Some Sketchy Hotels!

It’s time to begin our Christmas tour!  This year, we are driving from home base in California to shows in Michigan (Dec 2) Texas (Dec 16) back to California (Dec 20) and Arizona (Dec 23).  The show in California is technically not a Christmas show – the promoter wanted to celebrate John Denver’s 80th birthday (Dec 31, 2023).  So, a lot of driving (to avoid airline fees and car rental fees) and a lot of hotels are ahead of us this month.  It got me to thinking about the higher cost of EVERYTHING! 

Dealing with high costs requires a certain amount of flexibility.  You have to lower your expectations.  You might not want to afford to stay in the usual hotels you count on (we used to stay exclusively at Comfort Inn Hotels) you might take a chance on a hotel with a lower rate.  That leads to staying in some sketchy hotels.

Jim Connor (author of “Grandma’s Feather Bed) told a story about staying in a blackfoot hotel.  You see, the hotel was not owned by Native Americans, he called it blackfoot, because that’s what your foot looks like if you walk around without socks.

The first sketchy hotel we stayed at was in 2008…it was the worst ever!  We kept looking for a chalk outline in the parking lot, and our pleas for clean towels and sheets were answered with, “We don’t have any”.  Lesson learned: no more Knight’s Inn (never, ever).

Take a good look at the picture #1.  Yes, that is the bathroom sink on the floor.  Just last year this lovely room was offered to us at a premium price.  We had to go back to the front desk twice to get a room that was not in complete disrepair.  Jim (a fixer) is constantly baffled by the incredibly bad handiwork he sees, even in good hotels!  Bad tile work, bad plumbing, bad carpentry (a ragged notch cut in a bathroom door because the toilet was in the way of the door opening – see picture #2).  Often, Jim repairs things in the room himself before he can relax.

Do you have a sketchy hotel experience?  Share it here!

A Town Called Kill Devil Hills

From sea to shining sea, life is a beach….at least it is on the edges!

Although we live on the Pacific side – seems we’ve been spending a lot of time closer to the Atlantic.  We recently visited beaches in Norfolk, Virginia and in Outer Banks, North Carolina.  Outer banks is the area where Orville and Wilbur Wright famously flew the first powered aircraft in Kitty Hawk, NC. 

Our concert was in Kill Devil Hills, NC – a very memorable show because of the enthusiastic audience (thank you, Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts!!)  – but what really got our curiosity going was the name of the city: Kill Devil Hills.

Once the concert was over, we spent some time with one of our hosts, David, who was more than happy (and probably asked often) to explain why the city had such a name.  In colonial times, ships full of molasses would frequently pass by on their way to ports further north.  The area had a treacherous coastline and shipwrecks were frequent.  Wrecked ships were quickly plundered, and barrels of molasses would be brought into the hills to make rum. Another name for rum was “Kill Devil” as it is told that the drink was strong enough to kill the devil himself.  Thus, the name Kill Devil Hills.

The beaches were lovely and the people welcoming….we hope to return soon!

No…..we didn’t try the rum!