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!
#261 - Shelburne Hotel
In July, Don and I spent one night in Washington, on our West Coast Road Trip. Seaview was not exactly on the route between Portland and Sacramento.
But when I found The Shelburne Hotel on the internet, we changed our course. A reasonably priced historic hotel, within walking distance to a beach! We booked a night!
Our curious house-like hotel, was made up of two buildings... that used to be across the street from each other.
In 1911, the original Shelburne Hotel from 1896, was pulled across the street by a team of horses. The Shelburne Hotel expanded, by connecting with the house next door.
Don and I arrived on a sunny afternoon, this past July. We parked near the white fence, across the street from where the Shelburne once stood. There was a grocery store in its place and a man standing nearby doing a little panhandling.
That wasn't the view we had hoped for, but I still had a good time imagining how these buildings came together over 100 years ago.
Which is Which?
I'm pretty darn confused about which was the original hotel that moved.
This old image shows looks like the one that stands on the right end, now. Was this the building that moved? Why didn't I just ask the staff, when we were there?
Beside lots of green shingles, the obvious thing that caught my eye, was the garden!
What a gorgeous jungle of summertime flowers, with white picket fence peeking out here and there.
The timing was perfect, because we arrived when the afternoon light was glowing on all the colors.
I am not a gardener, so I can't list all the flowers I spotted. But I do know they have a gardener who tends it regularly.
Lots of Signs
The main entrance was in the building on the left. We headed towards the door with all its signs and banners. I'm a little picky, but I think the 2 white signs on both sides of the door, take away from the charm.
Why did those signs remind me of some touristy area with lots of fudge and tee-shirt shops? I wonder what kind of sign the hotel had 50 or 75 years ago.
But the BLM sign in the garden and the colorful sign taped to the door glass, were okay by me.
The world has changed in incredible ways since this hotel opened over a century ago. It's nice to be reminded that all are welcome now.
"Historic and Hip"
Historic and Hip, is how the hotel describes itself on their website. I have mixed feelings about that.
I love the historic-hip idea, but it seems like a title you shouldn't give yourself. I don't like it when a place tries to be hip.
We checked in at a desk in "The Parlor"
This is how it looked a century ago, with the same wood walls, beams and staircase, that you see today.
In the seventies the hotel was bought by a couple, who filled the place with Victorian furniture and art. The most recent owners removed lots of the old stuff.
I can appreciate that the updating and decluttering, but I'm not sure about the mid-century modern furniture and white painted brick.
Wood and Antiques
I did love the wood on the walls and ceiling. And I spotted an antique or two. I used my camera flash to light up the dim space, to look at the details on the lovely piece that was used as a coffee station.
Next to the lobby desk, was a cute little nook with an old phone. I wonder if that was original or not.
The trip upstairs to our room was amusing. My photo doesn't really show how slanted the steps and floor were.
We found our room (11) to the left of the stairs. After some fumbling with the feisty key & lock, we eventually had to ask for help.
I knew our room would be small, but it was only $156. Good price for hotel in sort of beach community, even if it was across from a grocery store.
Luckily Don and I know how to navigate the teeniest of hotel rooms. The fact that it had a door and tiny balcony, made it feel much larger.
As you can see there was room for little more than the bed. Luckily there were no lamps on those crowded tables. No complaints though. Cheers for having actual wine glasses in a tiny hotel room.
There was no closet, but they did offer a rack to hold the robes. There was a standing fan which was useful since there was no air-conditioning.
There were some nice bath products on the little table and the retro shower tile was fun.
In Search of Happy Hour Spot
There was a tiny table on our balcony, where we could have enjoyed a glass of wine. But it was pretty cramped. We went wandering for a spot.
Back in the day, we could have enjoyed our wine on the wraparound porch. Or maybe that wouldn't have been allowed back then. But in 1983, the owners enclosed the porch to make room for a bar and restaurant. They added some stained glass, from an old church in England.
The photos show the dining and lounge area in the enclosed addition, between the two buildings. I had seen photos on the internet that showed diners eating at tables, with white cloths.
This looked nothing like that. I heard the food was very good, and the place was popular with locals, but honestly the set up felt more like a pizza joint in the daylight. Maybe this was a temp pandemic set up. I'm not sure, but it felt just a bit odd.
We walked though a little further and found a pool table and a few more dining tables. This was in the first floor area of the old building, on the right.
There was more appeal in this space, which showed the old woodwork and columns. I wish I'd seen it when it was in use.
The pub was just to the left of the parlor. We heard it was popular with locals. The website showed a very "hip" couple sitting at the bar.
