Thursday, February 22, 2007

Oriental Fantasy in San Luis Obispo

Last night sucked. After the San Jose stage finished, we had a 5-hour drive ahead of us, to San Luis Obispo. We stopped in Monterrey for dinner out on the pier, which was nice. We arrived in SLO well past midnight.

After almost 25 years touring the globe on these sports gigs, I thought I'd seen it all. But then I checked into The Madonna Hotel in San Luis Obispo.

I would imagine, without a shitload of careful thought and a lot of construction, The Madonna Inn would be just another nondescript highway-side Motel 6 in the middle of nowhere. But somewhere along the line, some clever person came up with the idea of a hotel in which every room has its own unique, campy theme, and then they apparently hired Elvis and Liberace to decorate.

When you check in, there's a wall of postcards for sale (75 cents), and the display contains a unique postcard for every room. I was assigned room #209, "Oriental Fantasy". When I walked in, I just started laughing. The room looked like it was designed and decorated by Fu Manchu. It was a nice big comfortable room. Everything was covered in glitz and chintz and oriental camp. The headboard behind the bed looked like a poster for the movie "The Last Samurai". Too funny. Huge shower. Maybe 5' x 5'.

Showers are my thing. Anybody who has ever been to my house can attest to this. I built all the showers in my house myself, and they are a minimum of 8' x 5'. Some are bigger. The showers in my house are so huge they don't need doors. The water can't possibly spray far enough to splash the bathroom floor, the showers are just too big. If I ever sell my house, I imagine the next owner may convert a few of the showers into squash courts.

Anyway, I walked out to get my suitcase from the car, and a bunch of the guys from TV and from AEG were wandering around at 1AM, checking out each others' rooms. One guy was staying in a room with a caveman theme. The shower was a big, hollowed-out rock, and the water sprayed out of a boulder on the wall.

Everyone in the TV compound this morning was walking around talking about the theme of their hotel rooms at The Madonna. You've got a lot of jaded road warriors out here, and the fact that they were enthused about The Madonna and not complaining about this or that is a good thing.

Time Trial tomorrow in Solvang. Big day for Scoring & Timing, the whole show depends on us.

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