The last 18 hours have been horrendous and hysterical in equal measure. Nothing to do with the running – that was fine – no it’s been the fun of hotels that has aggrevated us today! I haven’t really mentioned the hotels on this trip – mainly Super 8s or Days Inn – but occasionally we get a local motel for the night, especially if the start/finish is routed to be right at the motel. Last night we stayed in a Holiday Inn Express in Schererville, right at the finish. Looked great, good comfy beds etc. As we returned from dinner we did see a sign welcoming the ‘Championship Fastpitch Softball teams’, Steph and I talked about how I used to play slow pitch softball but didn’t think much about it….
…Until I awoke at 10pm to hear kids running around the halls and parents chatting outside our room. Then a little later there was loud banging from the hall and my patience was gone. I thundered out of the room and stood in the hallway telling the kids and parents to ‘shut up and stop being so bloody loud’. The sight of a ratty English woman stood in the hallway in her t-shirt and knickers (I immediately remembered I’d forgotten to wear my PJ bottoms as I got to the hall) had some effect, but not much. At 12:30am Steph got up and had another go – telling them in a very stern voice that ‘people were trying to sleep’ – a calm, heavily tattooed American woman (in full PJs) had more effect. It was a poor night’s sleep – one of very few – and I was angry. In the morning after I left to run Steph checked out and told the manager all about our bad night and the loud softballers. She also explained what I was doing and how annoyed I’d been at the poor sleep; and in doing so got a half-price refund, super Steph!
So the run went ok despite the bad night; we were met about mile 6 by Chad who’s got in touch as we were running very close to his house – he ran with us for 12 miles and was good company with his very well behaved dog Diamond. Mike had some foot pain so walked a little in the middle section but still finished within an hour of me – Mike’s got such long legs his walking is pretty fast!
The finish was at another Motel – The Mayflower. Just as I finished and walked over the road Steph said ‘I need to prepare you for this one’ and I could see and smell why as we walked into our room. It was awful – smelt of smoke and wee and was filthy. The beds were very lumpy and the linens weren’t very clean. The final straw for me was the bathroom that looked like dead animals had once been cleaned there and the strange splashes and stains on the woodwork. I spent a shocked 5 minutes cooling down from the run and reminding myself to tell Mike about TripAdvisor and make sure we check his local motels closely in future! The remaining 10 minutes we spent in that room were using Steph’s wireless hotspot through her phone to book a Holiday Inn Express 3 miles down the road! When Pat and Carl arrived they were equally appalled and so Pat and I handed back our keys to the bemused owner/receptionist, who didn’t seem to understand when I said we wouldn’t be staying there because it was filthy.
As soon as Mike finished we whisked him and everyone off to the Holiday Inn and were very relieved not to be at the Mayflower Motel! Steph and I both had slightly longer showers cleaning off the gross feeling from the room there! We can laugh about the place now but at the time it was grim!
Dinner was at Aurelios Pizza which was great – the starters of meat balls covered in tomato sauce and cheese were a highlight.
Right I’m off to sleep in a wonderfully comfy and clean bed – one thing I really value especially on this run across the US is a good night’s sleep!