Horsing Around in Florida

Horse trailer at Canoe Creek rest area 04-30-2104I finally got on the road back to Cape. I was later than planned, but earlier than I had actually figured I’d be wheels-up. The last thing I did before pulling out of the driveway was to grab a cloth and polish my glasses. That’s when I noticed one of the nose pieces was missing.

Sunday’s not a good time to try to find someplace to fix that, and the glasses didn’t feel too weird, so I decided to find a fix on Monday.

Needed a nap

About 200 miles up the road, I felt a little drowsy, so I swerved into the Canoe Creek rest area on the Florida Turnpike for a 22-minute nap. I actually woke up a couple of minutes early, maybe because of a bright reflection shining into my eyes.

The light was reflecting off a highly-chromed trailer with a window in its side. After staring at it a couple of minutes, something inside stared back at me. I decided it was time to quit horsing around and got back on the road.

Found a cheap, clean room

I made it to Lake City, where I stopped at the Comfort Suites motel I usually stay at. I asked how much for a room, and the clerk said, $98.”

“I’ve stayed here before for $69 and $79. Surely you can do better than that for a regular customer who has recommended you to his friends.”

“I’m sorry, that’s as low as I’m authorized to go,” she said.

I voted with my feet.

A quick Internet search turned up a 2-star motel within eyesight. I wasn’t crazy about the two-star part, but the reviews of the America’s Best Value Inn were favorable. Even the complaints were nit-picking (“it’s a long walk to the ice dispenser”).

The clerk was a nice guy who had been working there for three years. “I installed the carpet in the rooms, and when I was done, the job dried up and nobody was building anything, so I applied for this job.” He assured me that it was clean.

The room is small, but clean. Hey, I’m not holding a dance party. I just want to sleep in it.

Oh, yes. The price was NOT $98. The price was not $79. The price was not $69. The price was $45.95. You can’t beat that with a stick. Another good thing: it had some of the fastest wireless Internet connectivity of anyplace I’ve stayed.

9 Replies to “Horsing Around in Florida”

  1. Back in the early 1980s when I was traveled and doing many sports shows, I could leave Cape and make Manchester Tennessee for the night if I was traveling down I-24. Mrs Bass, an older widow, ran a clean motel there. I would call her for a reservation and tell her I would be coming in late. She would say she would leave a key in the door and tell me the number of the room. She said she would see me in the morning. The cost of the room was $11 a night and $12 if I messed up the other bed, which I was careful not to do. Both Mrs Bass and the Bass Motel are long gone. Clean, cheap, no extras but perfect for a good night’s sleep!

  2. Like Ken I use the vote with my feet method. I learned it from my Dad. I think he walked out of more motel lobbies than even I have…if the price was not right then, he walked. Of course, before internet the walk was back to car and then on to the next place and the next place…etc..at times we stopped and walked two or three times before finding the correct spot or mom said this is “A FINE place to stay”!

  3. Funny! When she was in college, my daughter would travel a lot to places like Mexico. I was always worried that she was staying in cheap dodgy motels and so I would insist that she pay at least $60 a night and I would pay the difference. LOL!

  4. Try Drury Inn in Valdosta. Stayed there Sunday night. $59.95 will take you all the way with coupon from rest areas. Hot food and free drinks in the evening and the best hot breakfast in the morning

  5. I’ve stayed at Drury Inns on many occasions, mostly the one in Cape, and been satisfied it was a good deal most times. Hey, thinking of that : Ken, do you have any photos of the opening of the FIRST ever Drury Inn, – the one next to the Burger King? Can’t remember when that was, but I remember my father having lots to say about the Drury family. Also remember some rumors about the city limits of Cape having some odd ‘bump-outs’ due to the wishes of a member of the clan.

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