black dog on hotel bed
personal,  travel

Pet-Friendly Odessa

Black dog on hotel bed

What’s that you say? I haven’t finished telling you about our cross-country roadtrip?

You’re right. Sorry.

To be honest, I got carried away trying to settle into my temporary space at my parent’s house. Yes. I’m 50 something and living at home with Mom and Dad. I haven’t lived with them since I was 18 so it’s been a bit of an adjustment for us all. No worries though, since we’re all grown-ups there has been no slamming of doors, “It’s-not-fair!” rants or even arguments about what time I should be home in bed. (Truth be told I’m in bed, asleep at least three hours before they are!)

All this adjusting has slowed my posting about the trip across the country.

To continue.

I can’t remember a time that I was so glad to leave a place as I was to leave to Odessa and that horrible hotel (really – motel!)

Why?

Odessa, TX is pretty desolate. Yet, I was excited to drive into town – because about 20 years ago I read the book, Friday Night Lights.

Yes. I read the book. I didn’t watch the TV show or see the movie (was there a movie?)

Just so you know, that link for the book is an affiliate link – which means if you click it, and buy the book, at no cost to you, I’ll get some change. Which is nice – it might help me move out of Mom and Dad’s one day.

We made a reservation for the Magnuson Hotel in Odessa based on BringFido.com’s recommendation. I’ve learned that BringFido is only as good as it contributors, so I can’t blame them for what happened in Odessa.

Here’s the review I posted on BringFido:

WORST NIGHT’S Sleep across the USA

(1 out of 5 bones because I couldn’t give zero bones).

Driving across the country with a senior dog is a stressful situation and we really needed a good night’s sleep. The reviews looked decent and we booked while on the road. Arriving was disappointing – there was construction equipment, old fixtures and general debris strewn about the parking lot and instead of hotel, this is definitely an old motel – despite the “NOW OPEN” sign hung out front. There is NO PLACE to walk your dog – so beware, especially if you are traveling alone and not sure about walking around dark and desolate areas on your own at night. Upon arrival there was a large swath of dirt/dust at the entrance – the dog traipsed through it and there was dirt everywhere. This occurred likely because the door of the room is not flush and the Odessa dirt seeps under the door. A large family came through and was scattered among 5 or more rooms surrounding my room and the rooms of other guests who had arrived earlier. This large family was LOUD!!! shouting, drinking, banging on tables, singing, slamming of doors, children running and taunting the dog….I did stick my head out and ask that they quiet down – I got some smiling nods and the revelry continued. I hoped and prayed that it would die down around midnight – because that seemed like a reasonable time to expect people to settle down – or at least take into consideration other travelers…. NOPE! I called the front desk 2x and the “owner” made his way to the rooms to yell and pound on doors. That resulted in more noise. The next day at check out when the desk clerk asked about my stay (while I was trying to stomach their “breakfast”) I told her about the 2 hours of sleep I got and my repeated attempts at getting some help. She was kind and apologized and told me it was the owner who had been answering the phone that night. I explained that I had to drive about 8 hours each day and needed a good, safe night’s sleep to make it – and that this was unacceptable. She apologized and said there was nothing she could do about it. I asked if I could get a partial refund and was told by another clerk that it wasn’t possible an that it had been the owner on duty the night before. What could they have done to make this a better stay? Put that big party in another part of the property, or called and moved us when the party showed up. They could have provided a discount for the night’s stay. Overall I would never recommend this property – it was shady and dirty and noisy.

To be clear, I have worked in the hospitality business. I’m aware you can’t please everyone. I do my best to alert management when things are really out of line and I give them time to rectify the situation. However, when I stop some place for a decent night’s sleep, that’s what I expect to get, and from my experience, that is impossible at this property.

That’s my story of Odessa, TX. Maybe it would have been better on a Friday night during football season.

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Writer and dog lover, helping pet-related businesses tell their stories.

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