This should be the final post about our vacation "Chasing Spring" - unless I think of something else I meant to write about it.
Eleven years ago I joined the Choice Hotels Rewards Program. You earn points for your stays at any of their hotels. With enough points you earn a free stay in any of their hotels. I also joined a couple other rewards programs but we generally always stayed at Choice. But like everything else, hotel room prices have risen. The room we used to pay $70-$80 for is now $100 or more a night. So we decided in order to cut costs on this trip we would try some of the cheaper places to stay. I think it was on booking.com that I found America's Best Value Inn in Sikeston, MO for our first night on the road.
This was a pleasant surprise. It was obvious that this hotel had once been quite the place - impressive entrance, huge meeting rooms, etc. I really liked the looks of the front entrance. I didn't take a picture but there was a pond between the hotel and the highway.
Sweeping stairways on both sides of the lobby were very attractive. For a 'cheaper' hotel, this wasn't bad. And our room was a suite. Like I said, very grand in its day and not so bad, now.
Choice had a spring special during the time we were traveling - book two different stays at two different hotels and receive a free stay. We didn't even have to wait until our points accumulated.
So, our second night on the road we stayed at a Quality Inn in Tuscaloosa, AL. It was undergoing remodeling so the lobby was a little torn up. Other than that the only odd thing was hearing something hitting our room window. It sounded like.....it was - a high pressure washer cleaning the exterior.
No pictures of our hotel in Panama City Beach, FL, but it was a Comfort Suites. Very nice. Not only a suite, but a whirlpool suite. That made the required two nights to earn a free stay. But would it apply to the time we were still on the road? Or would we have to wait a while?
Of all our cheaper stays, this Scottish Inn at Richmond Hill, GA was the nicest. It was definitely an old style motel, but clean, quiet and very inexpensive. ($46) Wish all the cheaper places had been this nice.
We did not have to wait for our free room. This was at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Little Rock. We were on the 8th floor with a nice view. After spending the afternoon at the Clinton Presidential Center, it was nice to come back to this room and Presidential Pizza.
All the Choice Hotels offer free breakfast. When we went downstairs the next morning and I saw the silverware, I thought, "Wow, this really is a fancy place". Then I picked the silverware up and discovered it was plastic. But expensive looking plastic. :) The Satsuma Marmalade in the picture is some I bought at the Farmer's Market while with Christine & Dale in Marianna.
Our last night on the road and the first time we had a pool and spa. The pool was as warm as most spas and the spa was hot - just what we needed. There was also a sauna.
This was another hotel that had once been quite grand, attached restaurant, many rooms and meeting rooms and of course, the indoor pool.
I thought it was interesting that both our first night's stay and the last were both hotels with grand staircases. This hotel is now the Econo Lodge Truman Inn in Sedalia, MO. Econo Lodge is the low cost choice of the Choice Hotels line. We stayed at another one in Murfreesboro, TN.
A closer photo of the stairs. The desk clerk told me that many people come in just to take pictures on the stairs, like prom pictures, etc. I can see why.
Being on the road was fun, but like Dorothy said, "There's no place like home". We were more than happy to sleep in our own bed again.
What wasn't so great about being home was another snow! So while we chased spring, at home winter was hanging on. Some lights on that tree and you might think it was the holiday season.
Before we left I wasn't even certain I could handle the traveling. Between my knees and back I was afraid I wouldn't feel much like traipsing around. But I did fine. In fact, I felt better than I had all winter. I'm ready for the next trip.
Which is a good thing because daughter Kari & son-in-law, Ken just bought their first house in Portland, OR. For sure I want to get out there and see it and them. Two road trips in the same year? Yah, maybe.