Mark and I like vacations.
Vacations just don't like us.
No matter the trip - short or long, far or near - our jaunts always seemed to be a comedy of errors. Lost luggage, stomach bugs, canceled flights, stomach bugs, forgotten documents, stomach bugs. And our trip to Dearborn was no exception.
I had originally booked a room in the official race hotel but canceled it in a mental lapse/budget fury. While it was affordable, I was sure I could find something cheaper. And cheaper I found. I got a room at the Motown Inn in Lincoln Park for $39, plus taxes and fees - half of the Comfort Inn. The hotel was 2.5 stars on Hotwire, and the amenities included continental breakfast, a fitness room, pool and wireless internet.
Just one thing. I booked the room at Motown Inn and when I showed up, all the signage said Sleep Inn. I was panicked. While I have had luck with Hotwire, I feared that I had gotten duped. Either the address was wrong or the hotel didn't exist or ...
Or the Motown Inn bought the Sleep Inn building and is too cheap to get a sign. I figured that one out when I called the number on the itinerary from a street blocked off by a chain link fence.
But all was well with the world because we had a room. Room No. 319, in case you were interested. You weren't? I'm pretty sure the desk clerk thought you were because she announced it to the whole (albeit empty) lobby.
Room 319 was nice.
There was a TV. A cathode-ray TV. My grandma has nicer.
It had a view. Of train tracks and a highway.
The breakfast buffet, which the desk clerk waxed on about, featured sausage patties, egg patties and the high quality juice drink, Sunny D. In a jug.
Of course, those weren't my favorite features. No my favorite part was something a bit more special.
A dirty elevator? Nope not it.
My favorite part of our Motown experience was the accommodating desk clerk. When I inquired about a bar on site, she politely said that the hotel did not sell beer.
Emphasis on hotel.
The clerk did know of some guests who had alcohol. She could call around, she said. When I told her it wasn't necessary, she gave another solution. Apparently guests offer her alcohol at check in, which she politely refuses, but she was willing to accept on our behalf. When she had collected some beer, she would give us a ring.
Nice. Right? Right!
So the lesson in all of this: Staying at the race hotel is worth $40.