Day 4: Smuggle Me a Notch…

I think it’s a rule that there will always be at least a couple of bad days in a vacation… I’d say day 4 was one of those.   It began in Syracuse, NY the night before when we had to trade cars because my seatbelt refused to work 85% of the time… which is totes ironic since there were years when I couldn’t fit a seatbelt around my bulk and now that I can, my seatbelts won’t come out of the door frame.  Frustrated me all to hades and back trying to get that thing to budge.   It was fine, though, because we were driving a Jeep Patriot and we weren’t so much fond of it.  It kind of sucked.  We traded her out for a Kia Sorento… totes an upgrade, even if the seats were all stained and looked like someone decided to have a “bring your own mud” volleyball party on the seats (see Ma… I explained it nicer like than I did on the trip).

Here she is in all her glory… with Illinois plates… hmmmm… I wonder how that worked out… coughcough!  I’d also like to take this opportunity to propose marriage to my GPS… Freda.  Oh laws, I’m in love with that thing.  I’m sorry Northeasterners, but your roads are screwed up!  😛  I couldn’t find my way out of a paper bag with them windy streets.  That’s one thing I missed about UT streets… block system is the best invention in the WORLD… look it up… you’ll find it right next to the invention of sliced bread.  Anywho, Freda saved our butts on an hourly basis.  We rarely got lost when we had the address plugged into good ole Freed.

Day 4 was spent driving… the longest travel day so far.  We were driving from Syracuse, NY to Jeffersonville, Vermont in POURING rain the whole way… THE WHOLE WAY.  This was not a friendly little sprinkle of lemony goodness… this was like standing underneath the Niagara Falls all over again.  We stopped at a rest area at one point and just walking from the car into the building 20 feet away left me looking like a weasel stuck up a crick.   It was in that rest stop that I also managed to burn my tongue on a sip of hot chocolate, drop half a cup of hot chocolate on the floor, and then wreaked havoc when I threw the rest in the garbage can because it burnt my hand.  Did I mention I was valedictorian?  Good… because I wasn’t!  It only got worse when it got darker… the roads were narrow, the rain was heavy, and we couldn’t see a dagnabbed thing.

It was with much relief that we finally arrived at our destination at around 8:00ish to check into the “Smuggler’s Notch Inn” or as I liked to call it “GET THE HELL OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!”  Oh lawsy Gertrude in a pile of cow manure, this place was bad.  It didn’t look that bad when I’d booked it on the Internet (PHOTOSHOP), but in person… laws almighty.  It was an old house with original floors that slanted toward the middle of the house… thank all that be holy I left my silk sheets and pajamas at home this time… otherwise I’d have spent the whole night sliding out of bed.  The room contained 2 twin beds and was the size of a small jail cell… oh, and there was no elevator and our bags weighed 50 pounds each… no problem.  I usually carry mine around on my head.  Cleanliness was also not a strong point… they should have put that on the brochure.  We seriously considered trying to get out of the stay and find somewhere else and even went as far as to get Lindsay on the computer back home to try to find us something.

In the meantime, it was time for dinner!  We asked the lady that checked us in where she’d recommend going.  Turns out it’s an itty bitty town with only 2 restaurants, both of which she said were fabulous.  Okay… we’ll take your word for it.  We picked the wrong one obviously because I swear to you I got food poisoning.  My pasta was nasty and the sauce on top of it tasted rancid.  I ate 2 bites and then pushed the rest of it to the far side of the plate so it would look like I’d eaten more.  Madre got pumpkin ravioli that made her want to vomit… and don’t even get me started on the dinner salads… unless you enjoy wilted spinach leaves and wilted vegetables and dressing reminiscent of liquid tar… and it only cost me $30 for my dish alone… well worth the 2 bites I had!  NOT!   Never fear… I had my bed to look forward to back at the Smuggler’s Notch Inn.

