Off to Camp!
At the end of September, Don and I went to camp!
Not really. We just spent one night at Basecamp Hotel in South Lake Tahoe. This curious lodging-community, was created from a cluster of renovated motel buildings. Love that.
The cute hotel lobby didn't exactly look like a place for roughing it.
It was a cozy space, with a fun collection of radios. However it was not very inviting, since some employee was lounging (lengthwise) on one of the couches for most of the evening. Not sure what that was about.
There were lots of outside places for lounging. Just outside of the lobby, there was a "Picnic Deck" area, with tables and benches.
Above the lobby there was a Spa Deck, with a hot tub and some Adirondack chairs... and lots of fallen pine branches. It needed some spiffing up.
Courtyard and Beer Garden
On the opposite side of the property there was a spacious Courtyard, with picnic tables and fire pits. I'm not sure what the Airstream camper and small platform stage were used for.
My morning Courtyard photos are peaceful, but the place was hopping when we first arrived at 5 pm. It was "Happy Camper Hour" and guests were purchasing craft beers, and settling into Adirondack chairs.
Ping Pong, Spa & Pit
Steps away from the Courtyard, there were lots of other areas that invited more activity. There was corn hole and ping pong...
...and a much larger and cleaner hot tub, in an enclosed area. In October, the heated tub was empty, but during ski season... I can only imagine!
We had a few shopping options at Basecamp. This little shelf of merch, was inside the Beer Garden Bar. I noticed some mugs and blankets for sale in the lobby as well.
I would have bought a postcard, had they had one. But I didn't need a t-shirt or hat or frisbee.
Our main reason for a night at Basecamp, was that we were meeting up with some younger folk, who happened to fit the Basecamp scene more perfectly than we parents! Don and I needed a place to stay with our son and DIL, before our" reunion" gathering a day later.
We just needed a reasonably priced, comfy, clean place for a night. Scott and Chali had stayed at Basecamp during busy ski season. They knew it would be quieter in October. Don and I were game to enjoy some of the campy flavor!
The smell of pine on that balmy October evening, was just what Don and I needed. We'd been up since 4:30, traveling from Houston to Sacramento to
Live music started up softly in the space behind garage doors. Temps began to cool and the nearby fire pit could have come in handy.
We thought about the hot tub. It was empty after all. Chali laughed to remember their last stay, when the tub was filled with "ski bros".
But we were lazy and just relaxed with our South of North craft beers. Then the music cranked up a notch and we headed off for dinner. Basecamp's location was perfect, for walking to dinner!
Our 2 guest rooms were in the motel building across from the office. Judging from the trucks in the parking lot, we were sharing the motel with a crew of roofers, instead of hikers or skiers. I wonder if they were impressed by the "camp theme" in the rooms. I liked the canvas map of Tahoe, behind our bed.
The room and bath were nicely updated. I really appreciated the colorful bottles with symbols, in the shower. Perfect for someone who needs glasses to read the labels, on tiny containers of shampoo & conditioner.
Our somewhat budget room was pretty darn cute for the price. We oldsters could have used a comfier chair and a bigger bed, but I did love the camp theme.
There was a cute orange lantern and rail road nails for hanging jackets. The artwork featured images and quotes that appeal to nature lovers. "Those who wander are not lost."
The Great Indoors
Only later did I study the website and realize we'd missed out by not booking one of the Great Indoors Rooms! If I'd only known, we could have slept inside a tent and sat on hard benches around a fake fire!
This website photo shows forest wallpaper and a picnic table and cooler. What a hoot! But it's probably good I didn't know about this. Don's fractured back is still healing and we probably couldn't have said yes to this option.
Early the next morning, I rose and headed off on a walk in the opposite direction of the ski slopes. I found the lake!
What a treat to be able to step outside and lay eyes on Lake Tahoe, early in the morning!
Coffee and Lounging
When I returned, I grabbed comp coffee in the lobby and asked for a late check out. I noticed some amazing breakfast smells coming from the little coffee/breakfast shop in the rear of the lobby.
We had a leisurely morning enjoying the quiet motel. Chali and I went shopping and the boys, hung out in the lobby. No one was sleeping on the couch in the morning!
For the price, Basecamp is hard to beat. The location (with free parking) is pretty ideal! For an off season, weeknight it was perfect. If all 73 rooms had been filled with young skiers, it would have been very different!
