I am dictating this into my iPad because I have a puppy in my lap which makes it impossible for me to type. Bill is at the wheel. Bella has the backseat all to herself. We are east of Bakersfield and headed to Sedona.
We have been making these treks back and forth between Arizona and Washington for 30 years now. Often we have done so with dogs along for the ride–Nikki and Tess, Boney, Aggie and Daph, and now with Bella and Jojo. Nikki and Tess were golden retrievers. Boney was what our vet called a canardly–as in, “You can hardly tell what kind of a dog he is, but I think he’s probably half Irish wolfhound and half German shepherd.” In other words, he was a big dog.
Boney’s first elevator ride was in a multi-story Holiday Inn in Sacramento. When the elevator went up, he went nuts – – an experience never to be forgotten, especially by the five tiny Japanese tourists who were in the elevator with us.
Early on we learned the wisdom of having hotel reservations in advance. It was while we were traveling without reservations that we ended up at a benighted motel off the beaten track in Redding where the wiring was so bad that our mattress actually caught on fire when we turned on the bedside lamp.
The trip from our house in Bellevue to our house in Tucson is a minimum of 26 hours of driving in a moving vehicle. We usually break that up into a three-day, two-night ordeal. Day one is from home to Ashland or in this case, Medford, where we stayed at the Inn at the Commons. They are so dog friendly that they have a table set up in the lobby, so that you can eat a wonderful meal from Larks restaurant without having to leave your dogs locked up in the room.
Because of the uncertainties of winter driving in Southern Oregon and Northern California, we had made a reservation at a hotel in Sacramento for the second night. At least I thought I had made a reservation, doing so on the new app that my soon-to-be-former favorite hotel chain had helpfully provided.
I should have realized something was wrong when they didn’t send me a confirmation. So that morning as we were driving, I called to check. It turns out they had no reservation for us, and the hotel was totally booked. So was every other hotel in Sacramento and in Stockton as well.
We didn’t go any farther than Redding that day because there was no place to stay. In the process, we learned that the hotel we usually stay in in Bakersfield no longer accepts pets. They stopped doing that at the end of December. We eventually found alternate accommodations in Bakersfield, but it turns out the dog friendly hotel was … well … if you’ll pardon the expression, … a dog.
In other words, this has been a very stressful trip. And if we have to choose between having our puppies with us and having a home in Arizona, I guess you know which way that wind would blow.
Tonight we will be with friends in Sedona. After the past three days, we need to be with friends.
Over and out.