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I wrote this up awhile back after having a dream that reminded me about it. I wasn't sure if or where I'd post it, but I might as well put it here. This is my "worst hotel" experience (everyone has one, right?).
My cousin Stacy and I were on a road trip across Canada in 2000. We had made a stop in Edmonton at what was then the world's largest mall, and on "Bourbon Street" (part of the mall) we went and saw a comedy show. After the show, we were talking to one of the comedians, and in our conversation it came up that we were headed to Winnipeg.
The comedian (comedienne, actually) talked about how horrible the mosquitoes are in Winnipeg, and that it wasn't a good idea to camp there. We had camped for much of our trip, but used hotels when sites weren't available or we wanted a decent shower. We decided we would make Winnipeg one of our hotel stops.
It wasn't like nowadays, where you just get on your smart phone and check out hotels and reviews and such. We just had a travel guidebook with a listing of hotels, and after calling several (on a pay phone!), we finally found one in our price range with an open room for the night we'd be there. Booking hotels I've never heard of without seeing them first is not my favorite, but we felt we had no choice. The comedienne was very adamant about the mosquito problem.
So we rolled into Winnipeg one night and eventually found our hotel. It was over a bar, so from our room we could hear pounding music for much of the night. We entered our room from a creepy hallway with a regular key (not the key cards that were normal even then), and found two twin beds. ?? The room--and especially the bathroom--smelled bad. It was very unpleasant, but we were tired and had been driving a lot. There wasn't the luxury of finding a better place, especially in the middle of Canada (which is a lot like driving through Wyoming or the Dakotas--you never know how long you'll drive before finding civilization).
Because of our poor hotel experience, Winnipeg was tainted for us and we decided not to stick around after checking out the following morning. I feel bad now, because my mom told me how she had been to Winnipeg a time or two as a girl, and she had good memories. I remember she seemed disappointed that we had just left it without seeing anything, and I almost feel like apologizing to her right now! So I will: I'm sorry, Mom!
I feel like I haven't really thought of or talked about my Canada trip to many people. I've talked more about the US trip I took in 96, but for some reason this one goes mostly forgotten. Talking about it now has brought up so many memories. I'll have to tell you more sometime, if you're interested. I could maybe scan some of my photos.