The renovations were just right. I liked the feeling of staying in an old motel, but I loved having remodeled bathrooms and nice bedding. The whole atmosphere took me back to my college days, when I actually spent a good amount of time backpacking and camping and skiing.
At least our stay inspired a little Tahoe hiking!
The McMenamins Hotel Chain
Don and I usually avoid chain hotels, but we make exceptions for this "family chain".
This past summer, we had our 6th stay at a hotel owned by the McMenamin brothers. This one was less quirky than the others. It had a golf theme.
Old or New?
Most of the McMenamin hotels are located in refurbished, historic buildings. Most of the hotels on my 90 Nights blog, are historic or unusual.
This hotel in Gearhart, Oregon wasn't old, but it was unusual. Plus it had a lot of history behind it.
An Overnight with Family!
It was towards the end of August, when "Pop and Grammaloon" traveled to the coastal community of Gearhart, with our grand baby and her parents. We found the Cape Cod-style hotel sitting conveniently beside the highway, across from the Pacific Ocean!
The old-looking hotel was actually constructed around 2001, on the spot of the original 1926 golf clubhouse. Around 2018, The McMenamin Bros bought the newish building, which held a pub and pro shop. (I believe) They added hotel rooms on the third floor and all the other festive stuff they're known for!
We weren't able to check in early, so we had some time to kill. We could have borrowed some of the hotel bikes and explored. Cute bikes!
Or we could have taken a seat on the bench in front. Old! That bench looked like it had been sitting there much longer than the hotel.
If we'd had clubs, we could have killed time on the golf course, behind the Gearhart Hotel. Scary! It's been a quarter century since I've held a club.
This course has been attracting golfers since 1892. Gearhart Golf Links is one of the oldest golf courses west of the Mississippi.
Time at Beach
But, we hadn't come to the hotel for golfing or biking or bench-sitting. We came because it was near a beach. A century ago, travelers could come to this seaside hotel and enjoy both grass and sand. The original hotel from 1912, offered a beach on one side and golf course on the other.
The beach was much closer then. Guests could easily wander down from the porch and sit or stroll on the sand. They could even enjoy the ocean breeze as they rode in a horse drawn buggy. If guests didn't like the salty sea water, they could swim in the indoor pool. Sadly this hotel burned down in 1913.
The Last of the Oldies?
The hotel was rebuilt, but it lasted less that two years, before it met the same fate.
I'm guessing this old image shows the third hotel, built in 1922. Look at the grass and the stairs leading down to the water! Nice! This one lasted into the 1970's, but was razed to make way for condos.
Today's hotel sits with its face to the highway and rear to the golf course. The ocean view is sadly blocked by newer buildings.
Luckily the Pacific was just a short walk away. And that's what we did with our spare time!
Down to the Beach
We crossed the street and headed down a pathway towards the ocean.
After passing a cluster of buildings we continued on a sandy path. I spotted a few familiar benches, oddly distant from the beach. The dunes must have shifted a lot over the years.
Before long we reached the sand and Charlie (at 18 months) saw her first ocean!
We had to travel south a bit to reach the car free zone. Then we practically had the beach to ourselves. Charlie couldn't have been happier!
By 3:30, we were able to check in. Our 2 rooms were located in a newer building, that was even closer to the highway.
We'd hoped for a room with a view of the golf course, but we ended up on the west side of the building. However, we were happy to discover that we could indeed see a bit of the ocean, from our dormer windows!
Annex from Behind
I usually shy away from the annex of anything. When I hear the word, I picture additions that aren't as good. But this building looked pretty sweet when I viewed it across the putting green. It looked classy... even though part of it was a golf cart garage.
The building wasn't old, but the chimneys and shingled exterior reminded me of an old seaside hotel in New England.
We got our keys and headed in a door facing the highway. There was no lobby and no elevator, but right away we recognized the unique McMenanmin decor!
There was a small sitting area, which offered complimentary coffee in the morning. The warm knotty pine and colorful art reminded us that we were in one of the 12 unique, McMenamin hotels!
Up We Go
We headed up the stairs, lugging a portable crib/playpen. Fingers crossed that our rooms would work well for a toddler.
At the top of the stairs we found more colorful art and light fixtures.
Another hallway in the Annex had a whimsical glow. Although I will admit, my eyes had a hard time adjusting in the dim space.