It’s a wonder I didn’t take any pictures on this day.  It was too rainy to get out to take them and I didn’t want to remember my Inn.  I was determined to get up early and make day 5 one to remember… you best believe it.  Rain behave yourself!

Question of the Day:   Have you ever had a bad hotel/restaurant experience?   Misery loves company, so let me know the details in the comments! 


Filed under Tripping 2011: New England

23 responses to “Day 4: Smuggle Me a Notch…


    We had more than one rainy day. Everyday for the first 8 we were rained on. But what a beautiful pictures of the colors. Pictures don’t usually do it justice–but you caught the colors in that one.

    • We were the same… it rained pretty much every day, except for one, Boston day, which I was grateful for since that required a lot of walking! The colors over there were beautiful, weren’t they?

  2. Avster

    Nice shot!

    Just wanted to make you feel at home with the Illinois license plates! Thought maybe you would just stop once you reached Illinois, thinking that that was where you really lived.
    (Ha! Really, that’s what you get for saying it looked weird seeing all the Illinoisan license plates. :b )

    Bad experience? Definitely! One was going from Florida to North Carolina… mom and I wanted to be east of Atlanta… so I drove through Atlanta at rush hour (I was sixteen then :b ) and we made it to the other side… but mom wanted to continue so we were out of city limits… so we continued… and drove and drove and drove. Finally we reached an exit that claimed to have one hotel. Well, it did and we could see it, but we could not figure out how to get to the hotel. No road seemed to go there!
    We turned around and went back to the interstate and drove and drove and drove. Near midnight we finally we reached a hotel… and the parking lot was full. Apparently the pool never closed as there were a few people in there and I don’t think anyone wanted to go in and see exactly what they were doing. 😮
    We went in and discovered they had just one room yet… and it was smoking. Mom looked at me and asked if I thought it would be okay as I’m allergic to cigarette smoke. I was tired of driving (my mother refuses to drive at night- especially when it’s raining, which it was) so I said I’d live.
    So we received the room number and made our way into the stinkiest room I’ve ever been in- and that’s saying something having grown up with a lot of brothers. 😉 It smelled a bit like cigarette smoke, but it reeked of alcohol. Even the sheets reeked of alcohol… and the sheets were complete with holes from cigarette ashes landing on them.
    It was pretty miserable. I recall thinking that it was probably just about as hygenic to sleep on the floor!

    The last bad experience was all due to my father… We were driving to Florida once again and for my father’s early birthday gift someone had given him a bag of cashews. Yum!
    Well… my father munched on the cashews all the way from Illinois to Alabama. There was only about a fourth of a cup left in the one pound bag of cashews by the time we arrived at the hotel… and yes, a few others ate a few cashews, but my father ate the vast majority.
    So what happens in the middle of the night? Around one my father begins to upchuck… and he upchucked *all* night at fifteen minute intervals.
    I will confess to laughing at one point. One really had to laugh because it was so miserable- and I happened to be the person with the bed nearest the bathroom I heard *everything*. My father is not a quiet puker. I’m sure the people in the rooms near us heard him as well.
    At one point my father staggered back into the room and flopped down on his bed and said, “I think I’m dying.” and I cracked up and silently laughed for a good, long while.
    In the morning mom asked me if she heard dad say that and we both cracked up- much to the annoyance of dad.

    • Oh laws… I can smell the cigarette/alcohol room just from your description… you best believe I’d have slept out on the grass if it came to that! YUCK!!! As for the cashew story… how miserable for the padre… but I guess he won’t be eating cashews anytime soon!!

  3. seth

    thats an awesome fall picture!

  4. cl2

    If I were to tell you mine, it would take a book . . .

