Smoker – Traveling Across the USA

I will preface this post by saying I am not a smoker and my wife is. My father smoked for forty plus years as did my mother. My father quit smoking several years before he died of lung cancer (He was diagnosed with lung cancer in September and died on Christmas Eve of 1972.). My mother quit smoking around the same time dad did and passed away in 2000 at the age of eighty-eight. My younger brother began smoking in Nam and died of lung cancer in 1991, leaving a widow and two small children.

My wife does smoke. Several years ago our house “flooded” (broken toilet) while we were on vacation. State Farm put us up at a Residence Inn for several months while the drying out and repair work was done. Since then she has not smoked inside the house. She no longer smokes in the car (nicotine patch in use on trips).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 19% of the adult population, about 43 million people, smokes. I imagine that a like percentage frequent hotels and motels as they travel across the country on vacation or business. But, that number does not seem to be reflected in the number of rooms available for smokers (I have not actually counted numbers of room; this is just anecdotal evidence.). Our situation is complicated by my wife having problems walking and needing an ADA room when we stop. When it comes down to getting a proper downstairs ADA room or getting a smoking room, we have to opt for the smoking room, even if it is upstairs without an elevator.

In Eureka, California we stopped at the Best Western Plus – Bayshore Inn. We got a downstairs ADA smoking room just 20 feet from our parking space. Great room. Plenty of space. At the upper end of the facility is a Marie Callender’s Restaurant and at the lower end a steakhouse. The Marie Callender’s is within “walking” distance for my wife. The Bayshore Inn has a good breakfast, including waffles, which I bring to our room so my wife doesn’t have to walk. We’ve stayed there three times in the last several years.

In North Bend, Oregon we get a smoking room at the Mill Casino and Hotel. The room tends to be a bit far to walk to the casino, but because she wants to play the slots and smoke my wife makes it work. We always seem to buy things at the little gift shop and dinner at Whitecaps has always been good.

Next stop: The Dalles, Oregon. We stop, and have stayed here a dozen or so times, at Cousins’ Country Inn. There are no ADA/Smoking rooms. The smoking rooms are in the back of the facility – upstairs.

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho has a nice Super 8 with an ADA/Smoking room right behind the office. No go this year as it was already booked; the Best Western across the street is no smoking. So, we stayed at Motel 6 just down the street. Nice ADA bathroom, smoking but small. Double bed but no chairs (my wife doesn’t count the “wood” desk chair as a chair – too uncomfortable). Just down the street is a Pizza Factory – great pizza. Mini pizzas are just the perfect size for one person; add some garlic bread – yum. (Yes, I walk and get dinner so my wife can relax in the motel room.

In Bozeman, Montana we prefer to stay at the Homewood Suites by Hilton. On the ground floor there is an ADA/Smoking July 4, 2013, Bozeman MTroom that is just about perfect. There’s a nice mall with a Barnes and Noble, Christopher & Banks and souvenir shop just a few miles away. Oh yeah, we also get Subway sandwiches and eat them in our room. Saw a great fireworks show from the hotel parking lot this year and my wife got to see some action from Wimbledon before we hit the road again.

Couldn’t find a smoking room in North Dakota so we’ll just “fly” through the state rather than stopping and spending time and money. So we could travel through North Dakota in an easy day, we stayed a night in Glendive, Montana at a Day’s Inn – downstairs, smoking, near the back entrance (my wife was able to get to the room by walking less the fifty yards. Great fireworks show from the motel parking lot that night also.

Moorhead, Minnesota – smoking room (Super 8 – got a junk-phone sales call from Wyndham a couple of weeks later which rather ticked me off) on the ground floor, non-ADA, but it worked.

As soon as we finalize our plans to return home, my wife will make reservations for each of the places we liked; no waiting for until the last minute.