Originally, my plan was to have no plan. Just get in the car and go. I learned weeks before we left that this type of attitude was just stupid. You had to have some idea of where you wanted to go and what you wanted to see. So we did this, but one of the original thoughts that I had was to make no motel reservations. That way we wouldn't have to be concerned about being in a certain place at a certain time. We would just drive until we didn't feel like driving anymore, and then pick a town and find a motel.
This worked well for the first 5 nights we were on the road. I believe one night we couldn't get into the first place we picked, but all we did was walk across a parking lot to another satisfactory motel, where there were rooms available.
The 6th night, there was a problem.
We had left Kingman, Arizona on Saturday morning, planning to drive to Bakersfield and stay there. But we misjudged how long it would take to cover the distance and found ourselves in Bakersfield just after noon. So we decided to drive on up the central valley and cut west to coast and find a place there for the night.
As we came nearer to the coast, we started to encounter a number of wineries. Entering and leaving these wineries were a number of tour buses. It slowly dawned on us that winery tours, plus nice weather, plus Saturday night equals Rob & Jan could be shit out of luck trying to find a motel room.
But we drove on to the coast, and sure enough ... nothing. Either there were no goddammed motels, or they were booked up. We had driven about 8 hours and 500 miles and we were both tired. Jan was looking panicked and I was starting to get that way, but trying to look "cool". Then the highways and streets all started to jumble together, so I did the only thing I could do.
I stopped at a Starbucks, ordered a coffee and grabbed a phone book. So as we sat at the table, I called place after place, with no luck. I looked at Jan, as if I expected her to take over, but she looked even more wasted than I was, so I just sat there for a minute, staring at her.
And I wished that someone would just solve this problem for me, because I didn't want to deal with it anymore. No one has not experienced this moment. All of a sudden, you're ten years old, and you're expecting mommy or daddy to save the day. But mommy and daddy aren't there ... and it's just you. You're the one that has to do it.
So, I looked at the phone book again, and saw a motel name in a town that I recognized. So I called ... and sonofabitch ... they had a couple of rooms left. I booked one without even asking the price. I snapped the phone shut, looked at Jan and said "I found one. I know where it is. Let's go." She looked at me like I had just won the lottery.
Thank you La Quinta in Paso Robles
For having a room left on a Saturday night