Sunday, December 6, 2009

Comments on Comfort Inns and Cyns

I'm not sure when Nick and I  first started staying at the Comfort Inns - maybe when we went to Afroz's wedding which I think was near Chicago.   Or maybe the ever resourceful Nick found them some other way.

In any case, we like them.  Prices are reasonable, breakfast is included.  If you have time and don't mind the calories, you can even make a Belgium waffle!   My only complaint is the "cheerios" are the kind with sugar and the bran flakes have raisins in them.   But that's minor. 

In general, they have nice, comfortable, decent sized rooms.  They're part of one of the frequent programs.  Twice for Thanksgiving, we stayed there in Manhattan.  One year, we got a free night and Nick picked the day before Thanksgiving (cause it was the most expensive.)  But we came in the day before and stayed a few more days - we ended up with three reservations.  Didn't think much of it until we were locked out of the room on Wed morning.  Disconnect in the computer system.   Same thing happened the next day but we were expecting it.  

Tangent - that was a nice time!  We went for three years to see Dad, post stroke.  We walked out the front door and turned left, went half way up the block and watched the upper 1/3 of the Macy's parade go by.   Then we bopped down the block the other way and got a slice of Nick's pizza [not my Nick, the pizza place Nick] which tided us over until we got to Caren's.  She always has a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner but served ater than we'd like.  Walking from the Comfort Inn through Central Park to her place was wonderful.  The weather was gorgeous, people were friendly, fall foliage.  I have pictures - on this very computer.

Now, some of you know that real estate is tight in Manhattan.  Our first Comfort Inn room had the feature that you could get into the closet from the bed.  You couldn't have the bathroom and closet doors open at the same time but hey - close to Central Park, decent price [tangent to tangent - one year we stayed at the Hudson, a tony place near Columbus Circle - quite the adventure for us not kids.]

What's this all got to do with the current Southern Cal trip?  We stayed in the Comfort Suites in Stephenson Ranch, which we think is part of Santa Clarita.  I'm quite confused about the relationship among Stephenson, Santa Clarita and Valencia.   Our Comfort Inn was listed as on The Old Road which is sort of a frontage road for "the" 5 [as they say down here.]  Actually it was on Marriott Way, but I get why they wouldn't want to say so.   It's also near Pico Cyn Road.  We had three days of Something Cyn Road here and there.  Fortunately, Nick knew, it's shorthand for Canyon.  I, of course, love saying Agua Dulce sin road.   That's the exit for Vasquez Rocks County Park.

Back to the Comfort .  One goes up the elevator and comes out into a room of sorts that has the elevator, the ice machine and the vending machines.   It was bigger than that guest room in Manhattan!!!   Oh, and the vending machine had three different burritos, two types of ice cream bars and a pizza.  We had both a fridge and a microwave in our suite.  Gotta love So Cal!

Now we're in the Quality Inn & Suites, Anaheim.  We're on a free night tonight - love those points!  But two reservations again - see it all ties together.  You thought I was just randomly rambling.  Andre at the front desk assured us that we would not be locked out while at Disneyland.   He also said it was a 10-15 min walk to the Disneyland entrace.   Took us longer, even with all my stops.  Tomorrow, we head there directly, in the rain.

More to come, including Vasquez Rocks and Feline Conservation Center.  But park closes at 6pm so we have to get up and go early.  Later!

© 2009 Esther A. Heller

Friday, December 4, 2009

On the Road Again

Or, as they say, deja vu all over again.

This morning, after each of us took care of things that had to be done and the cats frolicked on the suitcase, Nick and I packed up the Prius (the red one this time) and headed on down Highway 101.   Unlike the October trip with Jacey, the weather was fabulous.  Nick and I didn't talk as much as Jacey and I did but I only see her once a year.  But his car has a six CD player and we listened to Heart, Creedence and Bob Seger.

Of course we stopped in Gilroy for the Jelly Belly factory but this time no Belly Flops were purchased.   I had remembered that I'd not packed a baseball cap, just in case there's sun.  Got a funky gold and black one at the Fox outlet store for $7.   I know nothing about them except they have a cool logo.  I'm calling it my glitzy trucker hat.  Photos will appear somewhere.

Knowing our dinner plans, Nick had packed lunch..  Nick had been that way while I was at Nikon school and knew about the Pacheco State park.  We had our picnic there.  We even paid the self-serve parking fee because we know how much the park system is hurting.   It was lovely, the two of us and a lot of birds.  The latrines are actually quite decent and there was water to wash hands.

We're down here in Santa Clarita so Nick can enter the USOF Trail Orienteering Championships tomorrow.  Sunday is a regular meet.  Trail O is very cool.  It's more thinking and less physical.  That's because it's designed for those who cannot go off trail and there is a paralympic  class.  Able bodied orienteers love it because it tests their map reading skills.  I've always hoped that people with mobility issues would learn about it and get more excited.  When I was working with some groups with disabilities, I did try to publicize it.  But, as usual, I digress.  On Sunday there's a standard meet.   Then we move down to Anaheim for the obvious reason.  And that and what I hope to write about tomorrow are how Nick lured me into coming along.

Vegetarians, dieters and those who are not serious carnivoires should move along to the next paragraph.   One of the great things of traveling with Nick is he finds stuff.  So, he found the Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill and once we were settled in at the hotel, off we went.  Yummm.  We tried not to get too much food, explained to waitress Rachel that we wanted the beef ribs and the chicken and ended up splitting a combo meal.  Yumm.  The ribs were great, the chicken was almost as good, we ate too much and each had a glass of good wine.  Nick had Jacob's Creek Shiraz from Austrailia and, of course, I had Zinfandel, Opolo Vineyards, Paso Robles.

The plan now is to go to sleep early!!  Isn't that amazing?  Like 11:30 so we can pop up early and get breakfast and go to Vasquez Rocks.  I've got a new membory card for my camera, tested it out, battery charged and I know how to set the lighting for cloudy and how to over- or under-expose.  I'm ready!!


© 2009 Esther A. Heller