Colorful lights danced around at one end of the hall. A golfer and his putter almost glowed in the dark, from a large piece of art.
The McMenimin Bros really know how to embrace a theme. The halls in the Annex and the main hotel were filled with artwork, created to fit the golf theme of the hotel.
I recognized some of the art styles and artists from other hotels where we've stayed. Such clever images, tied into the history of Gearhart!
I was curious to see what name would be on our door. Usually McMenamin hotel rooms are named for people, but ours had a word that I didn't recognize.
Evidently our room was named for some kind of golf club. There was a nice framed explanation on the wall. But long writeup was from 1887. It made no sense to me. Maybe the design of our headboard gave a clue.
The shape of our knotty pine room, made me feel like we were staying in a comfy attic space, in some grandma's old house. Although neither of my grandma's ever had such a stylish headboards.
The room wasn't fancy, but it was luxurious compared to some of the classic McMenamin hotel rooms. We actually had a TV and our bathroom wasn't down the hall.
Cute and Cozy
Our Cleek Room was conveniently located next door to "the kids". They had the same cute alcove with chairs and table. They dragged their chairs over to our room, later in the evening.
The bathroom with shower wasn't huge, but no complaints. We've done the "shared bath" thing at a few of these whimsical hotels.
After we got settled, I headed off to figure out the options for the afternoon. It wasn't even 4 pm, but we were ready to celebrate. We only had one night at Gearhart.
There was a dining terrace overlooking the golf course and lots of seating on the lawn.
There was a raised deck as well, with good views of distant mountains, as well as the course.
Sand Trap Pub
I headed up the stairs to check out the inside options. The Sand Trap Pub offered a full bar as well as the usual McMenamin brand beers and wines.
There were few people inside, on that beautiful afternoon.
Quite a few people were seated on the raised deck. (photo from morning)
It was tempting to grab a table under and umbrella. I love a hotel porch, especially when there's a view!
Here's a porch pic from long ago. These gentlemen were facing the camera, but the ocean was directly to their right. What a heavenly porch view!
After a text or 2 to the others, we agreed to gather on the lawn.
I headed down the outside stairs and grabbed a table.
Pot Bunker Bar
Not far from our table in the grass, we found the Pot Bunker Bar. The cozy little pub space, beneath the porch was convenient. We could order and serve ourselves.
The fireplace was hardly needed, but it made things cozy. I thought I spotted a fire poker below the mantel. Of course not. That was a putter.
Another small room off the Pot Bunker, had a shuffleboard table...
...and a collection of historic photos. I snapped a couple photos of photos and hurried out to join the others.
This image doesn't capture just how nice the air felt that afternoon. The Oregon coast can be windy and chilly. We were soaking in the afternoon rays, feeling incredibly lucky.
We sipped and gabbed and took in the view. It was entertaining to watch a crew of two, prepping fires in the fire pits and putting out lawn games for the evening.
In the past 2 years, we've learned not to take any of our trips or gatherings for granted. The pandemic has made trip planning more worrisome. but it's also made us more grateful.
Heidi and I toasted to Charlie's first beach visit. She couldn't have been a happier little beach baby! We also cheered to pulling off this little trip without any covid intrusions! So many friends and family members have dealt with ruined plans, during this summer of 2022!
The dining room was buzzing at 6, but we were seated after a short wait. Again the fire in the fireplace wasn't needed, but I appreciate the staff for keeping the hotel inviting!
Our server (who was also a mom) had lots of tricks up her sleeve to delight Charlie. Actually Charlie's biggest delight was tasting (and loving) Caesar Salad for the first time. Our meal was even more enjoyable, knowing we were just steps away from the Annex.
Cards in the Room
Charlie didn't exactly fall asleep easily, but she rested quietly and we 4 played cards.
There was something so simple and satisfying about playing cards in that little alcove. These are the little things I'll remember about our overnight adventure.
There was no rush in the morning, but we were all up and out early.
We wandered with coffee, trying to decide where to sit. The deck had soft chairs and a rocker or two!
We chose the tables on the grass again. Just too easy. We ordered breakfast at the Pot Bunker Bar and enjoyed lingering.
A Walk in the Grass
The course was quiet on a Monday morning. We thought about letting Charlie have her first walk on a putting green...
...but she was happy enough to just feel the regular lawn under her feet. So many simple pleasures for this little girl.
