The Jeffery was our motel for 2 nights in early October. The refurbished motel was quite decent, but the name annoyed me.
The Jeffrey. Sounds like a spiffy boutique hotel in Aspen. What was with that name?
Earlier that day, we had checked out from South Lake Tahoe's Zalanta. I'm not overly fond of that name either. Like a movie title... "Aliens from Zalanta". The word actually has origins in a Native American language, and it can be found on lists of names for girls. Interesting.
So enough on names. I was grumpy about leaving Zalanta and heading to The Jeffrey. It was hard leaving this lovely place with the ultimate location, near the lake AND ski slopes.
It was hard to leave a grand hotel where the staff greeted us by name, when we came and went.
That was mostly because we were the only guests in the entire hotel, for the first two of four nights.
It was hard to leave our third floor accommodations, with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms.
It was hard to leave the balcony on that fine sunny morning.
It was hard to leave the snazzy little fire table, where I warmed up on chilly mornings, while making my daily calls to check in on Dad.
It was hard to leave the swimming pool and hot tubs... which we had to ourselves.
So we left the luxurious Zalanta and I was grumpy. But not really about leaving the hotel. It was the people we were leaving.
We'd had 4 glorious days with our kids and spouses and our granddaughter. It's not a surprise that I was a little moody when we pulled up to The Jeffrey.
Motel & Trees
The little neighborhood motel was indeed cute. The towering pines surrounding us were lovely. I was glad to see no other cars. It was peaceful.
I was fine with "contactless check in". That's become more and more common since the pandemic. We're used to checking ourselves in at Airbnbs. No big deal.
We took a couple trips getting our bags upstairs. No elevator or luggage carts. Our updated motel room actually looked pretty nice. King bed, ceiling fan, bedside tables. Decent sized, mounted TV and a fireplace-heater.
The room was little stuffy. It didn't have the glorious spa smells of Zalanta.. But we had windows at both ends and I loved that we could open all the windows and get some good air flow.
"Kitchen" & Bath
There was even a tiny "kitchen" area with microwave and fridge. I wish I'd gotten a photo, when we turned on the mod light fixture in the evening. The 6 bulbs where comically bright! We joked that we needed sunglasses. We actually had to keep it off.
The whole place was spotless and the bathroom with fancy shower head, was much better than expected.
What the room lacked was a comfortable chair. Don's been dealing with serious back issues for a year. I should have known to check on that. The 2 chairs in the room were cute metal things. For him they were torturous.
There was a lobby area that could have offered couches, but it was under renovation. So we looked at the deck. There were about 6 different kinds of lawn furniture... and a fire pit that didn't work. Don tested the chairs and I "borrowed" his comfiest pick and lugged it to our room. He was happy.
We hunted for an ice machine and found none. Don texted the help number and we were told where the nearest grocery store was. "Did you ask about the broken fire pit?" I asked. Don had not. I growled.
I was in a bad mood. I suddenly wanted an old fashioned lobby with desk staff and ice and better communication. We headed for the grocery store and skipped the ice, but got salad fixings. We actually had a nice lunch on the sunny deck.
By evening, I'd stopped complaining like a Travel Diva. Don's back felt better and we both managed to relocate our usual Flexible Traveler personalities. We happened to see a maintenance man and eagerly asked him to help us figure out the fire pit.
We pulled some S'more fixings from the car and toasted up a few.
While Don checked his phone for dinner ideas, I watched the moon, rise in an opening in the trees. Our cozy deck wasn't ritzy, but it suddenly felt just right.
The next day, we made use of all that Tahoe had to offer, from mountains to water. But the best part was just a short walk from The Jeffrey.
We found this lovely beach park and had it to ourselves. The air was warm enough that I was able to stretch out on the rocky sand and let the icy water lap at my feet.
While I sat there I laughed to myself, about how grumpy we'd been the day before. We usually embrace old hotels, with lumpy beds, warped floors and leaky ceilings. It's part of the adventure. But we'd temporarily become picky, Everyday Travelers, just because we were a little tired and missed our kiddos.family. Just a reminder that we are human, with highs and lows.
We stayed in an updated motel, tucked into a pleasant little Lake Tahoe neighborhood. The room felt fresh and new. If there had been just one soft chair, I would have called the room comfy. We liked the isolated atmosphere, with the deck to ourselves. But we missed the warmth of real people, in a cozy lobby. The renovation looked close to being done. Maybe they'll even have an ice machine when work is completed!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!