Saturday, September 03, 2011

Laboring on Labor Day

Rest Area I-10
Rest area on I-10 on the way to Tallahassee
I'm back up in Tallahassee this Labor Day weekend, moving furniture ... again.

All that furniture that I helped pack and move in July into storage was moved into a duplex located next to Myers Park in Tallahassee. That area's homes are part of a historic district. This is where FSU faculty used to live in the 1930s and 1940s.

The area is beautiful. The half of the duplex she has is an artist's house, with real plaster walls and hardwood floors. The doors between rooms are wide and have that arch characteristic of homes from the era. For a young artist starting out, this is the perfect location, in a quiet neighborhood with established neighbors.

Getting here was something of an adventure. Saturday August 3rd was an FSU home game against Louisiana-Monroe. As a consequence the local motels had jacked up their prices two to three times their normal rates. For example, we like to stay at the local Red Roof on Monroe and I-10. Our normal rate is $44/night. This weekend it was advertised at $104/night. As a consequence I made the horrible mistake of booking a room at Roadway Inn just down the road on Monroe.

We traveled up to Tallahassee late Friday. On the way up I got an email from Choice Hotels International. They'd sent me a warning telling me that the Roadway Inn had changed "affiliations" and they couldn't guarantee my room. In a panic I called Roadway and asked if our reservation was still on. Roadway said it was, but I should have realized the email was something of a warning of things to come.

Getting into Tallahassee around 7pm, we quickly arrived at the Roadway. My heart sank when I first saw the exterior; it was run down and in need of some serious love. It sank further when I went into the front and smelled as well as saw the place. The receptionist was nice and pleasant, but the room we were given was dirty, the air conditioner wouldn't work, the bathroom was a wreck...

Red Roof Inn SignageAfter 10 minutes in the room I immediately got back in the car, drove up to Red Roof, and managed to convince the Red Roof receptionist to rent us a room for the regular rate of $44/night. Ten minutes later I was back at the Roadway, everybody and everything was packed back in the Prius, and we were on our way up to the Red Roof Inn. Roadway gave us a complete refund at the desk without any arguments, which was a relief.

That night and the following morning my wife thanked me for getting us back up to Red Roof. I'm not saying that all Roadways are bad, but this one is far below average for a motel, especially when compared with the Red Roof a block up Monroe.

Early Saturday I was up and picking up a rental truck at the local Budget. It was bigger than the U-Haul I'd used to move the furniture into storage, which was a good thing. It took only one trip to move everything out of storage and into the duplex. I also had help.

Meg's had a male friend give me a hand moving her two big pieces of furniture. With his help everything was moved out of storage and into her place by late morning, and the truck was back at Budget before 1pm.

Because the home football game started at 3pm, we stayed away from the downtown Tallahassee area to avoid all the traffic. Or at least we thought it was going to be a lot of traffic. Maybe because it was Louisiana-Monroe (who?), or the economy, or some combination thereof, but home game traffic was considerably lighter than we'd experienced in the past. Still, it was better to just stay away. By 7pm the game was over (FSU won, 34-0), the traffic had cleared, Megs was back at her place and unpacking had started.

Tomorrow we finish helping Megs unpack and hopefully spend some quality time. Meg's and one of her friends are planning to head down to Tampa and Bush Garden's Sunday afternoon for Labor Day. Her parents get to head back to Orlando first thing Monday morning so I can get some labor done around the house before I head back to work Tuesday.

I guess that's why they call it Labor Day.

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