So the drive to Charleston was uneventful. The Ioniq has proven to be quite the adept and comfortable long range cruiser. The great gas mileage, comfortable seats with more legroom than the Prius, and tech like Sirius XM and intelligent cruise control makes the miles pass by easily. We did almost 500 miles yesterday and it was not a big deal.
We pulled into our motel, The Creekside Lands Inn with the hope it would be half decent. However as soon as I saw it was a place where the rooms have exterior facing doors I knew it was likely to have problems. During my various road trips over the last decade or more, a hotels/motels with exterior facing doors are usually shitty, almost without exception.
The lobby didn’t seem awful but certainly was nothing impressive. The clerk said our room was by the pool which can be a good or bad thing. In our case it was the latter. So I am not sure how many seconds it took from when we entered the room until Cindy first uttered the word “disgusting” but it wasn’t long. It was a word she relied heavily on the rest of the night.
The place looked like it was an old, shitty, place that they tried to refresh with some poorly executed facelift items. For example they had a newer granite countertop and sink but the bathroom had a dilapidated toilet right next to it with a toilet seat that was so old the finish was peeling off. The tub had a rust spot on the bottom of it and the faucet in there was not attached to the wall, it was just hanging off the pipe. The door to the bathroom was stained on both sides extensively by who knows what. When you looked at the edge of the door you realized that half of the guts of the door were missing for some reason. Closing the door completely required you to lean into it with your bodyweight.
However the most egregious thing of all was revealed when you looked up, and saw daylight. The ceiling of the bathroom was comprised of large wood “tiles”. Evidently years of bathroom moisture had warped the wood resulting in a couple inch gap that gave you a clear view of cinderblock and daylight.
The chair and ottoman in the room were old, stained, dirty and gross. We refused to sit on it. Although the sheets/pillows on the bed seemed pretty clean, the bed sheet cover looked to be in similar condition to the chair. The word “disgusting” rolled from Cindy’s mouth like she had terets as she surveyed our accommodations. If the visuals weren’t bad enough the room stank big time. Evidently the large gap in the bathroom let the fresh, marshy air to flow into the space unabated.
I tried to keep a more funny/positive attitude about the place. I have stayed in shitty places before during road trips so it wasn’t that huge of a deal. We decided to go take a quick ride on the wheels on a nearby bike/running path Cindy had read about. We both agreed anything to get us out of the room was a good move.
After we got back we tried to come up with a game plan. Cindy wanted to see some of Charleston and I didn’t want her wish to not come true since we were right there. The issue was it was already something like 6:30 and we had plans to try to get on the road early the next day for the long push to Rehoboth.
We wound up walking across the street to an Italian restaurant. We enjoyed a nice meal out on the deck. Our waitress was nice and gave us some tips on what to do/where to park if we go into Charleston. We took her advice and went to grab the car. As we prepared to leave we saw the motel had filled up quite a bit and the pool area was filled with crazy kids, a preview of what was waiting for us upon our return.
The drive into Charleston was not long, 15-20 minutes max. There was ample free street parking. As we drove in Cindy really liked the classic southern architecture that was everywhere you looked. We parked near the Battery, a waterfront historical area that is a famous tourist attraction.
At first Cindy wanted to walk but then changed her mind and agreed the wheels would be the best way to take in as much of the views in the limited timeframe we had. We got there shortly after sunset so the crowds were starting to disperse but the colors over the water still looked beautiful.
As we rode around we got a ton of looks and questions about what the hell we were riding. The ride had some challenging terrain with a lot of broken up sidewalk, high curbs and even cobblestones. Cindy did a good job handling the challenges.
I expected more congestion but we had mostly smooth sailing on the wheels, many times cruising down the middle of empty one way streets that carved between the beautiful architecture all around us.
Although I was originally concerned about spending too much time there, once we started riding it was just fun. I would have stayed as long as Cindy wanted. She actually was the one to say she was ready to go because she was getting fatigued from the riding. The newly installed trolley handle on the Msuper definitely came in handy for the times Cindy decided to walk instead of ride. I’m glad it worked out as planned.
When we got back to the smelly room it was pretty much a zoo outside. The parking lot was almost entirely full and there were a lot of people outside of their rooms. Of course the most crazy and loud spot was the pool where tons of kids were carrying on.
We headed into the room, hoping the loud AC unit fan would somewhat insulate us from the noise. Cindy refused to take a shower in the “disgusting” bathroom. I was ok with venturing in there. Besides the rust spot on the floor of the tub the rest of the space was not awful although it did take a loooong time to get hot water flowing. Other than that the shower was ok.
The sleep experience in the room as you can guess was less than ideal. We had the tv on to block some noise and lull us to sleep however it stopped working for who knows why. We did our best to avoid contact with the “disgusting” bed cover as much as possible. The mattress had little to no support, I almost felt like I was laying in a hammock. We also had a steady stream of noise from the pool which thankfully subsided around 11PM. Somehow I did actually manage to fall asleep for a period of time although I spent the last few hours of the night restlessly.
We got up before 6 eager to get the f out. Cindy actually was brave enough to try out the shower this time. I took another one as well to wash off whatever may have adhered itself to me during the night. We decided to skip the complimentary breakfast that is provided, convinced it would be shitty as well. We instead grabbed breakfast at a nearby Dunkin Donuts along with coffee. If you are traveling into the Charleston area I would strongly advise you avoid The Creekside Lands Inn. It’s a dump, like a beat up 74 Vega with a new steering wheel cover on it.
We are in the midst of the North Carolina segment of the drive. We stopped at South of the Border, one of the biggest tourist traps every imagined. It is unapologetic in it’s corny approach and it just works. Cindy and I spent maybe an hour walking around. She loved the silliness that is at every turn in the complex. I have been there close to double digit times but it always manages to make me smile.
We are heading to Rehoboth via a route that takes us across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, another site Cindy has never seen before. It’s been a number of years since I crossed it so it will be cool for me too.
At some point this evening we should be meeting up with Todd and my niece. It’s her birthday today and she requested a game of miniature golf with us to celebrate. It’s a request we can certainly grant.