if you and i are friends in life or via social media, you know what i’ve been recently going through. if not, let me just tell you… i had to put my sweet little boo to sleep on friday. i will never be the same. i am beyond devastated, i’m miserable, i don’t know how i will ever get over this. seriously. a friend of mine recommended that i write out a list of our adventures as a cathartic exercise. there were way too many, it would take at least a thousand posts. plus, almost everything is documented on social media, right? anyway, i decided that i would instead try to remember every hotel/motel we shared on our road trips. there were quite a few. i should start by saying that i like places that are a.) cheap, b.) motor inns – i prefer ground floor so i can pull the car up to the room door, and c.) boo-friendly. of course. i have a special place in my heart for motel 6. i always meet interesting people while checking in – hunters, fisherman, fun grandmas and grandpas, drug dealers, people who got evicted from their apartments, etc. – and it’s just the perfect no frills place. i actually have a tshirt that says “i’d rather be sleeping at motel 6” that i won in a twitter competition. truth.
this was the year boo and i met. in denver. she came into my life as a six-month-old rescue on january 31st. we had a very adorable and fun year there, and then left for chicago in december, ridin’ in an rv driven by our pal, matt. it was cold as fuck everywhere. very depressing. we stayed in a super 8 in lincoln, nebraska the first night. we didn’t tell the front desk clerk about boo – i mean, that $10 was going to break us – but as soon as we got into the room, boo barked for some reason. and about three seconds later we got a call. lol. can’t hide a boo.
boo and i moved to california in late summer of that year. that was quite a road trip. very long and arduous. we didn’t leave until around noon that first day and i honestly can’t remember where we stayed that night! damn! i think it was a motel 6 in lincoln, but not sure. i remember very well that we stayed at a motel 6 in salt lake city the second night. it was next to a denny’s – my go-to road trip dinner place – but the parking lot of the motel was very “busy”, so i could barely sleep. we went and got our steak dinner, came back to the room, ate, got a little shut eye, and woke up at four am. so we just hit the road. we drove past the salt flats at sunrise and i have to say that was one of the most amazing places i’ve seen. total wow. boo christened it. we drove and drove and drove, got to napa that night, stayed with our friend for a couple nights and then headed toward the coast.
as we were driving through wine country, one of my facebook friends was tracking our progress and invited me to dinner at his gorgeous motel in boonville, which is this funky, cool town halfway between the turnoff from the highway and fort bragg. we tucked boo under the table, i thoroughly enjoyed an evening with my new friend and his old friends, and then this generous soul put us up at his inn up the canyon. it’s called the toll house. and it is in the middle of fuckingnowhereheaven. we got there, the fireplace was going, there was a bottle of white wine chilling… to date the most luxurious place i have ever stayed. so. fucking. amazing. as a matter of fact, this was a saturday night and they were closing for a week starting the next day because pottery barn rented it out for a photo shoot. yeah. THAT fabulous.
we continued up the coast and when we reached our destination, we stayed – for a week, actually, cuz i had to find our apartment – at this fantastic old school motor inn called surf motel and gardens. omg it was fantastic. courtyard style place with the cutest garden in the middle with lots of benches and little walkways. it was cheap, super clean, and loaded with retirees who were just travelin’ and fishin’. the ice machine was in the middle and every day boo and i would meet some new fabulous humans. we all left our doors open in the early evenings and had many a cocktail hours. so cute. you know i love that shit. and, of course, boo loved all her new grandparents and they loved her.
fort bragg was about three hours from san francisco, so we went down for the weekend every three months or so. we always stayed at this super cool place called the good hotel. it was all reclaimed wood, white organic linens and towels, clean and modern. and, for the city, super fucking cheap! and near the city center! so we would sightsee and go for walks during the day, get takeout or go to my favorite market for our room picnic food and then just hang and watch tv at night. it was perfect. one time i went to see a friend’s band play and left her in the room for the first time. i left on the tv, left her water and snacks and she was fine. we seriously had been there so often that the front desk people knew her and it felt like being at a friend’s house. oddly, i remember checking out one time when i got a phone call from boo’s favorite aunt telling me that she had put down her kitty. the first pet she ever had. making me cry typing that. this auntie, lori, is a friend of 25 years and no one has been better to boo and me than her. she called me yesterday and we both just cried and cried. anyway… now i’m getting off track.
when we left fort bragg in september – or october… who knows – we ended up leaving late because my inn going away party got way out of hand. so i took my shit, my hangover and my sweet little boo up highway 101. our destination was grants pass, oregon and we didn’t get there til about 11 p.m.. that night we checked in at the motel 6, got our usual steak dinner at denny’s and then sat on the bed to eat and watch tv. and, yes, i always take off the bedspread. people asked why i would always go to denny’s when i road trip. the answer is i know i could always get protein and veggies that boo could share. it’s a known. never changes. plus it’s open 24/7. i tried to bring her dog food in the early days, but it always stayed uneaten and i’d have to throw it out. she never ate while we were driving, save for a bite of a snack here or there. i guess she just always wanted to be settled in and relaxed when she ate. opposite of her mama who likes to eat in bites standing up.
