Day 2.9(b) You Can Check In Anytime You Want But You Can Never Leave (Your Room)

Allow me a slight detour from strict chronological order. The last entry detailed the events of Wednesday, July 20 – whereas this one takes place on Saturday, July 23-and only in the evening- there will be another one with the awesome stuff that happened earlier in the day. But my outrage and befuddlement is fresh, and therefore I feel it must be documented post haste.

My goal in driving home had been to make it to Connecticut the first day and to stop early enough to get something to eat and relax and maybe do a new blog post. So when we reached Vernon, CT a little after 7 it seemed like a good time to stop.

First, we tried the Holiday Inn Express, but they didn’t accept dogs (although some of their locations do-annoying). After some Googling, it was determined that we had two options: Motel 6, or the Red Roof Inn. I’ve had good experiences at Motel 6 before (not like that, get your mind out of the gutter!), so we headed there first.  As we approached, the first thing I saw was an ENORMOUS carnival set up right next door-FILLED with people and rides and games and . . . carnies. (Note to my overseas readers-carnies is slang for carnival employees, NOT carnivores/cannibals.) Now, this may be my #SummerofBadDecisions, but that seemed like just asking to be sold off into white slavery or waking up married to someone lacking his full complement of fingers and teeth. Not a risk I was willing to take.

So we drove onward to the Red Roof Inn. Which looked pretty uninspiring when we pulled up, but then most cheap motels generally do.

So I go through the whole check-in process, answer a boatload of questions, pay, etc. At the end of all this, the desk clerk (who has ZERO affect, speaks in a monotone, and has had to ask me to repeat my phone number and street name twice) hands me a piece of paper with a room number on it.


“We’re out of keys,” she says, “so I’ll have to let you in, and if you need to leave your room again I’ll have to let you back in.”


IF I need to leave the room? Like to take my dog out to pee? To get ice? To get dinner or breakfast or just something I left in the car?? I’ll have to get your assistance??

How the HELL do you run out of keys?? It’s just the little plastic card, you’re not smelting it down at the ironworks!!

And you didn’t think this info might have been pertinent BEFORE I checked in? Or warrant a reduction in price??

(Please read the “note” on the “key envelope” and just let that sink in a bit.)

She seems shocked (or puzzled maybe-shocked implies more emotion than I think she’s capable of mustering-even puzzled may be a stretch) when I indicate that this bit of information should have been provided sooner and might have prevented me from registering. Or that this is the single weirdest thing that’s ever happened to me in a seedy motel (and that’s saying something). It becomes clear that un-registering will be a tedious process, and I still fear the carnies, so I decide to make the best of it. I tell her I will be right back and go to the car to get Annie and all the stuff I now need to juggle in one trip (don’t ask). When I return, 5 minutes later, she’s gone. So I make awkward chit chat with some old dude who doesn’t seem fazed in the slightest. At last, she returns and we get settled in our vile room with only chips for dinner as I just can’t bring myself to have to deal with her anymore to go out and get dinner. Or at least one of us is settled.


The AC has to be bumped down to 60 to even be noticeable and the duvet has even more questionable stains than one would normally expect, but we make it through the night.

Come morning I prop my door open with the latch and wander down the hall to see about breakfast.

It’s 7:30AM. The “free” continental breakfast which runs to 9:00AM has been picked clean. There was a woman sweeping up crumbs and I asked if it would be replenished and she looked puzzled, shrugged, and said someone had gone to the “store”. Pretty sure that was the front desk clerk as someone else was trying to check out and her post was deserted. (NOT desserted.)

Side Note: the place I am staying is called the Red Roof Inn, but the WiFi is labeled Quality Inn, so I can only assume the descriptor “Quality” was stripped from it after some massive litigation and now it’s operating under an assumed name using the only adjective it can rightfully boast.

Frustrated, hangry, and annoyed I start to head back to my room when.. WHAT IN THE FRESH HELL IS THIS???


Apparently, George and Martha Washington’s poor relations are trapped in this nightmare hellscape as well? (And suspiciously leaving with a full cooler when the breakfast bar has just been tapped out…)

Connecticut is a freaky trip man.