So that was USA 2008, our 4th trip together.
Below is some thoughts.... good and bad.
The overwhelming good thing about this trip was staying with friends. Our time with Jim and Bette, Eileen and Phil, Nichole and Jonny and Amy, Steve and Daniel was the highlight of the trip and we look forward to a future trip where we spend much more time with friends. We thank them all for their hospitality and patience.
The worst thing on the trip was Gary getting sick - that stopped us for 2 days in Dallas and slowed us down for about a week. It cost us going down to the gulf and seeing New Orleans amongst other cities as well. It also stopped us from going to Florida. Thanks to Jim and Bette for allowing Gary to snooze away a few days in their RV as he slowly recovered.
Another negative would probably be the amount of driving we ended up doing. So why do it, blame Gary!
Nearly all the restaurants have good service and it is hard to pick one better than the other. Hotel service is not always as good but usually OK. Carmen at the Cedar City Post Office provided some great service, a lovely lady, very friendly and helpful.
Some great service came from an unexpected and unwanted source. Dr Bixby who visited Gary in the Dallas hotel room was very good. Thorough to the extreme he went out of his way to assist us. He was very expensive, lets see if the travel insurance covers that. However, he made sure that he left medication, went next door to the gas/petrol station to buy suitable drink and rang twice over the following days to follow Gary's progress. Great service at a very difficult time for both of us.
Surprisingly the worst service came in the first hour or so of arriving in the USA. The gentleman behind the counter at Alamo Car Rental was pushy, rude and abrupt. The car was pre-paid, he wanted to sell us unwanted extras and became rude when we refused. Then manner in which he told us which row to go to collect our car was a disgrace.
In Alamo's defense, the gentleman Gary spoke with to arrange a car swap in Las Vegas on day three (Ian, we think) was very courteous and helpful.
To once again bag Alamo, having paid in full up front we were surprised and annoyed when we were charged $US62 for taxes, etc when we returned the car to Las Vegas. Gary was too tired to argue but we will keep that little rip off in mind when we look to next rent a car.
The service we got at the Super 8 in Middletown, New York was also dreadful. To quote the diary..... the Super 8 in Middletown New York is a bad hotel with reception people who care nothing about anything. Never will we go there again.
We tried to avoid Super 8's, a letter of complaint sent to their head office has so far been left unanswered. We have some USA trips left in us and we will continue to try and avoid Super 8 hotels.
The MGM Grand was the best hotel as far as the room goes. It was annoying to have to deal with the casinos and the shear size of the place but the room was great with the most comfortable of beds.
The Days Inn in Leeds, Alabama was very nice - it was a nice newly renovated Days Inn and it was a pleasant stop. Gary was still sick and slept little but it was a nice hotel to be sick in.
We usually try to stay in Days Inns. They seem consistently to be OK hotels and very rarely a bad one. Towards the end of the trip we stumbled onto a Comfort Inn and then the following 2 nights we chose Comfort Inns and they were very nice - we may stick with Comfort Inns in the future.
The Jim and Bette RV was very nice, very cosy. Eileen and Phil's spare room was very nice although it did sway a bit in that earthquake. Nichole and Jonny's spare room was great and we are always very comfortable in Cedar City with Amy and Steve.
When all is said and done that bed at the MGM Grand was a pearler. Maybe we were just tired!