we took a really cool road trip back home to colorado with our friend from astoria who had to get to santa fe to get the rest of her things because she was getting serious with her handsome firefighter boyfriend – now husband and father of her son! we left late that first day and ended up staying at a motel 6 in redding, california. here’s the twist: i was sick as a dog. thought i had food poisoning from trader joe’s, but, as it turned out, i had norovirus. yeah. road trip with that in your system. and try not to get your friend sick! ugh. that motel 6 was one of the drug activity in the parking lot versions, but we just got chinese delivery and stayed in the room. the next day we made it to kingman, arizona and stayed at another motel 6. i seriously didn’t want to leave. what a cute little place, such a cute little town. warm, friendly people, a great breakfast restaurant right in the parking lot… perfect.
i seriously can’t remember any overnight trips these years… it was during my innkeeper days and then just working in denver, moving a bunch and hanging with friends… hmmm… i could be missing something… oh well…
i moved from denver to nashville for six horrible weeks that year. it was may, i think. as horrible as my experience was in nashville, my road trip there was EPIC. one of my favorites. the day we left we started a little late because we stopped in parker to take a walk with an old friend before we took off. i gotta say, driving through north texas at dusk is pretty amazing. our destination was amarillo, because i had wanted to go to the big texan for steak. of course. i know exactly when we arrived, because we got there five minutes before the restaurant closed and they wouldn’t do a takeout for me. and i was so sad. found a comfort inn fairly nearby and stayed there. and, yes, settled for a denny’s steak. our room was great, very spacious and comfy. two beds, but boo would always sleep with me and hog the bed. of course. you know when they do the horizontal so you have like six inches of bed? yeah. and, yes, i’m crying again. in the morning, i went down to get us the requisite powdered eggs and sausage, we had our bed picnic and then headed west on route 66. we stopped quite a bit to take pictures because it’s so fun!
the next night we stayed in an historic little town called fort smith, arkansas. it’s right on the border of oklahoma and arkansas. it. is. so. cute. and it’s right on the arkansas river, which is so awesome and creepy. i stopped at a place that was right on the main drag, so i figured it was safe. it’s called the inn towne lodge. i mean, any place that puts an e on the end of town has to be classy, right? it was, like, $40 and boo was free, so i took a room. the room was actually totally fine. big, very clean, and two queen beds. one for boo to ignore, one for her to hog. otherwise it was a total shit hole. we were right next door to two pipe welders who were in town working for a month. both so nice. i had a shot of crown royal with them and proceeded to figure out where to get dinner and a bottle of red wine. one of the guys came with boo and me. guess where we got dinner? bingo! denny’s! we got it to go, of course, and our new friend paid for it. he even got boo her very own! yes, you’re right. he was trying to get laid. spoiler alert: didn’t happen. so we came back to my room, had dinner, drank wine, he made a move, i said no, thank you, he was very gracious, left without any weirdness, we hugged, he left his bottle of fancy crown royal for my trip, the end. he was so cool and had such a great life – just a hard working guy who travels the country for projects. sounds perfect to me. maybe i can get leroy to teach me to weld in the next couple of days. anyway, my new friend and his partner were off to the job site by the time boo and i woke up. we drove past the site that prior evening and i tried to find it to say goodbye, but, alas….
my next planned destination was memphis, cuz i HAD to get to central bbq. duh. it was pouring rain that evening and we shared a rib snack in the car in the parking lot. just one because people are sweatin’ ya for your space. so we headed out looking for a place to stay and… huh uh. i was so creeped out by that town. i just hopped back on the highway and ended up in brownsville at THE greatest motor inn EVER. not kidding. sunrise motor inn. *sigh* it was owned by a charming indian family, it was immaculate and very cute! bright yellow exterior… love!! i checked in very late and the guy called about fifteen minutes later to make sure i was feeling settled and safe. i mean… come on. love. as it turns out, this place rents weekly and monthly, too. i met a tween girl who had fallen in love with boo when we were out for a walk in the morning. she was living there with her mom and mom’s loser boyfriend. they didn’t have enough money to rent an apartment, and she was super stoked because she had just gotten a job at the subway where she was going to make $7/hr. thank god. cuz all they did every day was sit there watching tv with their door open. the big activity of the day was going to get snacks at the little market a few doors away from the hotel. brownsville is the home of pictsweet, the frozen veggie company. i bet they keep that town alive. lucky town.
we also spent our last two days in nashville at a motel 6. it was awesome. i had quit my awful job, it was right next to a waffle house, it was quiet, and felt like a bit of a re-entry into a world without mean, horrible people. sounds weird, but it was seriously the first time i was able to relax there. and after we checked out, we drove to chicago. and life got so much happier.
