Monday, June 29, 2009

Modern Motels


I recall the traveling we did as a child. Every once in a while we would take winter vacation to Florida. My parents planned the trip so we would stay at Howard Johnson Motels. From New Jersey, Florida was a three day trip. Howard Johnson offered good accommodations, and we thought they were better and roomier than Holiday Inns.

Ray Charles always stayed at Holiday Inns because every room was set up the same way throughout the country, which is pretty important to someone that isn’t sighted. Ho Jo’s had everything for a family. They had an on-site restaurant, a pool, air conditioning and a TV. These accommodations were pretty cool in the 50s and 60.

Take a look at signs on old motels and you will see things as they became available depending on their age. I’ve traveled and stayed in places that didn’t offer a lot of things we take for granted. I’ve stayed in places that didn’t have phones in the rooms. I stayed in one place that didn’t have televisions in the rooms, and I stayed in a few places in the 70s that still had only black and white televisions.

If you look at the old signs you will see what was special to travelers, such as: TV, Color TV, Cable TV, Phones, Pool or better yet a heated pool. Some even advertised hot water. Now-a-days these features are standard, and we see motels advertise other things on their reader boards such as: Spa, WiFi, Exercise Room and Free HBO. Eventually these things will be the norm in every motel. I’ve grown used to motels and hotels that not only have all of that, but they also need to have an iron, a hair drier, in-room coffee maker and a fridge. Most important, there should always be fresh baked cookies available in the lobby at 5pm.

10 Comments:

Blogger Tango said...

I love to stay at hotels and lived in them full time for eight years back in the late 70's and early 80's. If I had the money, I would stay in a different hotel every week. So far I've been lucky...never any problem....except the one in Pennsylvania, where the ceiling fell in right after I took a shower.

4:06 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

Oh no; MOST importantly, they must have Internet.

5:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its not a really cool hotel though unless they have "magic fingers"

6:51 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Ach... I was hoping someone would mention that. The wife and I got a room in a cheap little motel in Colorado Springs one year. We went in and it looked like it had been sealed up since the early 60's. And best of all, it had the "Magic Fingers"! I flopped down on the bed and dropped a quarter into the box and spun the knob. There was a "pop" and a small "whoof" and I smelled something burning. Dropped to the floor and looked under the bed and saw that the power cord was on fire! Managed to get the plug pulled out from the wall and beat the fire out with my hands before it got out of control. No harm done. We went down to tell the manager and he gave us another room (a bigger room, no extra charge). Alas, there was no magic fingers. And I didn't get my quarter back, either.

7:37 AM  
Blogger Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Love those old motel signs! I think I remember reading that a motel is one where you can drive up to the door and a hotel has hallways?

I remember driving by one as a kid (I wasn't driving...) that were concrete TeePees. I always wanted to stay there, my dad just drove by. It would have been a pretty cheap "vacation" had they thought about it.

There used to be a motel in Medford OR that had a sign that said something like "Owned by Americans"...wonder who stayed there, no, guess I don't have to wonder.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous auntie said...

When I was young, my parents (mammy and pappy) took me and poophead to this motel in portland that they LOVED to take us to. It was cheap and it had a pool to entertain us kids and was near a movie theater. The place was called The Dunes and it was on NE Sandy not far from downtown.

So this room we got with two beds in it once (i had to share with poophead we were very young) had the magic fingers thingie on it. So my bro and i found a quarter or something and put it in to see what it would do. we were forbidden from doing so, so we waited till after our parents were asleep. Well, the thing came on with a big clunk and a whirring noise and IT WOULD NOT STOP! Not even after the 5 minutes that it said it would. So we had to suffer in silence (well there was that whirring) and i dont know how in the world our parents didnt wake up. Lesson learned.

6:22 PM  
Blogger g said...

i remember travelodge as a kid.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL!! I wonder if Darev remembers one fairly disastrous trip with our dad that ended at an ancient little hotel. I still remember our dad laying on the floor swearing a blue streak trying to reach the plug on the unending magic fingers. Even Darev admitted more than 20 minutes of vibrating was enough to make him hurl.

8:35 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Tango, so far I've only had to change a room once. The heater was smoking, so I ended up with a big suite with a hot tub.

Donna, I stayed in a place last year that still didn't have WiFi, but they did have a hard wire.

Anon, Auntie, Darev and CC don't the fingers come with a bit of a sleeze factor?

Terri, that was probably Shilo Inns, which is owned by a right wing kook who got nailed for shooting bears without a license.

g, funny, with all the traveling I've done I've never stayed in a travelodge. I've seen them out there, but never pulled into one.

5:35 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Critter- I remember that. Dad was pretty pissed off.

8:09 AM  

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