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news from the johnson ~ road trip #2436.5

*A forlorn roadside Howard Johnson hotel~ 2:45 AM ~ Freezing cold*


This hotel room scares me.


The bedspread looks like the illegitimate love-child of the interior of a Ford Pinto and a really bad paisley tie, the carpet is oddly sticky, and the coffee pot has a beautiful lavender shade of mold growing inside. The multi purpose  air-conditioner/heater/ice-maker/curling iron window unit doesn’t work, which I didn’t discover until a few moments ago, and as I have no desire to pack everything back up and switch rooms, I’m wrapped in the illegitimate love-child bedspread while writing. I’m not a fan of this room.

But, I’m more of a fan of this hotel than the Days Inn outside of St. Charles, Missouri I had the unfortunate experience of staying at for a few days this year. I can’t accurately describe to you the exact level of funk that existed in that room, but between the large quantity of what I can only assume was dog hair on the carpet,  and the distinct odor of sweaty feet and corn chips that permeated the entire room, it wins the “Absolute worst hotel I’ve stayed at in three years of crazy road trips” award. Oddly enough, the second worst hotel I’ve stayed in this year was also a Days Inn, but this time in Key West, Florida. It wins the ” Our rooms look clean, comfortable and somewhat non-repulsive on our website, but when you get here they’re seriously disgusting and humid and tiny and yes you can have a bigger, nicer room but only if you pay us lots of money” award. 

Come to think of it, the Hallmark Inn in Newport, Oregon was super nice, complete with ocean view and fireplace. I could use a fireplace right about now. Then there was the Doubletree Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Super nice place that included an extremely arrogant French concierge whose life was saved by the freshly baked warm cookie he handed me. I can deal with a lot of idiocy if someone hands me a cookie, either during or shortly after said idiocy occurs. The Millennium Knickerbocker (say that with a mouthful of cookies) hotel in downtown Chicago, Illinois wins for coolest vintage hotel, most awesome shower and also the tiniest rooms you could possibly imagine. 

The Holiday Inn at the San Francisco, California airport needs better parking but has a great bar, the Ramada in San Diego has a great wine and cheese hour in the evenings and is in walking distance to the greatest Mexican restaurant I’ve been to, the Hyatt Regency in Sarasota, Florida wins for best balcony view this year, again with the great bar, and the Hilton in St. Petersburg, Florida wins for best on-site fitness center and spa. Plus, they make really great brownies, which kind of defeats the purpose of the gym, but whatever.


You may ask yourself, after reading that lengthy bit of rambling, what exactly the point of this blog is. And to be honest with you, there’s not one. 

I’m cold. I can’t sleep. This room is creepy. 

But since you made it through all of that, I’ll be nice and show you a picture. It’s what I do. 


Behold my precious babies, in one of my first attempts at getting them to be serious in front of the camera a few years ago. 

~ B



  • Tatjanna Miller - I really liked this blog, ranting or not, it’s very descriptive! LOL. Maybe it’s all the years on the road with my dad sleeping in the back of a semi truck, or my moms “camping adventures” that would last 5 months at a time where a river was a bath, or my hitchhiking to get in touch with some fashion Jack Kerouac, implanted into my mind after reading “On the Road” when I was 17. But I really like old run down hotel rooms, even the creepy ones, it gives me a feeling of adventure (after of course you’ve had a good shower and are back on the road and all said creepiness is worn off) in 2007 my friends and I rented 3 of the priciest suites in the Hotel Murano in Tacoma WA..I hated it, I felt like I had to tip toe through the place…I’m by no means a slob, but when a place is that Clean I feel bad for making extra work for the maids. Worst motel adventure for me though was the Budget inn in Havre Montana….And it was just renamed from the “Shanty inn” that should tell ya something lol…sorry for hijacking the’s too late at night and I can’t sleep either!ReplyCancel

  • Polka Dot Bride - Oh your babies are gorgeous!

    Sleep tightReplyCancel

  • Jiuli - There is nothing worse than a scary hotel room….I say run to your car and sleep there. Safe travels! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Joe Treadaway - I’ve seen YOU make that face in the lower left hand corner…that’s a riot!!!ReplyCancel

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