We spent a night at a hotel with a golf theme. That sounds like a resort, not a McMenamins Hotel. This hotel was definitely the most "regular" of all the McMenamins hotels that we've enjoyed. There were no secret passageways or movie theaters. There was no winery or distillery. The hotel had not once been an asylum or grade school. There was a history, but not a creepy or odd or over the top history.
Our stay was not full of wild and whimsical distraction. And that's part of what made it so nice. Our visit was not about the hotel really, it was about being with family in a place where we could easily enjoy each other... and enjoy a little taste of the beach. Perfect for us!
This past August, Don and I booked a night at The Davenport. It was a good stopping point, on our trip between Bozeman and Portland.
I was excited to lay eyes on the 108-year-old hotel. It took up a whole downtown city block.
We circled the block looking for the entrance. I just love a fancy hotel entrance. I could have made a grand entrance... through a fancy entrance... but we could find no entrance.
Oddly, all the doors on the street were not in use. I'm not sure if that was a temporary issue.
The East Wing
The lobby entrance was actually hidden in a new structure, built in 2000.
The stucco and tile addition seemed out of place to me. At a glance, it looked like a modern chain hotel had been glued to an older brick building.
Louis Davenport & His Restaurant
Actually, the addition from 2000, looked very similar to the original Davenport Restaurant. The one-story restaurant (with ballroom above) once stood on the North-east corner of the block.
Louis Davenport is the name behind the hotel. Back in 1904, Mr. Davenport was more interested in food than hotels. That's when he had his Mission-style restaurant constructed. The towering brick hotel was added later. It opened in 1914.
Today's Mission-style structure holds no restaurant. It's mostly a large Porte Cochere/Parking Garage. We drove around the fountain and turned our car over for valet parking.
Even with the fountain feature, the entrance was more convenient than elegant. But it was easy and we found the lobby desk right through the doors.
It was a treat to step inside the chilled hotel. It was 101 degrees in Spokane that afternoon. I was impressed to learn that The Davenport was the first air-conditioned hotel in the USA. I was less impressed when I Googled and learned that many hotels claim to be first at offering that luxury.
As we checked in, I enjoyed the cool and admired the golden cherub on the front of the desk. There were lovely decorated key boxes with more cherubs and creatures. Griffins? Mr. Davenport looked pretty serious, gazing down from his portrait. Maybe his expression was just, seriously grateful. Grateful, that his hotel was rescued from demolition in the 1980's.
After checking in, we grabbed bags and headed for the elevator. Our modern keycard was needed to operate the fancy elevator, with its padded interior.
We reached the 8th floor and set off in search of our guest room. The hotel had 284 of them, plus 37 suites. Not all on the 8th floor, of course!
I wasn't expecting anything too grand, since we booked just about the cheapest. Actually $275. is a lot for these thrifty travelers.
The room was decent and traditional. The bed was super comfy and the shower was huge. We were happy.
View of The Terrace
I was delighted to pull open the drapes and enjoy a nice view of the Roof Garden Terrace. My photo shows the view in the shady morning, but at 4:30 pm the terrace was baking in the scorching sun.
I found that out when I dashed down a little later. The red umbrellas just didn't offer enough relief, but the area still looked inviting.
Examining the Building
Our window also gave us a good look at the upper part of the hotel's exterior. It looked surprisingly simple and basic.
If only I'd had binoculars I could have snooped on other guests, like Jimmy Stewart's character in Rear Window. Or I could have just examined guest room interiors. Maybe I could have spotted the most unusual guest room of them all... the Circus Room!
Famous Circus Room
Our room was perfectly fine, but if we return in the future, I'm going to book the Circus Room. For an extra 200 bucks, we could have slept in a 7th floor room, filled with circus murals and balloon lights. Here it is in the 1930's.
Louis Davenport created this room in honor of his friend, Harper Joy. The man with the happy name, was so fond of circuses that he often ran away with them. The circus-themed room was not just used for children's parties, but was used for adult gatherings. Now it's a spacious guest room!
Exploring the Lobby
I left Don relaxing in the room for a while and headed down to check out the decadent first floor.
So many old hotel lobbies are dim and depressing. The Davenport's Spanish Renaissance-style lobby had some nice sunlight pouring through the art glass ceiling panels.
The light also illuminated the decorated, faux wood beams. The designs were originally painted, but the colors were completely hidden for years.
