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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

It Really Pays To Be An Elite Customer!

Wednesday February 5, 2014 6:55 PM CST Quality Inn Rm 100 Tupelo, Mississippi

As a Diamond Elite customer of Choice Hotels we got an upgrade last night to a suite and was given two bottles of water as well as chocolates and cracker snacks. That was very nice but the best happened tonight. But I’ll finish up with that story.

Today’s blog entry is not very long. Shortly after settling in last night, the deluge came. Fortunately, though it started as sleet and freezing rain it very quickly changed to cold water. By 2:30 am when I got up for a drink of water, it was all over and it looked really kind of pretty with all the lights in the night time.

We were eating breakfast when Bets called to say that she had a snow day and was very happy to have a catch up day. She does have to work this evening with Owen, however. Hopefully, the snow is over and/or the roads are clear—or even better, they cancelled if the weather is really awful. Soon after our chat on speaker phone—we were the only diners—most of the other guests get on the road much earlier than we—we checked out and were on our way toward Nashville and Old Hickory Boulevard which connect to Tn Rte 100 and thus to the Natchez Trace.  The Loveless CafĂ© actually had an almost empty parking lot so we could have eaten there but neither of us was hungry—we had breakfast only about an hour and a half earlier. So, once more, no meal at the Loveless!

What to tell you about the Trace?  Well, it is a 444 mile National Park running between Nashville, Tn and Natchez, Ms. The Park is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year, though the trail is many centuries old—traveled by many famous folks such as Aaron Burr, Andrew Jackson—going to and returning from the Battle of New Orleans—Merriweather Lewis—who died on the Trace and is buried there. Of course, many less famous folks used it to move West and South over the years. One of the way the government is celebrating is to redesign some of the historical sites, add new more elaborate signs for some ( ML’s grave, for one ) and adding many new brick shithouses—I mean toilets –to replace the old outhouse type accommodations with real flush toilets and sinks with running water.

We both love this road—little traffic and at this time of year, literally, no traffic, –no trucks---no power lines—no guard rails. Lots of wildlife, though today we only saw a few deer, two dogs!, several flocks of turkeys and lots and lots of flocks of cardinals and another little song bird who flies so quickly, I can’t get a good look at it. One cardinal flew up off the road with its fellows and then looped back and smashed right into the top of the windshield in front of Bill. We we silent for miles afterward. There was no way to avoid it but still it is upsetting to hit an animal.

In places the trees were covered with snow and when we stopped to take pictures of the falls, etc, my blue sweater would show the tiny snowflakes that were falling very lightly. Many of the fields were flooded in all three States, last night’s rain having been very wide-spread. We were fortunate, however to have left Cincinnati yesterday morning since they had a heavy ice storm last night.

The temperature fluctuated from 29-33 degrees and the sun never made an appearance!  This is the South? This is Mississippi?  This is awful!

We pulled into Tupelo at around 3 and I called Choice to make a reservation at the Quality Inn. That hotel is all sold out! How about the Sleep Inn (across the street )? That hotel is all sold out! Are there rooms at the Clarion Suites ( next to the Sleep Inn)? That hotel is also sold out. Okay, I’ll have to figure out what we are going to do and call you back.

Bill comes into the Quality and asks about a room—mentions that we are Elite Diamonds, if that makes a difference?  Oh, yes, sir, it sure does. It means you stay with us a lot. Our manager keeps a room in her name for just this sort of situation. You are right in the first room, ground floor, no problem!  HOOOOOOORAY!!!! $ 80. and we get our points besides. Life is good.

Down to Outback to celebrate—New Zealand lamb for me—never mind the expense. Steak for Bill. Home to a super warm room and TV and Books. Those guardian angels worked overtime tonight and I thank them.

On that note, off to watch a movie I think. Night all, somewhere south of Natchez tomorrow—another cold day it looks like but maybe some sun. KandB

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