Here is a piece of advice to hotel/motel owners: Do not leave copies of a newspaper in your rooms which contains a crime map. Your guests will not be reassured to discover two burglaries occurred in the area in November of 2008.
However, it will make them double-check that the sliding door is locked.
I found myself in Ann Arbor, Michigan last weekend for personal business on the coldest day of the year. I’d never been to Ann Arbor before, but now I think of it as a frozen, icy wasteland. However, the drive through blowing snow didn’t faze me. Michigan ain’t got nothin’ on Colorado. Sure, I could barely see, but there wasn’t anything on my windshield, the pavement was visible, and if I did go off the side of the road I was on a flat plain, not the edge of a mountain.
When I walked into my hotel room, I realized how spoiled I have been by my free trips recently. “Oh right,” I said as I looked at the bed which was at most 3 feet away from each surrounding wall and the furniture. “This is what I can actually afford.”
After I took care of business in Ann Arbor, I drove to Toledo to visit Jen from Perfect in our Imperfections who was a gracious host and totally cool in a crisis. Here’s another tip: Air pumps at gas stations freeze in sub-zero temperatures. Tip #2: If you leave the cap off of your tire it will deflate surprisingly quickly. That’s how we found ourselves stranded in a gas station parking lot on the way to breakfast.
Jen felt bad about noticing my slightly deflated tire, but I was glad she’d seen it before I had a blow out on I-69 and had to curl up with a blanket for hours waiting for AAA to save me. I dragged the gas station attendant outside to help us, but he was unable to defrost the pump with his hands nor by setting it on my defroster for several minutes. “I can give you your 75 cents back,” he said, which would of course make everything all better. I got a can of Fix-a-Flat out of the trunk as Jen got put on hold by AAA, but that canister appeared to be frozen too and would not defrost in a timely manner.
“Is that a Firestone sign?” Jen asked as she listened to undoubtedly dopey hold music.
“Why yes it is,” I said as I looked at the sign across the street and two storefronts down. So I hiked to Joe’s Tire & Wheel and threw myself upon Joe’s mercy. Joe yelled at Mike in the garage to get the portable air compressor and then I rode with him in his truck back to the gas station where he inflated my tire.
“Looks like your rim is bent too,” Mike noted. So we drove back to Joe’s where they hammered my rim back into place and checked the pressure in the rest of my tires which were also low. They didn’t charge me anything. So, if you are ever in Toledo, shop at Joe’s Tire and Wheel! They are da’ bomb. Ask Joe to show you pictures of his parrots and salt water fish while you wait.
Them Jen, Mr. Jen, and I had breakfast quiches at a nearby cafe, letting my toes thaw out. My big right toe was actually turning blue, which was scary because I am not a Smurf.
Please note, my camera somehow added 20 pounds to both Jen and I. This camera is also pointed at me at all times. Silly camera!
Then I drove home, but not before gassing up at Kroger and discovering they give Plus Card members a 20 cent discount on gas in Toledo whereas they only give us a 10 cent discount in Indianapolis. Hoosiers, we’re getting gypped!
On the way home, I drove past a sign for the Flower hospital. If you have any weeping willows, you can probably cure their depression there.
I also discovered that there is a Nestle plant located between Indy and Muncie. How did this escape my notice?