Wednesday, July 02, 2008

On the Road, Cleveland Doesn't Rock

After a few days delay (we originally planned to leave on Saturday), we finally hit the road for NoDak yesterday. The last time we drove out there, it was just WifeRat and I and we made the trip in two very long days; but 12 hour days in the car just don't work with a three year-old in the mix so we decided that we would take four days to travel out there and hopefully see something cool on the way. I'm still waiting to see something cool, but the trip has been pretty relaxing so far.

Our first stop was Cleveland, we stayed at an Embassy Suites downtown by Jacobs Field that kind of sucked. No doorman to take your stuff up to your room and the valet wouldn't park our trailer-laden car, but he did direct me to a legal on-street spot where I could park overnight. Maybe I'm being a prima donna, but a high-rise, downtown hotel should have a doorman. Am I wrong for thinking this?

We get to the room and WifeRat and BabyRat immediately put on their swimsuits and are heading for the pool when they decide to hit the head. The bathroom in the room smells like sour old towels, so while they go to the pool I go back downstairs to ask for another room. The staff at the desk gave us another room and comped us a couple of movies for our trouble. After humping all our junk to another room, I celebrate by diving down to the bottom of our cooler and having a shot of Grey Goose (from the freezer that we just cleaned out, what was I supposed to do leave it in DC?) and a can of PBR.

Now I have to find provisions for dinner and fortunately there is a grocery store near the hotel that, in addition to having fresh fruits and vegetables, also has 6-packs of Genesee Tallboys for $2.99 (I'm enjoying one as I type this). We feed the little one and get her to sleep and are settling down to watch a movie when I realize that I need more food. I run next door to this sports bar to grab some fried horribleness and return to find a fired up WifeRat who has been on the phone beefing with the front desk because they're charging $10 for internet access in the hotel.

Now this thing with hotels charging for internet access is a long-standing beef of mine. Hotels should do one of two things, either provide internet free of charge for their guests or, if it's such a cost burden, add the price of internet access to the price of the room. But this idiocy with adding a separate charge for internet is bullshit and must stop immediately; it really pisses me off.

We left Cleveland this morning, but not before I browbeat the morning manager into refunding my $10 for internet access. It wasn't the money, it was the principle.

We stopped today in Merrillville, IN because we didn't want to deal with downtown Chicago pulling a trailer. I'm currently in a non-descript "suite" hotel that doesn't charge for internet access. We had dinner at some Mexican joint, WifeRat had a pair of margaritas and was asleep before BabyRat.

Tomorrow we're going to Wisconsin Rapids, WI to see Butterburger's (friend from DC) ancestral homestead. Butterburger is at his folk's place for the week, so we're going to make that our destination for tomorrow and then the final push for NoDak will happen on Friday. I'll keep you posted on our progress.


monkeyrotica said...

Cleveland's two great contributions to American kultur are Harvey Pekar and deepfried sauerkraut balls. Both are quite nasty, but once you get used to them, you develop the occasional craving. Kinda like oral.

Hot tip: portable DVD player. When the Monkeys flew down to Florida, that and Seasons 1 and 2 of Spongebob were worth their weight in gold. Pop that sumbitch in, strap on the headphones, and it's like you don't even HAVE a kid for a couple hours. Until they have to pee. Came in particularly handy when our connection out of Newark was cancelled and we had to rent a minivan and drive to DC at 2am.

Hill Rat said...

I saw the deep fried sauerkraut balls while I was there, I was intrigued but not man enough to throw my intestines on the crap table (pun intended) that night, especially with another long day in the car ahead of us.

monkeyrotica said...

Y'know, it's funny. Pickles will go through me like a Ferrari, but some alchemy goes on in the deep fat frier that renders the vinegary kraut eminently digestible.

And if you just want to get hammered, you can do a lot worse than deep fried salty kraut. Beats greasy fries by a mile.

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