We departed BR at 3:30 p.m., arrived at LaQuinta Tallahassee North (described below), (exit 199 off of I-10) at 11:45 BR time -- 8.25 hours on the road, 435 miles covered, averaging about 53 miles an hour. We stopped about every 2 hours along the way to pottie Max and Willow, and ourselves, stretch our legs, buy coffee and food. First stop was the Mississippi Welcome Center, forgot to record the other stops. We'd have made better time except for taking Florida Blvd all the way to Walker then cutting over to the interstate, to avoid near stand-still traffic from O'Neal thru Denham Springs. plus lots of 18 wheelers and aggressive drivers riding our rear bumpers, weaving in and out at 80+ mph, and several conjested areas, light rain and fog, where traffic moved at closer to 60 mph. I kept a steady 75 mph as much as possible thanks to my trusty speed control. By 10 p.m. we had I-10 mostly to ourselves. Gas prices all along the route about 3.35/gallon for Regular.
|John and the dogs rest in our spacious room, #163.|
|The end wing, on a forrested slope, where we stay.|
Motel style, one can park at your door in most rooms. Our favorite rooms, though, are from 167 - 159, all facing a downward sloping forrested hill (the dogs can pottie right out the door), dotted with camellia and azelea bushes, mounded with pine straw, very charming. There's a grassy area to the far left, where they even provide a poopie bag dispenser. Parking is at the side and bottom of the hill. A quiet, homey wing and still not far to lug your luggage.
I experienced my first "Book On Tape" on this trip, Dean Koontz's Sole Survivor, which my son had given us months before but we never had time to listen to. Driving, there was nothing else to do but drive, sip coffee, listen. John operated his little Sony Megabase portable CD player (my antique car only has a cassette player), but he was able to route the sound thru the car speakers with some kind of cassette adapter, and it sounded GREAT! Along with strong coffee, cigarettes and gum, it kept me wide awake and on the edge of my seat (I do most of the driving). A very suspenseful, graphic book with amazing descriptions. That we can pause and discuss interesting facets makes "reading" this way an interactive experience! We like that.
Max and Willow are awesome travel dogs. Maxie nestles by my side and never moves, Willow rides in the back window and rarely moves -- unless food comes out. They are incredibly patient and calm. Willow knows the difference between me leaving home for a few hours, which doesn't bother her, and us going on a road trip. She screeches horribly, as though seriously injured, if she thinks we will leave her behind.
A few days later I received a La Quinta survey asking them to evaluate my stay. I got to complain about the lack of a bathtub stopper and no repair offered. I used a wadded up wash cloth to hold the water in the tub. I also mentioned about the dog area having too much poop on the ground. I recommended they tell everyone at check-in to pick up after their dogs. (Those who don't make a bad name for the rest of us, so I usually pick up mine and more every time we go outsideI) got a personal email back from the hotel manager apologizing for the inconvenience, assuring us we'd have the same room on our return trip and there would be a stopper in the tub, and they would redouble their efforts to keep the pet area clean!
NOTICE TO DOG PEOPLE: We should be keeping the area clean ourselves. There aren't too many motels that will receive us to begin with, and fewer still that don't charge a pet fee!
We will stay here on our way back home after the New Year. I highly recommend this place to anyone travelling in the area, especially with dogs.
Upwards and onward!