air-mattress we could blow up with a portable blower that could be plugged into the car's cigarette lighter. However, eventually we just reached the age where ground-level sleeping, having a little A/C and a bathroom we didn't to hike to were all preferable.

       So now we hotel---motel really--on our journeys. You might wonder what the difference is between a "hotel" and a "motel"?  The distinction is hotels are considered larger, have more ambiance and are generally located in cities. Sheraton would an example of a well know line of hotel. Motels are smaller, feature mostly the basics, i.e. coffee maker, hair dryer, frig, maybe an ironing board; and are located along the roadside, such as Motel 6 or Holiday Inn Express. That distinction has narrowed over-all, I think, and you have some pretty fancy Holiday Inn's of hotel class in cities nowadays, but generally, if it's along the road, it's classed a "motel."

       On the drive from here to Terre Haute, Indiana, we always stop at Exit 334, Priceville, AL. That's 6 hours from our doorstep and we stop there because that's where our favorite restaurant, the JW Steakhouse is located! There are 3 motels at this exit. A Quality Inn, which is next door to JW's, a Super 8 and a Comfort Inn. This time we stayed at the Super 8 both coming and going and did so, because we didn't have our cat with us. This particular Super 8 only allows dogs. We used to stay at the Quality Inn every trip because they allow cats for mere $5 extra and were right next to our favorite restaurant---that is until our last experience with them last September. That was it, the last straw.

      The Quality Inn at Exit 334 doesn't have much "quality" about it, even for a motel, but it's cheap and with a cat, very cheap. We'd never had a problem with them prior to last September, but sure had problems both ways that time. We had a room reserved and when we got there and walked in our room---it stunk to high heaven! A thick ammonia smell. I didn't know whether a dog had urinated in there or what and we marched back to the front desk to request a different room. The manager claimed it had been "shampooed" that afternoon, which probably explains the ammonia smell---but it wasn't even aired out!  So they stuck us a handicapped room, which was workable. When checking out, my husband mentioned we'd be coming back in 10 days and the manager suggested he'd make a reservation for us, since the weekend we'd be coming back would be exceptionally busy. You see, Priceville-Decatar, AL is home to a major Standardbred Racking Horse competition right then. So, we agreed, the manager made the reservation in my husbands presence right there at the desk, then we traveled on our merry way, thinking we were all set. Well, 10 days later, when we came back, the parking lot was, of course, full of vehicles with horse trailers and when we walked in, we discovered the manager HAD NOT held our "reserved" room. He'd given it away. So, with no place else to put us, they stuck us back in the handicapped room again. Blah. We were not happy. We were especially not happy about the lack of integrity we were shown and the dishonesty. Thank goodness for email because I emailed Quality Inn Corp as soon as we got back about this not holding our reservation thing and that manager was calling my husband two days later, eating crow. He got in big kimchee over that!

     In any case, we're not likely to stay at that Quality Inn again. The Super 8 is about $10 more and is a bit nicer anyway. Plus, you get 10% off at JW's Steakhouse for staying at any of those 3 motels near them there.

      You may wonder what we love about JW's Steakhouse?  The steak. It's the best, most tender, best seasoned, most flavorful steak I've ever eaten. I mean, slap yor mama, finger lickin', melt in your mouth yum. Plus it's always cooked exactly the way you order it. My husband has never had to send a steak back because it wasn't cooked to well done as he likes. They also have the most fantastic baked sweet potatoes you can choose that come with little metal cup full of brown sugar to add. We also like their steamed veggie side or sometimes, the trip to the salad bar--if we're particularly hungry. And every plate comes with a fresh, home-made yeast roll! We had their blackberry cobbler once, which is also home-made, and it was huge for $3.99 with a big glob of ice cream! They do have --- chicken, fish & ribs, of course--but why eat that stuff when you can have fantastic steak! I can eat chicken at home. Steak meal prices generally range from $11 to $18, depending on cut. No lunch. Just an evening meal place. So if you've ever traveling the I-65 corridor at dinner time, be sure and stop at Exit 334 just before Decatur, AL and visit JW's Steakhouse! It's good Southern cookin'!



Morgan said...

Traveling can be so stressful ... without misplaced reservations!

Visiting from Mama Kat's :)

kaye said...

ditto Morgan--Traveling in stressful especially with mixups like that. kaye—the road goes ever ever on

leslie@gleaninggrace said...

You've got me wantin a steak now! Good thing we're having birthday lunches at a steakhouse on Sunday!

Stopped by from MamaKat's!

SouthMainMuse said...

Glad you found a room -- even though not what you wanted. And you still got the great steak. That's a yay.

Reviewer11 said...

OOh steak :P Yummy!

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