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Random Thoughts – Recent Travels

February 26, 2020
© Jim Miller – Olive Sparrow (Arremonops rufivirgatus)

The title of the blog is “Jim’s Assorted, Usually Photographic Ramblings,” so I will take this opportunity to use the usually to go a little off the normal script.

Lodging
In my travels back to Texas, I stayed at five different lodging establishments in four different cities and at three different chains. Three were Marriott’s Fairfield Inn brand. One was Hilton’s Hampton Inn brand. And the third was Wyndham’s Days Inn brand.

I prefer the Marriott brand in general. I had not stayed at a Hilton property since an unfortunate incident in the Lower Rio Grande Valley five years ago where I swore I’d never stay at another Hilton property again. And while I’m a member of Wyndham’s rewards program and have a slightly higher status due to my status a retired veteran, a recent stay at a La Quinta in Denver made me question staying at Wyndham again. I try to vote with my wallet rather than my voice.

The best stay of the five nights: The Days Inn in Kerrville, Texas. Older property. Lousy parking lot. Outside doors which I really dislike. But the room was amazingly clean, very comfortable, and recently updated. Everything worked and it just felt like home. Making the reservation was very easy on Wyndham’s iPhone app. And the value for the money on a late reservation on a Saturday night was outstanding.

Rental Car
I had the opportunity to drive a 2020 Nissan Altima on the trip. The car was practically new (less than 250 miles when I picked it up, but far more when I returned it). Impressive gas mileage. Impressive gas tank size–maybe too big because if I owned it and was taking a long trip it would mean maybe another hour or so in the car without having to take a break for refueling.

It is not a car I would have considered prior to driving it. Nor is it a car I’m likely to buy as I’m in the market for either a replacement hatchback of perhaps a smallish SUV–I have some unique requirements in terms of transporting another transportation item that likely will be a post for another time. But I really enjoyed driving the Altima.

Texas
I was reminded on the trip how much I missed Texas. The general atmosphere. The wonderful food. The great people. H-E-B. Whataburger. And so on. I brought back 3 large count boxes of H-E-B’s Taste of San Antonio coffee and three containers of Whataburger sauces (Creamy Jalapeño and Spicy Ketchup) to make the feeling of Texas last a little bit longer.

Colorado is outstanding, but I do miss Texas.

About the Image:
Olive Sparrow (Arremonops rufivirgatus)
Uvalde County, Texas – January 2020
Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron 150-600 (Gen 1) at 500mm
Tripod w/Wimberley gimbal head
ISO 400, 1/640 sec at f/11 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #0795
Image Size in Portfolio: 4169×3335

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