Thursday, August 17, 2006

The end of the family motel - and the family road trip ...

We're on another road trip. This night we end up at the Battle Creek Best Western "executive" hotel.

No luggage carts. Whirlpool out of order. Old, frayed carpets. Prisonlike decor. Weeds in the back parking lot. It's not quite the Bates Motel, but it's heading that way. It's not alone. The night before was an ex-AmericInn where kids weren't allowed in the refrigerated pool before 8am. (Shades of the old south.)

It's been a trend the past few years. Each road trip it's harder to find kid-friendly motels. Reminds me of the disappearing pay phone, now so rare I plan to photograph the next one I see.

What happened? There are lots of kid friendly places -- in resorts, water parks, etc. So it's not a universal disinterest. we're just out of step with the temper of our time. Smaller families can travel by air reasonably cheaply, and few share our anachronistic appreciation of byways and forgotten places (Indiana Dunes: Highly recommended. Don't miss the drive along the Beverly Shores beach -- it's top secret.) There are fewer children anyway, and as our society comes apart there are fewer middle class families who'd choose a road trip over a seaside restort.

We are dinosaurs, Left Behind by the modern world. Soon our habitat will be gone ...

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