May 7, 2011

Frugal Traveler of NYTimes smacked me down! Sigh!

     "Never pick a fight with someone that buys ink by the barrel." I know this is one of life's important truths. Now I find myself being quoted by, of all people, Seth Kugel's Frugal Traveler Blog published by the New York Times...and not in a good way!  
     This is what happened.  Recently he twitted about a motel he had stayed at in Florida on one of his road trips. The motel had a full parking lot, it was late in the day and he was proving that travel was possible even if you are not rich so he could write an article for his blog.  The motel owner and his tenants were very friendly and helpful.  He twitted saying that the motel was the friendliest place ever. After I read his twit I was curious to see what the motel looked like.  What I found on google was a picture of the backside of a rundown motel.  I wondered if this was the same motel Mr. Kugel was talking about. I had a question. So I sent a twit reply to Seth asking him to tell me if the place was actually clean.  He mentioned the nice people but did not rate the motel in the twit.  I was wondering.  This is what he wrote about the exchange in the blog he posted last weekend.
“Ocean Mist Motel in Ormond Beach, Fla: friendliest place ever?” I tweeted as I left.
Back shot @barbblogtwits: “I took a look at this on Google. Are you sure this is clean? I would not go there on purpose and I’m not picky!” To me, that was pure anti-motel bias compounded by an amateurish Web site.
     Ouch!  I had to ask myself am I "anti-motel"?  I know I am an amateur but "anti-motel"?  I don't own anything nor am I employed by anyone. I just write about what I see and hear.  AND I stay in motels, both bad and good all the time.  Like the Frugal Traveler I think the best part of any stay is the people, their generosity and love for life.  It was just a simple question. Right?  Evidently I hit a nerve.
      This morning I returned to the search for this little motel and found wonderful reviews and pictures to back them up.  The picture I saw originally was nowhere to be found. It turns out I should not have been worried. All the Trip Adviser reviews for the motel went like this:

Date of review: Mar 10, 2011 
My wife and I have stayed with Chuck twice - once at the end of bike week last year and again during bike week this year. I love the place. It's the "Mom and Pop" type of motel that I love to find when traveling. It appears that Chuck (owner) is constantly fixing the place up and our rooms have been clean on both occasions (believe me, it would have only been one stay if my wife had walked into a less than desirable room). Chuck makes you feel like you're staying at a friend's house. I love the quiet atmosphere (even during bike week) and will certainly be going back. By the way, there's a great diner within walking distance called Alfie's. Don't miss it! Great food at reasonable prices - morning, noon, and night. See you next time Chuck...
 So here is what I have learned:
  1. Never question a man that buys ink by the barrel.  
  2. Don't mess with the Frugal Traveler or ask him for more information
  3. Don't believe what you see on Google...the search can be flawed in so many ways.
  4. I don't want to be a professional.  I prefer my "amateurish" status.  Thank you very much!
  5. If I am ever in Florida at Ormond Beach I will try to book a room at the Ocean Mist Motel!
  6. Dirty motels are creepy.  Seth Kugel said, "And nothing makes getting out of bed easier than waking up in a place that gives you the willies."
  7. I still don't want to book a motel unless I am fairly sure it is going to be clean...no matter how nice the owners are.
     So there you have it.  My 3 seconds of fame!  I am so glad I got that over with.  Now I will be moving on. I just needed to get it off my chest.


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