James and I are hotel snobs.

When we travel, we definitely look for comfort and don’t mind spending a few extra dollars to achieve that end. Personally, I blame James’s company, who put him up off and on for six months at The Ritz Carlton in downtown Philly. Not to mention the long weekend at the W in downtown Chicago. Nice digs if you can get it. Even better when you’re not the one paying for it.

However, sometimes beggars can’t be choosers, and I was reminded of that today. After a two year delay, James’s family has come together in rural Montana to spread his grandparents ashes. A somber occasion to be sure. However, I was a little alarmed when they arrived in the town of 350 people, and I received this message from James:

“Made it. And wow! I never thought the Rosebud Motel would look so appealing.”

Now I’m no stranger to roadside motels. In the mid-70s, my sister and I would take car trips with my great-grandparents to visit relatives we didn’t know we had. More often that not, we would overnight at a motor court somewhere along the way. However, this was when that was still a thing. Looking at the ones around Dallas now, I can’t help but think these are places where even the bed bugs wouldn’t stay.

Unfortunately his follow up text didn’t help: “And the aroma inside just can’t be replicated in nature.”

Oh. No. Coming from a man who has experienced the magic smell of the French Quarter during the summer, that’s not a good thing.

And while I’m not there to experience the sights and sounds, I know we’ll both have a different perspective the next time we joke about slumming it at The Holiday Inn. Or when I tell people about the few nights I stayed at the (Dis)Comfort Inn in San Antonio for my grandmother’s funeral. (Not at the motel, obviously. But you know what I mean.)

Luckily they’re only in town for one night, before heading back to Billings for the remainder of the trip. Even better, next weekend we’ll be staying at the Bellagio in Vegas for James’s 50th birthday. Plush pillows. Comfy bed. Elegant Bath.

And hopefully no smell.