Happy New year all.
Well the Magical Mystery Tour 2006 is complete! Over three thousand miles driven through ten states. It was all worth it for the chance to spend some time with my kids and family.
First a couple of notes on the journey. Hertz and Priceline Good, Hotwire bad.
Rented a few vehicles from Hertz using Priceline. Of course I upgraded vehicles both times. First was a Toyota Highlander. A very nice vehicle that didn't drive like an SUV. Then we had a Chevy Trailblazer. A little bigger vehicle but not quite as nice. Got a great deal on both of them. It is always a little disappointing to go back to driving your own vehicle with over 100K miles on it after driving a couple with less than 7K on them.
Hotwire once again disappointed. I have no idea where they get their star system from and whether they have ever stayed in a hotel. I wasn't having much luck getting a 3 Star plus hotel from priceline for what I wanted to pay so I looked on Hotwire. They had one in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas for around $60. So I figured what the heck. I was disappointed when it came back as a La Quinta. Upscale is not the first thing that comes to mind when you say La Quinta. It was almost impossible to find where to park at the hotel because it was under construction. This was the second time Hotwire put us in a 3 Star renovation project. There was only one other car in the parking garage. The good news was we were one of only 8 guests in the 12 story hotel. The elevators were a little scary as they tended to go to any floor other than the one of the button you pushed. Now La Quinta has a big marketing campaign going on where you see billboards that say "La Quinta, Spanish for …" and it's usually hi speed internet access or something like that. Of course ours was "La Quinta, excuse our mess". The topper was La Quinta Spanish for rancid syrup on their free continental breakfast. At one time I'm sure it was a nice place and it will be again but I don't think those bastards even speak Spanish.
I'm sticking to Priceline from here on out.