Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Motel Patal

Got on the road and traveled I35 Wisconsin winding through the Mississippi. Green rolling hills. Van Morrison set the tone for driving alongside the wide deep Mississippi. All kinds of birds shooting over and around landing in a spray on the marshes that flanked. Half way out it rained hard. Eliminated any possibility of camping. We drove through the city of Minneapolis. A Long and low place with countless little lakes and equal number of little colleges. Convoluted streets, with no discernable grid and single massive body of water to navigate by. Hard rain turned to drizzle turned to gray skies, yet warmish temperature somehow. I carried two or three maps. Rotating each to see if either could get us some where close to the AAA single diamond motel. The things we do for a discount. Melissa asking questions. Me navigating. Hungry and getting on each other’s nerves (just once or twice), many wrong turns later we found the Lakeland Motel with it’s well deserved single red diamond rating (the absolute lowest of the low). It appeared to be the cheapest in all of Minneapolis. This motel was owned by Patals. The dark girl/woman that runs the desk greeted us with an empty stare and not so much as a hello. When I asked question, her head would nod imperceptibly but she would say nothing for a few minutes. Each question required she size us up before offering an answer. At first there were no cheap rooms with the no smoking option. The AAA discount also seemed subjective. I asked to see the rooms she did offer. She looked at me for a while. Again I asked to see all the rooms she had available. Finally she handed me a single key— and with it direct emotionless eye contact. But I saw a glint of resignation. I had won--out cheaped her. We walked to our room. A basement with green carpet. Tiny. Single/non smoking. The cheapest of the cheap.

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