because we got room-service pancakes, which I gather were probably expensed to someone other than the Royal Father. Residence Inns have always been nice in those days when we could afford a suite. We've never gone wrong with Hampton Inns or Red Roof Inns.
But if you want the worst, read on. Note that all these places are defunct, destroyed, or probably under new branding and management.
The Holiday Inn in Goodland, Kansas: We found it humming with flies. I'm amazed the Queen Mother let me swim in their pool.
A Holiday Inn somewhere in Atlanta: Grape juice stains on the carpet. Chicken feathers in the pillows. Need I go on?
A Best Western In Youngstown, Ohio: The bathroom door had no knob, with a hole where one should have been. Somebody cheesily spackled over the doorknob pin. People had carved initials into the dresser. The carpet kicked up dust when you walked across it, meaning the Queen Mother tried to keep Brother Michael and your servant in bed and off the rug as much as possible. And when we finally lay down for a long nap, we were kept awake by the sounds of a party on the second floor, a bar cart rolling around, and the guests making animal sounds.
Some inns turns out to be less than ideal, but they got Brownie points for stepping up to help us, like that Howard Johnson's in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that only had a room available with a single King bed. The staff brought in two rollaways for the kids.
When Brother Michael was younger, we needed a crib just about anywhere we stayed, and amazingly, we were able to get one -- or we simply confined our stays to the places where we could get one.
It didn't make sense to splurge on a room. We couldn't afford it, and we weren't going to be there long, anyway. We never tried driving all night, like a college road trip. You don't do that with kids riding in the back.