We peeked in at 5:30. The woman behind the bar did not seem to be in the best of spirits. We headed for the table by the stained glass, but paused when we heard a table of "less hip" local men talking in obnoxiously loud voices.
Then we realized there was a door to a garden area!
It was lovely. We couldn't have been happier on the little deck beside the garden.
Don and I were especially happy when we put on our new jackets, purchased that morning at a Marshal's. We did not pack for Northwest Coastal tempts!
We probably should have given our hotel restaurant a try. But we wandered down the road and had a great meal at Galletti's Italian.
When we got back, the little courtyard garden was quiet and lit with festive lights.
It was nice that we were there on a Monday, with no late night bar crowds. Our room was quiet except for the scampering feet of some children, who who kept running to their parents' room, down the hall. Sort of funny.
I was sort of amused imagining myself as a kid staying at the hotel with parents in a different room. If I'd been with my sister, we probably would have pulled out the ouija board and gotten ourselves all worked up over ghosts!
We were up and off pretty early the next day. Made a quick dash a block over to see the beach.
We had been so excited to book a hotel near the beach and yet we failed to hike over to it. We did not give ourselves the whole Shelburne experience.
I loved the charm of the building and the gardens surrounding.
I loved our room, which was teeny, but clean and cozy and fresh. For some reason, I just never felt comfortable in the common areas. Was it the staff? Was it decor? Was it the dim lighting? Was it the pandemic?
I'm glad we stayed, but we might need to give it another try and see if we enjoy it more. Maybe we'll work on our hipness, between then and now.
#206 - Kalama Harbor Lodge
A McMenamins Hotel in Kalama, WA
Kalama Harbor Lodge is one of 12 hotels with the McMenamins name attached. That makes it sound like a chain hotel.
But all McMenamin properties are unique and curious. I don't associate those words with chain businesses.Don and I are addicted to McMenamins.
Other McMenamin hotels are in renovated, historic buildings. Kalama Lodge was built just a year ago, but its location is what makes it unique.
Where else can see ships in one direction and trains in the other? Where else can you walk over a bridge and visit the small Northwestern town, with a name that sounds Hawaiian?
Lelooska Totem Pole
I knew the history of Kalama, WA was linked to the Columbia River and the Northern Pacific Railway. But it wasn't until we saw the nearby totem poles that I was reminded about the Pacific Northwest Native American culture in the area.
These totem poles were carved in the early 1960's by Chief Don Lelooska who lived in town, just across the tracks. Recently, the 140-foot pole was lowered due to safety concerns. It still is the tallest totem pole in the world, carved from a 700 year old Western Red Cedar.
Don and I arrived at Kalama Lodge a few days before Christmas. We were eager to see how this hotel compared to the others.
I didn't care that the weather was cold and gloomy. It all seemed to add to the charm
As we came through the door, we were greeted by tropical designs and colors. The Hawaiian flavor of the lodge was linked to the town's namesake, John Kalama.
In 1837, he came to the area from Maui and worked as a middleman, between the local Cowlitz Tribe and the Hudson Bay Company.
Christmas and Beer
In the lobby we saw a few things that had no tropical flavor at all.
Just to our left in the lobby, I could see the brewery through the glass. (It wouldn't be a McMenamins property, without beer) I was happy to see there was a little Christmas happening at the lodge. The tree was festive and the Grinch (looking through the window) was humorous.
Finding Our Room
The staff at check-in was friendly and enthused about the new hotel. We were told we'd love our room.
We headed to the third floor and found room #306. All rooms are named and ours was called, Pioneer Room. The knotty pine walls made me think of a pioneer log cabin.
The Old Hickory furniture and lumberjack fabrics, felt cozy and lodge-ish. We opened the door to the balcony and felt a blast of cold. No worries. There were 4 cozy lap blankets, right beside the door.
Our room's name really had little to do with pioneers and cabins. It was named for an actual hotel in Maui.
When the McMenamin brothers were young, they stayed with their family at the Pioneer Inn, in Lahaina. They must have had good memories, because the old hotel inspired the design of the Kalama Harbor Lodge. The colorful hotel painting (over the couch) made me long for a trip to Hawaii!
Good to Have
It was a treat having a couch, as well as a table with chairs. It was an even bigger treat having our own bathroom.
Some of the McMenamins hotels have shared, European baths... down the hall.
Cozy at Night
I loved the mix of styles. The thick curtains and pine walls, felt like a cozy cabin in the Northwest.
