Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cheap But Not Sleazy

I've always heard that Anchorage is an expensive city in which to stay. In planning my "pre-Katmai" visit to the city, however, I am finding deals and bargains. It just takes patience, a good search engine or 2, and my brother Larry on the computer.

There are reasonable rates to be found on hotels.com for all the major chains (Days, Comfort) in addition to local inns with ambiance that includes log structures, moose heads in the lobby, and a view of Russia from the top floor. My criteria for a motel in Anchorage includes free transport to and from the airport, free wi-fi, free breakfast (preferably full but continental will do in a pinch - I can always hoard fruit and muffins for a mid-afternoon re-fuel), and - perhaps most importantly - cheap but not sleazy.
I like to travel and stay in motels, but some of them really make me nervous. One time I was on my way back to TN with my Dad and we needed to pull off the super-slab of I-40 for the night. At some forgettable exit in Arkansas we found ourselves choosing between a motel that "leaves the light on" and one that apparently couldn't afford light bulbs. So which did we choose? "Oh lets stay in the old, run-down dive with local color!" My father looked at me like I had been driving waaaay too long, but he just said "Whatever..." and agreed in the end. The worst part of this particular lodging choice turned out to be the piles of peanut shells inside and under the bedside table. Let it be recorded that we did not rest well that night and took off in the morning without looking back.

For my Anchorage stay I found a Ramada Inn that meets all my discriminating criteria (What? No free spa treatments or upgrade to the jacuzzi suite?) plus the price is right at $55/night. It's downtown and convenient to that microbrewery where I must check out the bar for its possible granitic composition (hey, we knew there was going to be something about geology somewhere in this post).

And here's an FYI for you: if you ever buy so-called granite countertops, beware!!! There is no such thing (geologically speaking) as granite. The rock should be referred to as granitoid. I learned this at college so it must be true. PLUS - your "granite" countertop might just be from a metamorphic rock. Love that!

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