– When traveling on a budget, the plan to stay at Marriott and pay with points is a good one.
– When on a 12+ hour drive with three children (i.e. with passengers who prevent any sort of accurate prediction of (a) how far you will get within a given timeframe or (b) what sort of timeframe you have before people melt down), the plan to “drive until we’re about to drop” then calling customer service to find the nearest Marriott is a good one. (Hey, there are over 3,000 Marriotts in the US alone).
Despite this, a new note to self:
Self, when your trip is through hills of West Virginia, “just stopping at the next closest Marriott” is not the best plan.
It turns out that…
– only 13 of the 3000 Marriotts are in West Virginia
– only 2 of these are on the route from New York to home
– and (despite our eagerness to stop and the need to shower after being in the smelliest rest-area restroom ever with 2 children asking – at full volume – why the person in the next stall is making such a loud and stinky poop) the closest Marriott on our route will be over 100 miles away.
On the upside (for me), it was my husband who took the girls to the restroom (sorry for laughing at you, hon!), we made excellent time leaving the rest area (as you can imagine, with my horrified husband driving), and the hotel was lovely once we arrived.
Still lovin’ ya’, Marriott! and our sincere apologies to whoever was having those GI issues in that West Virginia rest-stop restroom stall . . .