I have not stayed in a motor inn since I was a kid. Yes, that was a long time ago, perhaps 50 years ago. Back then they were common and cheap. You know, the kind of motel where you drive your car right up to your room, walk a few feet and you are in your room.
We needed to stay in a place like this as we had a long drive starting early the next day for our whale watching tour. (Retirement Experience #92: https://937experiences.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/92-whale-watching/ ). It was the best we could do. I thought, hey, another retirement experience. This could be interesting. Well, it was interesting. Not always in the best way.
We stayed in a motor inn north of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. It was a one story building with about 5 rooms on each side of the tiny main office. There were cottages adjacent to the motel but those were reserved for the employees. The motel was very old. I got the impression the fixtures in the bathroom matched the age of similar fixtures in the house I grew up in Bethesda. So, I deduced these were from circa 1960. About the age of the motor inns I stayed in as a kid.
We arrived just before 10 pm from our long day of driving. We made it just before the owner went to bed for the night. He briefly explained everything. “Here is the key. Donuts in the front office at 8. Smoking area is in the courtyard. Leave the key in the morning. Have a good night.”
The room was ok. Being this far north and on the coast, you would expect it to be cool and breezy. Not. It was warm, humid, and there was no wind. So what’s the big deal? No air conditioning in the room. We usually assume there will be AC, but we kind of forgot the rules for a mid-century motor inn. So we had to open the front and back windows to get a very slight breeze to cool off the room. This resulted in a second problem. The smoking area was out in the courtyard – maybe 30 feet from our room. Since we are not used to being around smokers, the few smokers were very noticeable. With the windows open, not only did we have to smell their smoke we to listen to their loud talk too. Ugh. Warm room or a slightly cooler, smokier room. Decisions, decisions.
After we adjusted to the environment, we had another problem to contend with. I found a few beetles on the tile floor near the bed, about ¾ inches in size. I killed each one I found and barely mentioned it to Mary Ann. I also found one on top of the bedspread. I quietly dispositioned that one, too. All was good until the middle of the night, around 3 am. You guessed it. I had one crawling on my leg inside the covers. A quick adrenalin rush and a quick death for the beetle. That was it for me the rest of the night. No more sleep for me. I needed to make sure Mary Ann did not know about the beetle so she could sleep. I kept an eye open for more beetles. Didn’t want any crawling on her. 6:30 am was slow to arrive. We got out of the motel quickly and didn’t look back.
In defense of this motor inn, it did have a few good qualities. (1) There was a great view of the bay and the cape. However, arriving late and leaving early, we did not see them. And (2) the stay did not cost much. You guessed it, you get what you pay for. HaHa Ouch!
A retirement experience not to be repeated without due diligence. (8/13/18)