This is the bedspread in the motel we stayed at in Ventura. Can you tell what motel we stayed in? Look closely. Click on the pic if you have to.
OK, that was easy.
But this is an entirely new bedspread for Motel 6! No more of that corporate, restrained, "tasteful" decor. ("Tasteful" invariably means bland. None for me, thanks.) We prowled outside the door to the laundry room for a few minutes, hoping to find the place unmonitored for long enough to pilfer one of these wacko bedspreads. No such luck.
Still, it was a great trip, down 101 and back up again, staying in different Motel 6's along the way. They're inexpensive, and they allow dogs in the rooms.
We always reserve a non-smoking room on the ground floor, and we almost always end up in a non-smoking room on the ground floor that reeks of cigarette smoke. Cranky figures that ground-floor rooms are primo real estate because they don't require you to schlep luggage up stairs. He suspects that smokers who ask for a smokers' ground-floor room are sometimes told there aren't any available, and that said smokers suddenly become pseudo "non-smokers" — and then just merrily light up anyway. (Hey. They're smokers. No wonder they don't want to trudge upstairs. Gasp.) Motel 6 provides ashtrays in non-smoking rooms, just in case. And they get used. A lot. Cranky has taken to calling the place Motel Cigs.
But this place in Ventura was sweet, freshly painted, bright and pleasant. We sat on the beach for a couple of hours, and then wandered over to a Mexican restaurant (Joannafina's) where we enjoyed sopes on the patio, with the doggie hidden in my bag. The next morning we found a terrific Mexican restaurant (Evita's) that serves brilliant burritos with award-winning salsa. Yes: patio, pooch, purse.
Traveling with a dog puts huge limitations on eating options. Sometimes that results in lounging on a gaudy bedspread, munching on Tim's Cascade Style Jalapeño Potato Chips, slurping Bud Light, and channel surfing the Food Network. Other times we've made do with impromptu pita/hummus/tomato/cucumber sandwiches, or enjoyed an ad hoc salad of leftover roasted beets brought especially for the trip, tossed with cotija cheese, cut-up apples and shelled walnuts.
But it's nice to be home.