During hotel renovations in 2000, the beams were carefully cleaned. Years of cigar, cigarette and fireplace smoke was removed and the colors were revealed.
I dashed around the lobby snapping a few pics and came upon some interesting doors.
I was intrigued with all the designs. The golden gate/door seemed to be guarding some kind of locked boxes. ? Who knows what was behind the wooden doors with crests. They were locked.
The golden staircase was as much fun as the golden elevator.
I loved the little cherubs on the railing. They had wings like the figures on the lobby desk. So many cherub/angels in The Davenport!
I found more glass ceiling panels on the Mezzanine level.
There was a much better view of the cast plaster beams on the upper level. The burgundy, gold and teal colors were more vivid. Evidently there are surprises hidden all over the hotel if you have time. I learned about some special words later, or I would have hunted for them. The words, "Will You Marry Me" are written somewhere, in the faux wood grain.
View From Above
The view over the railing could have been fun for a little people watching activity. But there were few people to watch. I studied the seating options instead.
I could see dining tables and a glowing fireplace at the far end. Below me, I spotted lots of cozy couches and chairs and a musician, seated near the piano.
The man was playing guitar, not piano. He created a pleasant sound, that filled the space, without intruding.
The Mezzanine level had a great display of historic hotel photos, like this one! I loved imagining the lobby over a century ago, when it was filled with kids and adults, surrounding a tall Maypole! That would have been some very lively entertainment!
So Much the Same
I compared the old photo to today's lobby.
I wonder if those tall, swirling light posts were golden, back when the (black and white) Maypole photo was taken.
The incredibly ornate hanging fixtures, looked just as they did in the early photo.
The original sconces, still glow from the walls. Again, how lucky that this hotel was rescued from demolition. An apparently wealthy couple, (Mr. & Ms. Worthy) bought the entire block in 2000. It took 2 years and 38-million bucks to reopen the closed hotel.
Enjoying the Lobby
By 5:30, Don and I were ready to let the evening begin! We spent some time hanging out in the lobby, sitting in large comfy chairs. And by the way, is that a shark or a catfish in the fountain?
The lobby was pretty quiet on a Thursday evening, which made it seem like guitarist Steven King was playing just for us. He filled the open space with calming tunes. All appealing, from the Beatles to Gershwin. (Amazing "Fingerstyle" skills!) We kept him going with clapping and tips and compliments on his music and his bolo tie. Elenor Rigby was my favorite.
"Meet me at the Fireplace"
The Davenport is known for its fireplace, which is lit 24/7, during every month. "Meet me at the fireplace." is a sentence associated with this hotel. Don and I actually ended up meeting someone at the fireplace. We headed over at one point to have a look at the fire (now gas) and the painting above.
A man was dining alone nearby. He looked to be nearly as old as the hotel, but he appeared content and he laughed when I told him I needed the fire's warmth. I added, "This air-conditioning works too well." He pointed out his sweater vest and agreed. He seemed delighted that we were enjoying the hotel that he so adored. He was visiting Spokane for a few nights and enjoying long ago memories, of when he and his wife had their rehearsal dinner at the hotel. It had been 20 years since she'd passed, so not his first visit without her. What a positive man and what a lovely encounter, at the Fireplace.
Food & Drink
The hotel's Palm Court Grill was only serving in the lobby that night. Don and I weren't up for a formal dinner, so we headed into the Peacock Room, to check out drink and dinner options.
It was early, so we just had a martini and enjoyed the comfortable lounge.
I look like I'm on my third, in this photo. I promise I only had one.
We enjoyed some people watching and decided to return after 9, for the Late Night Menu.
I failed to get a decent photo of the colorful stained glass above the bar. The peacock design was made of 5,000 pieces of stained glass. There were also two stuffed peacocks perched beside the TV, enjoying the baseball.
When Don and I returned after 9, we sat near the peacocks at the bar. We should have ordered Crab Louie, because we were told the famous dish was first created at The Davenport. My internet search was similar to the history of hotel air conditioning. Many restaurants claim to have created it. But there's decent proof of the Davenport's connection to the recipe! No crab for us, but Don and I enjoyed a light dinner, along with some surprise samples of Peanut Brittle Martini, from the generous bartender! Quite amazing!
Time to Explore Ballrooms!
A good part of our evening was spent exploring... after our early martini happy hour.
