Route 66 in 2014
Love, love, love a neon sign that belongs to a Route 66 Motel, that's been in operation since 1953!
And that's pretty much all there is to love about the Desert hills Motel.
Location, Location, Location
I already mentioned the Route 66 part, and that was the lure since we were on an Oklahoma road trip. But the motel location was a bit grim. This stretch of the old Route, 5 miles from downtown, was loaded with used car and auto salvage lots.
There were other motels in the area. Oasis had an appealing sign, too.
The Brookshire was quaint and cottage-like... from a distance.
And the no-name place... was creepy!
We could have stayed downtown at the cute little boutique, Ambassador Hotel where our friends were staying. It was lovely and we had a great dinner there, but we were ridiculously drawn to the motel with the cactus.
We'll Take It!
So we pulled up to the door so I could run in and inquire about rooms. A little boy peered over the counter and answered my questions with a slight accent. He disappeared to find his mom so I could pay my $45.00.
It felt a little odd to slide my credit card through the little dip, beneath the bullet proof glass. Oh, but it is fun living on the edge sometimes!
Easy parking, since we were the only car in the lot! And what a sleek design!
Each room jutted out, so you entered more of a sidedoor. I'm picturing the architect in 1953 as he grinned at his cleverness. "This will make the room more spacious. And the door will open so very discretely."
Each door proudly displayed the Route 66 shield with room number. And this photo angle shows the nice line up of doors.
I wonder if they had air-conditioning in 1953? If not, the high windows would have offered little ventilation on a hot day in Tulsa. Of course for those who valued their privacy, those high windows would have been much preferred.
Personalizing Our Room
If only I'd known our room was going to be decorated with white painted paneling and accents of mauve and Kelly green. I could have brought a different quilt!
Honestly, this is not a habit. I just didn't care for the worn and creepy looking bed spread. I removed it at once and checked the sheets, which still had creases from pressing. Then I remembered I had this quilt in the car and went for it.
I have no bathroom photo, but I do think we had to step up or down to reach it. And there was some retro pink tile work that I really liked. Why no photo?
We didn't spend too many sleeping hours in our little motel. We got in late the night before, after meeting friends for dinner and a James Taylor concert. I woke early the next morning and announced to Don "We made it through the night." (Our friends had shared some stories about the evidently sketchy area where we were staying!)
I stepped out to try to catch the sunrise over the "desert hills" and did manage to see a glow. I also noticed that a few more guests had arrived in the night. How cozy. Our hosts had placed us in rooms next to one another. Kind of like B&B hosts, encouraging their guests to socialize over breakfast!
Out of all our oddball, retro, vintage, historic stays, this seems to be the one that confuses people the most. "Why did you stay there?"
There was something sort of silly about choosing a place like this, when you can afford better. I guess it was the sign that we couldn't resist. I'm glad we stayed. I'm glad Don got a tee-shirt that he has worn many times. And I'm glad I can cross it off my list!
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!