    How about 2nd night of honeymoon. We wore flipflops the whole time because the carpet was so disgusting. The night my van threw a rod in Norco, CA on the way to Disneyland at 3 a.m.–the alternator went out in Yermo and 2 guys fixed it. I had MY KIDS and my SISTER’S KIDS (and my sister and her husband passed us twice . . . and didn’t see us). They didn’t even call my mom to find out what happened to us. The hotel I got that night at 3:30 a.m.–some foreigners who took beds out of rooms, so I had to get 2 rooms. They had filled the swimming pool with dirt . . . and when they said the kids could stay in the rooms until I got back with the rental car, they LIED. Thankfully, my sister’s kids were teenagers.

    There was the time driving to AZ with my sister and brother-in-law that we got food poisoning–but we stopped at one hotel, paid, and went back and got our money back after seeing the room and slept in the car.

    The list goes on and on. I’m sure I could come up with more . . . like Alaska this time. My daughter rented us a cabin for 2 nights. “Bring your own bedding and hike 2 miles in.” We opted out of that one and got a room those nights.

  5. cl2

    Whoops! I didn’t mention the bad eating out experiences. I’ll leave those alone–except to say–BE GRATEFUL for the places we have to eat in old Logan, Utah like Grist Mill!!!!! I got a cinnamon roll here in Colorado and some sugar cookies. Oh my! I threw them away.

  6. Julie

    On vacation at Myrtle beach… great hotel rate… but…. the air conditioning unit that hung above my bed dripped dirty water about a 1/4 from the edge of the bed. Every time I rolled over, it felt like someone spit on me. There was a “wet spot” from the accumulated dripping, and even the comforter was stained there and had a nasty moldy smell. When I phoned the front desk, they said they’d send someone up. I asked to have a room change, but they said they were full. We called maintenance both nights. Although they claimed it was fixed, it never was. I ended up sleeping with a garbage bag and pool towel.

  7. Louisa a.k.a. ProudMomOfTwo

    Gorgeous photo!
    Yikes your day #4 was rough!

    Question of the Day: Have you ever had a bad hotel/restaurant experience? Misery loves company, so let me know the details in the comments!

    We have stayed in some hotels & motels over the years that were less than terrific but nothing as bad as any everyone has described.
    I can only remember one time we had to be moved to another room because it clearly had NOT been cleaned before we got there.

  8. Sounds like a fun adventure. I haven’t had too many travel horror stories. When I was in DC, there was an alarm clock going off in the middle of the night. We couldn’t tell for sure which room it was in, but we heard it going off for a good 2 hours. We called the front desk about it, but no help. Next night, same dang thing. At least it was a clean place.

  9. Karen

    You make misery almost sound enjoyable. That is one day you will remember!

  10. jen

    I like to be on vacation but I am always glad to back home where I feel most comfortable. I was wondering if you could email me some of your pretty pictures from your trip sometime? I have an empty frame that needs some phtos. Yours are so good.

    • Jen… I replied on the other one because I’m stupid… you are welcome to any pictures (though, I’d use your bros pics… they are 20 times better!) Just holler and tell me which one(s) you want and I’ll send ’em over!

  11. Okay, I have had a few gross hotel encounters. One that comes to mind is a room that seemed okay enough until I went to draw the kids a bath and there was poop smeared across the shower curtain–no joke. We got that switched out–I gag just thinking about it, but we also got the hotel back by the rather large puke stain that my son left on their lovely carpet 🙂
    Restaurants: One lovely place in Logan, that no longer is in business did serve our drinks in glasses with lipstick on them–uh folks, it looks like your dishwasher is broken! Also, I remember on family vacation going to a place called “What’s Cookin’?” where the food was inedible and the service even worse. After a bit, we just called it quits and went to the Dunkin’ Donuts across the parking lot. The worst stuff can make the best memories 🙂

    • You can’t see me, but I am having convulsions just reading your encounters! OH MY LAWSSSSSS!!! That is the nastiest shower curtain story!! Now you have me all curious about which restaurant this was in Logan!? Recent or old? Not Amy’s Mongolian Barbecue?

  12. It was Glauser’s–the one and only time I set foot in there. I quite enjoyed Amy’s until all that about mice and such came out. Barf 🙂

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