There are numerous ballrooms at the hotel and they all seemed to welcome us with open doors!
Talk about a grand entrance! There were golden gates and dramatic curtains, leading to the room named for Queen Isabella of Spain.
This elegant space had once been the hotel's main dining room.
Don and I had some fun with the mirrored walls. The accent frames were gilded with 22K gold leaf.
I did a proper curtsy in front of Queen Isabella's portrait. But now I realize my back was to her. I think I broke a rule there!
The Hall of Doges
This photo shows the ballroom, that was inspired by the famous palace in Venice. This ballroom was constructed above Davenport's Restaurant in 1904.
When the hotel was refurbished in 2000, the whole ballroom was lifted by crane and the old restaurant was removed. Once the new east wing was constructed, the crane carefully moved the ballroom to its new spot.
This photo makes it easier to see how a ballroom could be lifted and moved to a parking lot for a while.
It looks like a room, within a room. A stage set! But I love it!
We had a wonderful time wandering through, admiring the Gothic arches and sparkling chandeliers.
I wasn't surprised to see more cherub/angels looking down from the fresco ceiling. This lovely pastel ballroom cost $30,000 in 1904!
Grand Pennington Ballroom
Just steps from the Hall of Doges, we peeked into a much larger and newer ballroom.
This gigantic (Imperial Russian-style) room seemed almost ridiculously large. I did some pondering. Who has enough money to rent this space? Who has enough friends to fill it? Then I thought about getting on that empty stage for a moment. I've been known to make use of an empty one. Then I thought about security cameras... We moved on.
Marie Antoinette Ballroom
This ballroom was Mrs. Davenport's favorite. There were too many tables for us to try out some dance moves. But this room held a floating dance floor, suspended on cables! What fun!
The ceiling color was supposed to remind guests of the sky at dusk, or dawn. The $10,000 chandeliers were supposed to glimmer like heavenly stars. I like picturing and the sparkling jewels and dresses on that dance floor in the 1920's.
Model T Display
I wish I could have seen the Marie Antoinette room nearly a century ago, when they displayed this 1928 Ford!
What a complicated and entertaining task, getting this Model T in and out. Why don't they do over the top things like this anymore?
The next morning, I went outside and looked at the windows, wondering which one had once opened itself up, for a car to pass through.
I couldn't figure that out, but I noticed some wonderful ram heads! The lower part of the building is much more ornate than the upper brick.
Time for Elizabeth!
The very last room we visited was my favorite. It was named after me, of course. This English Tudor-style room was Mr. Davenport's favorite.
The ballroom was the first in the world to use folding panel doors, so the space could be divided.
Posing with Food
I was happy to do a little pose next to the beautiful wood panels. I surprised to read, that this lovely wood was covered in gold-flocked wallpaper, in the 1970's. Ugh!
In the old photo you can see a chef standing beside an elaborate display of food. I wish I could have had a feast in the Elizabethan Room. I guess I could have, if I'd opened my bag from the gift shop. Davenport's Signature Soft Peanut Brittle!
Time for Don!
Eventually we traveled down to the basement so Don could see the pool. He loves a hotel pool and we could have had this one to ourselves.
Don didn't have a suit, so I invited him to do some posing with the modest lady painted on the wall. Then Don discovered a CVS vending machine that totally cracked us up. We couldn't buy candy bars, but we could purchase Covid tests or condoms. What a hoot.
By the time the moon was up, it felt safe to step out on the terrace.
We enjoyed the colorful smokestacks and Beatles mural, but the air still felt heavy. We only stayed out a while.
After our bar dinner we headed back to our room, wondering about all the people who have visited the hotel over the years.
Bing Crosby has the most history with the hotel, but there's a huge list of past celebrity guests. If I could go back in time and dine or dance with one guest, who would it be? Elvis, Teddy Roosevelt, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Clark Gable, Babe Ruth, Lawrence Welk or John Phillips Sousa? Not telling.
We slept well and left Spokane in good spirits. This is a hotel we would recommend. The staff was welcoming and building itself was welcoming.
I love a hotel that allows me to explore. With the exception of about 2 locked doors, we were free to roam. There were plaques and historic photos to help guide us. We really needed one more night, to enjoy a dinner by the fireplace and maybe a drink on the terrace. We'll do that on our next visit... when we stay in the Circus Room!
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!