Saturday, May 24, 2008

Travelodge, Desert Mountain Town

My brain does not adjust to drastic change very well. It punishes me by not letting me sleep. I also have many requirements for sleep like dark, quiet, clean sheets. So when I called out to outdoor-chair sitting Egg from the furniture-free floor in GR and asked in what hotel he would like to stay while we looked for houses in Desert Mountain Town, he said Little America. His family is related to the owners. This does not get us a discount. It doesn't even get us a room--everything in town was booked for graduation. As was everything except the Travelodge. Also: one could stay at the Travelodge for 5 days for what one could stay at Little America for 2. And I'm feeling the budgetary pinch of moving and buying and summer. So the Travelodge it is. I booked a suite--it came with a fireplace and a fridge. What else could I need?

When we got to the hotel (motel?), Egg groaned a little. I said that we'd stayed in worse places--in Kemmerer, WY (fossil fish capital of the world) on our way to the Wind Rivers for our honeymoon, all those motels on the Olympic Peninsula the October we first started dating, and the Chelsea Hotel--the famous hotel that writers and other bohemian types used to stay and write(and apparently go to die). The Travelodge could not be worse than the Chelsea where there was at least three inches between the floor and the outer door so you could watch the 70 year old's high heels click up and down the hallway all night and where sleeping with the light on kept a few of the cockroaches at bay.

And it wasn't as bad as the Chelsea. We were put into a regular two bed room so I had to go back and ask for the suite. Suite might be an overstatement. It meant: fridge and microwave. This particular suite came without the fireplace but it did have wireless so what else did I need?

Apparently I needed a train running through the room at night. The Travelodge sits (as do many of the other hotels, including Little America) near the train tracks. The Travelodge is a little closer than the others in that it sits on the tracks, but trains are romantic, no? Part of the charm of the west and mountain towns and route 66?
Not at midnight. And 1. and 1:30. And 2, 3, 3:45, 4, 4:15, 4:30, 4:58. They don't just drive through either. They honk their horns both with safety and pleasure in mind. Some trains honk only twice per intersection. Some honk all the way from LA to Chicago.
So it wasn't that quiet.
And apparently Arizona thinks daylight savings is for democrats or something. The sun started to peek through the not so sun-blocking curtains by quarter to five. It was full bright by 5:30. It felt like about 9 a.m. Except I didn't have the I-slept-in-so-long feeling. I had the, I-didn't-sleep- at-all feeling. One night, I woke up at 2 and never went back to sleep.

It wasn't just the Travelodge contributing to my lack of sleep. The exorbitant housing prices, the lack of friends there, the fact that it was 80 degrees already (although it snowed the next day), the concern that this new job may not be better than the old one (or what if it's worse?), and the fact that somewhere in Wyoming I realized I wasn't exactly moving home. As the Wind River range passed on my left, the craggy, I remembered that the snow-covered Rockies are not the softer, Ponderosa-filled mountains of the desert.

Other sleep issues include:
When I got to Salt Lake, a dump truck rammed the back of my car. Z was in the back in her carseat but she was OK. I was sore and suddenly busy with more paperwork.
Egg's mom's house is the opposite of the Travelodge: clean, quiet, and except for one night, cool. And yet, the 2 in the morning thing happened. As did the 3, 4, 5.....I blame it on the fluctuating interest rate, the fluctuating temperature (94 one day! 44 the next), the fluctuating time zone, and the fluctuating certainty that change is necessarily good.

4 comments:

Lisa B. said...

The fact that this is a funny, funny post does not mean that I don't feel empathy for you and your unsettled, fluctuating state(s). Hope some happy things start happening for you--especially a good night's sleep, which really does make everything, or almost everything, look quite a bit better.

P said...

agree with lisa b. Soon you will feel better. I used to hear a train each night from downington ave. I see 5 am each day for 2 more weeks, then I will be able to sleep in and see you in the salty city

Molly said...

Nicole! It will get better! You made a good move. You really did. You won't have time to realize it until near the end of October or so, but then you'll look around at your new, clean home and it will be two o'clock in the morning, but only because you've just had a load of new friends over, and then you will go to sleep and be uncumbered by all these worries and trains.

Dr. Write said...

I hear you on the sleep thing. I finally got a good night's sleep and I feel like a whole new person.
In other news, it's so freaking hot here. So feel good about your coolness.
And don't doubt your decisions. You've gotta have faith!!