A road trip would be great if it weren’t for the motel smell

I just got back from a road trip last night, a two day drive to Southern California to drop our younger kid off at college again. We like to help him haul his stuff, mostly clothes, bicycles and snowboards, to his dorm room, have dinner in a nice  restaurant, and take a leisurely drive back. 

I sure enjoy a road trip, but I’m butt tired. I always dump my suitcase out fast because I know if I don’t it will sit in the bedroom for a couple of days. 

Ooooo, the suitcase smells like motel room. That perfume smell they put in the linens and spray all over the carpet to hide how badly they are treated. When we visited this resort town a couple of years ago, we encountered a mountain of towels and sheets, a mountain at least twice my height, laying on the floor in the parking garage, in a little enclosure. I realized, this is standard procedure for these linen companies – they deal in huge quantities of linens, they sit for days, filthy, so they have to be bleached half to death, and then comes the dryer softener sheets to cover the stink. 

Dryer softener sheets make me sick. They shut down my sinuses, and I’ve had rashes that went up to my neck. Typically in a motel room I’ll wake up in the middle of the night unable to breathe, have to make some midnight tea in the coffee maker, watch an episode or two of Key and Peele. A motel morning is always like a hangover for me.

I’ll tell you what, this is a nice place, even the hot tub is clean. I blame the linen service. 

Okay, so I take my own sheets, and this time I took a pillow. I strip off the motel sheets and replace them with my own. The room stay was okay – compared to forest fire air quality outside.  But when I brought the pillow and linens in from the car last night that perfume stink hit me as soon as I walked in the house. I had to take them back out to the garage. Today I will wash EVERYTHING that went into that motel room, but it will probably take more than one washing. The pillow will be left on the clothesline until it either loses that stink or goes in the trash out front.

I have a pair of pajamas I only use for traveling. I had to wash them three times the last time we traveled, before I could smell clean sunshine again. 

I hate motel traveling, but I love visiting my son at school, enjoying the snow parks nearby (there’s two within a 20 minute drive of his college), and the restaurants are pretty affordable and they treat you nice. We did an over-nighter this time, but that’s kind of onerous driving. If you want to snowboard or ride mountain bikes, it’s pretty awful to jump in the car afterwards and drive six hours home. So, I have to figure out a way to get around the motel smell. 

Other than that, it was a perfect trip, great meals, very little sniveling in the parking lot – I’ll try to post some pictures when I find my camera.


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