Back from Seaside, Bad Motel Room

I think all of us who went on beach trips as kids remember them fondly even though I know they were a pain in the ass for our parents. Smelly car rides, ungrateful children and moving luggage and coolers back and forth from the car to the room and the room to the car. I don’t know why parents put up with it–SUCKERS!  That’s right! I have no friggin’ kids! I plan to retire with some money still left! And if you breeders tell me I’ll regret not making some kids to take care of me in my old age I can show you numerous examples of kids not giving a damn and actually feeding off their parents well into their forties when Dad and Mom are living on Social Security and bitching about how high their cell phone bill is! Ha-ha-ha-ha!  …Whoa, had a moment there where I threw my head back and gave a villainous laugh.

Pfft, I like kids. Honest! I just don’t want to take care of them. My thanks to everyone that had sex and forgot to use adequate birth control. I’ll be sure to thank your kids too when they’re changing my diapers in the nursing home.

So my wife and I just got back from a family meet-up at the Ocean Front Motel at Seaside, Oregon located on the beach and across the street from The Seaside Aquarium. The Seaside Aquarium, by the way, is not exactly a real aquarium. It’s incredibly small with some seals stuffed in it that you can pay to feed. Apparently, it’s had some updates but I refuse to pay admission again to be disappointed. It exists as a boardwalk sideshow to draw in parents who think they’ll be entertaining their kids with something educational. Once you get in, you’ll pretty much have a headache from the sound of the seals begging for food and then your kids begging for money to buy the food to give to the begging seals–then begging for money for the gift shop and by that time they’ll probably be imitating the seals. Long story short you’re going to feel like beating a seal once you leave.

Anyways, I had booked two rooms with full kitchens. One for my wife and I and one for my parents. Then I stepped inside our room…to the Sixties. And it smelled like the Sixties. Dirty hippie pit hair.

Here’s the thing, I fully admit I was taking a chance on the Ocean Front Motel because the reviews were mixed, but because it was in July it was one of the few places left with rooms available–and that was when I booked three months ago. If I had my choice I would have gone with The Inn at the Prom which has wonderful little cottages with bright, sunny decors. The Ocean Front Motel rooms came with serial killer decor.

Being that I have a twisted sense of humor and like to draw questionable cartoons, I found the place amusing. My wife did not. Especially after opening the fridge from the Sixties and seeing the paint was peeling off the racks with a rust color showing underneath.  Then she found ants in the cupboard. My wife is a sworn enemy of ants. I suggested they followed her from home to ruin her vacation. She didn’t find that funny and killed them (sorry ants).

Now my parents didn’t seem to mind their room as much and I suspect that is because of the fact that they had a new fridge and possibly some other updates like clean carpets. Plus, they’re old. They’ve lost most of their senses and would be unable to detect imperfections like the keen senses of my lovely wife. Our place was half-assed with new carpet in the main room and old carpet in the bedroom which stunk. And a hallway light with a pull cord that for some reason was snipped short and therefore you had to use a chair to reach the remaining portion of the cord.

On the second night of our stay, the bathroom light went out. I figured it was just a lightbulb so I grabbed one from a lamp we weren’t using and attempted to take off the cover of the ceiling light. Normally this is easy, but whoever installed it jimmy-rigged it with a screw on one side that seemed too big and glued in and a smaller screw on the other side which came out but that’s all it did. The damn cover wouldn’t come off to get to the bulb. I needed a wrench which I didn’t bring and by this time I figured it would be more entertaining to watch the staff change the lightbulb…and it was.

The lightbulb was tackled by a very nice and determined woman from the front desk who kept having to go back to the tool shed because the ceiling light cover was not coming off without a fight. Finally, when she got the cover off and the lightbulb replaced she smiled and went to test it. No light. Her smile faded. So she began a search for the breaker box–and so did I and so did my Dad who was now involved, which was great for him because I think he was tired of the conversational onslaught between my wife, my mom and my aunt. After all, we’re men, we live for the challenge of finding a breaker box. And yes, it was found, on the outside of the motel room under lock and key because they didn’t trust their patrons not to mess with it. Also to prevent serial killers looking to cut the power so they can revisit their old decor and redecorate with our blood.

I’m always happiest when my problem, whatever it may be, brings in more than one person. The motel staff lady called in the manager from home. The manager, also a nice and determined lady, came in and proceeded to test the lightbulb with no luck while my Dad popped in his head to ask what the problem was (which is what you always want to hear when things aren’t working). She finally determined that it was an electrical problem with the light switch and it could not be fixed until morning–the day we check out! Thankfully, they provided an LED lamp to pee by. It made the bathroom kind of like camping.

Considering all that I’ve detailed thus far you would think there might be a discount off the room. However, in my experience traveling the Oregon Coast there is never a discount. Not even for the motel where our water heater died and we had no hot water for 2 nights. They offered a discount off our next stay–knowing that we would never come back. Why would you come back to a motel where you weren’t taken care of in the first place? The same is true of the Ocean Front Motel. I rarely fill out Expedia surveys but this time I did so to warn other travelers. What I got back from the motel management was:

“It was nice to have you here – We do regret that the room did not meet your standards and hope to see you again in the future.”

And being that I have worked in customer service I know how to wordsmith an apology so that it is not an apology. When they say “did not meet your standards” they mean their standards are just fine and that I can go eff myself.  Here are Ocean Front Motel’s standards:

  1. An unappetizing fridge from the Sixties with paint peeling off on the inside racks and brownish wear and tear showing on the outside.
  2. A sink with no garbage disposal. I did my best to keep food out of the drain, but eventually it was a lost cause and backed up on me.
  3. Dirty dishes in the cupboards, probably due to point number 2. There’s no dishwasher so the previous tenants did their best with hand washing.
  4. Kitchen tile needs to be replaced. It’s severely worn.
  5. Carpet that smells like mildew. I don’t have a strong sense of smell so when I think something stinks, it really stinks.
  6. A hall light with the shortest pull cord ever.
  7. Electrical problems. The bathroom light went out. We also were duped into using an outlet in the main room to charge a Kindle only to discover there was no current coming out of it.
  8. Ripped blanket on the bed. Looks a bit too used which is why I was smelling the sheets to see if they had any indication they were recently cleaned. I’m guessing between the shower and the bed my souvenir from this trip will be fungus.
  9. The bed farts! Seriously, if you sit on the bed it makes a loud fart noise. It was ancient. I agree this would be fun for the kids though.
  10. Location is next to the street by The Seaside Aquarium. Lots of noise and temper tantrums from kids.
  11. Minor points: No toaster that I could find and no DVD player. Normally I bring my own mini-DVD player, but every other time I’ve gone to the beach there has been one with available DVDs to borrow in the lobby. It’s kind of expected. My fault for assuming.

Speaking of the lobby, on the outside of it there is a sign that says: NO PETS!  Once you go into the lobby it absolutely reeks of wet dog. Considering the rooms smell anyways they might as well allow pets and cigarette smokers.

If you want some adventure and personality to your room with a friendly staff I would recommend the Ocean Front Motel. If you want to overpay for a low quality room that smells and the staff doesn’t think to discount you for an electrical problem then I would avoid it. …I still feel sorry for the ants.


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