i have been obsessed with detroit for a long time and boo and i took advantage of a beautiful autumn saturday to head out of chicago and finally check it out. first of all, michigan is one of the most beautiful states in the country. lush lush lush! water water water! such a beautiful ride. we stopped in ann arbor for a giant roast beef sandwich from the famous zingerman’s. we found a little park so we could eat and boo could run around a bit. got to detroit a few hours later and drove around checking it out. i had wanted to stay downtown, but… i didn’t feel quite comfortable. so we wussed out and drove toward the suburbs – where all the scared white people live. we stayed at another comfort inn, in beautiful farmington hills, michigan. it was pretty big – compared to our usual motel 6 sitch – and really nice. of course the staff was wonderful. we were supposed to just stay one night but i loved it so much that we stayed one more. on sunday morning we went to a cider mill, walked around, made new friends, watched the ducks… beautiful day. and then we drove to a place for detroit-style pizza that was super close to one of the great lakes – i forget which one – and walked around. so so so soooooo gorgeous! wow. then we went back to the city to check out the “ruins porn”. wow again. but… sad wow. it was very sobering, i have to say. i took a bunch of pictures, ended up meeting a security guard at the old packard plant and had a nice conversation. i went to the whole foods in uptown both days we were there, because they had great roast beef for boo. also, THE most gracious and lovely staff. i wanted to live on a cot in the back room. after our downtown adventure, we spent the evening just laying in our huge and comfy king sized bed, watching tv, noshing and loving the calm. it was a great two days. michigan is fantastic.
2018 – now known as the worst year of my life
boo’s last road trip. of course we didn’t know this at the time. deep breath. this was actually a really great trip, even though it started out so weird. the last month in chicago was super stressful thanks to a roommate who kept trying to rent out the apartment via airbnb. like i want to leave my dog with a total stranger. i think i was clenching my teeth for 30 days straight. it was awful. i didn’t leave that sunday until 8 p.m., because i had underestimated what i had to do. but i was determined to leave, so i got a big ol’ coffee and we hit the road. there’s something kind of romantic about driving down the highway at night. right? all those creepy refineries, the red sprinkler lights… you see things you never pay attention to during the day. and i always wonder where everyone is going. do you do that? i started getting tired near st. louis, but i don’t know enough about the city and the two places i checked out had a bunch of crack heads hanging about. so we drove a little farther and ended up at the comfort inn in pacific, mo. we got there about 3 a.m. and the man who checked us in was so lovely. boo peed in the entry while i was checking in. he didn’t flinch. and he insisted that i not clean it up, he would do it. so kind. it wasn’t a motor inn, of course, but, fucking exhausted. plus, these places have the glamorous help yourself breakfast situations that i love… i slept for maybe four hours, went down to the lobby for coffee and the glorious powdered eggs and sausages for our bed picnic, then we hit the road.
i had to see lake ozark, so we headed there and ended up stopping at the vacuum cleaner museum as well as uranus on the way. yes. yes. i fucking love missouri. we got to lake ozark and had an outdoor picnic in the fresh air. it was awesome. the downside was that we never saw jason bateman. we hit ol’ route 66 again and at about 7 p.m. ended up in springfield at one of the coolest places evah – the rail haven motor inn. apparently marilyn monroe and elvis had both stayed there. super kitschy, super clean and a great staff. i grabbed some deli for our bed picnic and we settled in for the night. there was a little doggy area right across from our room, so boo made a few little friends, too. this place had a great serve yourself breakfast, too, and i finally tried one of those mythical make-your-own waffles. not bad! took the bounty back for our bed breakfast picnic and then we headed to our final overnight destination – amarillo.
damn if i wasn’t going to get us to that big texan. and we made it. have you ever been there? it’s pretty awesome. i call it meat disneyland. we checked in to our room and i left boo up there with her cable tv while i went down to the bar to get our very expensive steak dinner. the people watching was pretty epic. i took my corked up bottle of wine back to the room and boo enjoyed the best steak of her life and some delicious broccoli. she was haphaphappy. i had two bites of steak, then decided the veg and baked potato were the way to go. delish all around. sadly, i awakened at 3 am and started puking. i had food poisoning. i blame the highway-side mcdonalds chicken nuggets we ate in a state of emergency that afternoon. cuz there is no way it was the big texan. i stopped for gas before we hit the road that morning and tried to get a cup of ice, but they were out, so the girl gave me a bag for free. the entire drive to mountainair, i had a bag of ice on the floor between my legs. i ate ice chips, drank gatorade, and wanted to kill myself. maybe my body was telling me i was making the biggest mistake of my life? possibly. it no longer matters, because i no longer have a life. because i have no chance of more adventures with boo. what’s the point. there is no more happiness, no more joy. i am absolutely dead inside.
aren’t i an upper?? lol. i guess this “exercise” didn’t really work. well, i lie a little bit… i felt a little spark when remembering these times. so there’s that. anyway… *sigh* this sucks, guys. it really, really sucks. i miss her SO much. how do i navigate this? darkness is everywhere.