The tropical feel of the painted headboard, made me feel like I was tucked into a boat or hut. I of course loved the little red bird... as did Don.
The corner porch had two sets of comfy chairs.
There were dividers for privacy, but I don't think anyone else was sitting out watching the boats go by. I made use of a blanket.
Besides the river, there were other things to look down on.
The riverside pathway and fire-pit were pretty quiet, on a chilly weekday afternoon. But at night, the fire was lit!
Early Next Morning
We were on Texas time, so we woke early the next day. It took forever for the sun to come up, but I finally got down there on the path and made use of my running shoes.
The wind blasted my face and made me laugh. I couldn't complain. I was running along the Columbia River... trying to remember Woody Guthrie's song as I jogged along. "...Roll Columbia, won't you roll, roll, roll..."
Wet and Cold
A light rain stung my face, but I couldn't complain.
I was running by a totem pole...
And... I got to see trains moving down the railroad tracks. I got to see the little Alhes Point Cabin, which houses a cozy bar for the lodge.
Breakfast in Harbor Lounge
When I finished my brief run, we headed down to the Harbor Lounge and served ourselves some coffee.
We took a seat on the couch, beneath a giant outrigger canoe. Soft classical and jazz music filled the homey space. We ordered an omelet and shared it right on the couch, kind of like we were having breakfast in bed!
Music at Night
That night the same lounge was transformed into a relaxed music venue.
A couple, sharing one guitar, sang in the corner by the wood burning stove. Locals and hotel guests took over the couches and comfy chairs, sipping cocktails and coffee.
With a 2-night stay, Don and I had time to explore. The 40-room lodge wasn't huge, but there were a few stairwells and floors to wander.
We found surprises when we took the stairs... chandeliers, painted stars, artwork and creepy pipes with faces!
Don and I knew there were two secret rooms in the hotel. We traveled down every hallway, trying doors that weren't "titled" as guest rooms. We enjoyed lots of artwork, hanging on the knotty pine walls. Each painting or photograph, shared a bit of history.
It would have taken a week to read about all the people and places who were spotlighted. Don suddenly noticed one piece of art hanging near a blue light. A slight push on the wall, revealed a surprise!
Rock & Opera!
We suddenly found ourselves inside room lit by a black light. (I never knew the laces on my tennis shoes glowed in the dark!) Sounds of Grateful Dead filled the tiny room.
I attempted a photo of Don with Jerry Garcia. I posed with Pavarotti, when the music changed to opera!
Room # 2
The grooves in the walls made it hard to spot the second hidden door. There was no blue light to signal us. Don finally found the moving wall and gave a push.
We were not alone in this room. Zach the Brewer, had set up a special beer sample station. The newly created brew was named, "Hidden Unicorn Glitter Beer". Zach used a light to shine into the cup so we could see the swirling sparkles... barely.
Luckily Zach gave us a hint that there was yet another secret room, off of the room we were in.
In the swirling artwork, we found an image that looked like a button. When we pushed the button, we found ourselves in a room filled with eerie images and glowing lamps. What a total hoot!
The Cloud Lounge
On the top floor, (not far from the secret glitter beer room) we enjoyed a drink in the Cloud Lounge.
There were plenty of clouds outside the window, but also a great view of the river. No one was outside enjoying the deck, but I imagine it gets a lot of use in warm summer months.
On our second night we had dinner in The Pub. It was dark, so we didn't care that all the tables and booths near windows were taken.
It was so crowded, that we were actually thrilled to find 2 stools at the wonderful bamboo bar. We shared a gigantic Kalama burger and a house salad. The menus are similar in all properties so there were no surprises, but the food was hot and tasty.
One of the coziest places on the property, is the little cabin just a quarter mile down the walkway. It was fun walking the lamp-lit path for a drink on our first night.
The place was tiny, but we lucked out with 2 seats at the bar. We had a memorable chat with a Portland baker and our wonderfully chatty bartender, Amanda.
Coming from Texas, we're thrilled to find wood burning fireplaces. It's also added entertainment watching the staff deal with the fires. Some were more skilled than others!
The inside fireplace kept us extra toasty on a cold night. I loved the whimsical mask. I checked out the deck fireplace, the next morning and had to chuckle at the angry mask, wearing a wreath.
New hotels don't usually impress me. They usually have a lot of kinks to work out and they also lack history and charm. I was glad we ended up absorbing some of the local history, after all.
And it was a nice change to sleep in a freshly created space, with new linens and paint and furniture... that looked old and cozy. We liked our hotel oasis! We'll have to try it during a sunny season, next time!
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!