Off we go

Santee Travel Blog

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**Note...the date of this day of travel is really 07/18/09.  For some reason the site is showing review entry as a journal entry, and will not allow me to put the entries in in the correct order**

Today was the first of two travel days. My youngest son has been at Boy Scout camp since Monday. I was going to drive out to get him so we could leave at a reasonable time. The plan is to drive until we just cant stand being in the car any longer. Yesterday I received a call at work from my scout. He asked me what time I was planning on picking him up. I told him I would be there between 8:30 and 9:00. He told me the troop planned to leave at 7:30 and asked if he could just come home with his troop. I knew better, but the thought of not having to make that hour drive to get him and then another hour to get back to the house (in the face of planned drive of 6-7 hrs) was just to much to pass up. So I said ok.  Well that turned out to be a mistake. He did not get back until 11:00. By the time he took a shower and was ready, we were about an hour and half behind my schedule. Good think I flexible.

We left San Diego and started north. We hit the expected and usuall L.A. traffic, but once past Magic Mountain it was clear sailing. As we were driving I noticed it was hot. Not just warm, but damn hot. Like 110 degrees hot!!!  We made a couple of stops for bathroom and food/drink breaks.

After about 7 hours of driving we had had enough. I got off the freeway in Lathrop (about an hour outside of Stockton).  I thought we had driven far enough, and our drive tomorrow should only be about 3 hours or so. Since we had not really planned our stop, as soon as we got off the freeway I started looking for a place to bunk down (see dude ranch term already) for the night. There was some sort of regional baseball game going on and it turned out it was going to be difficult to find a room. The first place was your typical highway flop hotel. At the desk the clerk told me, we only have single Kings left. We had brought an air mattress so I asked how much. $89 for a single King. Nope! Way to much for this hotel. I told the clerk, thank you but I can do better!  I saw a Best Western as we were getting off the freeway and headed back to it.  Again, I approached the front desk staff. This hotel had a very friendly woman and man working the desk. When I asked if they had any rooms with a double queen or equivilent the man said no. The woman worked her magic on her keyboard and said, well yes we do. One of the teams that was in town did not need one of the rooms they had reserved. She said we could have it. I said great. Then I asked how much. She told me $99 dollars. I asked if they gave government discounts. She said yes. Our room was now $82. Great. As we were doing the check in stuff. She found a problem. Their system would not release the room from the reservation. Ever the professional, the woman (named Sonia) said, could I interest you in a King Suite for the same price. It has a King bed, a pull out in a couch, and we could roll in a roll away. I said, sure we will take the room. We have a inflateable mattress (thanks to the my girlfriend) so we all have our own beds. Sweet!!!

We checked in and went up to the room. It is perfect. Lots of room, clean, yada yada yada. I will be doing a review in a bit.

After dropping our bags we went out to get a bite to eat. I had noticed our room had a microwave, so we just went to the nearby grocery store and bought some tv dinners and other drinks and snacks. Made for a simple, cheap meal, and everybody got what they wanted. It had been a toss up between pizza and subs.

When we got back to the room we found out that the hotel offers free wi fi in the rooms. Double sweet as both my youngest son and I have our laptops with us. (Stop laughing!!!)

We ate, got caught up on email, and are planning on going down to the pool.

Next up.  Finish our drive to Quincy, and start our Dude Ranch adventure.

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photo by: sdbleve