CHESTER THE HAMSTER GOES TO SEATTLE - Road Trip
What a woman on the phone said in an Oregon Hotel........
So, we snuck my daughter's favorite hamster Chester into many hotels along the coast on our way to and back from Seattle (We left from California) and there were some very amusing moments I tell you! It seems that we are pioneers in this sort of adventure! Just like I was one of the only people in "3" years that brought a Panda hamster named "Muji" into the local emergency vets for a check up. That's right, a lot of people giggled at me standing there holding the "Hamster Purple and Pink Spaceship Cage" that looks like some sort of Magic Mountain ride for tiny people and asking for Dr. Bailey. Infact after the exam it turns out that the only rodents that made any pet visits in the last "3" years were "rats!" It really makes you wonder what other people do with sick hamsters? I just don't want to know! Oh yea.....did I tell you that I was charged $20 for the visit and Chester only cost me $12?
Back to our road trip......
So, in a panic and after calling quite a few hotels along the Oregon coast on our way back to California, we happened to find one room left on a Saturday night (we forget about the days after driving so many hours). The lady was really kind and asked about the children. Then she asked their ages. When she found out there was a "9" year old, she said that she would not charge us. THEN came the "pet question"........"Do you have any pets?" After a moment or two the answer YES went through the phone lines. "WE have a hamster." The lady laughed and asked if it was in a cage. "YES of course it is......" and THEN she charged us $9.00 for the hamster!!!!!! Honestly I could not stop laughing!!! My little girl is "free" but the hamster in the cage is $9.00! That was one of those moments that you just never forget.
Other travel "sneak a hamster techniques" were as follows. Chester was made to look like luggage on the luggage rack. Next to the suitcases his cage laid covered with blankets and pillows. VOILA! SUCCESS! Just had to make sure the "Do Not Disturb" sign was on the doors at all times. Chester had a little "travel stress" the first night or two at hotels and continued to chew at his cage all throughout the night. LOVELY! Infact, I was in an adjoining room and I still heard it echoing into the night like a bad scratch on the chalkboard! But after a few days, Chester was fine and not stressed at all. My little girl played with him a lot on the road trip in back of our van. I have to say it did help "pass the time" for a "9" year old. If Chester wasn't there I could only imagine how many times I would hear "Are we there yet?" I have a whole new understanding of my childhood where my sister and I would ask that same question a million times. When I hear it even today I have these funny memories of my father's creative answers. "Are we there yet Dad?" "Just sing a song will ya?" He would say or something like that. At a time where there were no electronic games, my sister and I had to be creative. I think we wrote our first song together on a road trip! Great times indeed!
Rules of the road when traveling with a hamster...
So, when we first set out on the road trip I was able to locate some "pet friendly hotels" but it seemed that "pets" are usually "dogs" so the whole thing did not make sense! But in the beginning I tried to do the right thing and fess up. The only problem with pet friendly hotels is the worry about all sorts of "bugs." Fleas are not an ok thing for hamsters and can cause excessive itching for such a small animal. THEN I thought of the possibility of "bed bugs" being in these hotels so now I google every hotel I plan on staying in even if they have 3 or 4 stars! It seems that most hotels with bed bug problems are in the main cities so I always opt to stay a bit further out from the main city hotels instead of in the middle of everything. You would be shocked at how many hotels have "bed bugs" once you start looking them up on google! Yuck!
OK Hotels For pets or "hamsters....."
We lucked out when we found this great place North of Sacramento in Williams, California called Granzella's Inn. I just went on a hunch when I googled possibilities and even though it looks like a "tourist trap" on-line and there are lots of highway signs to add to the "tourist trap corniness" it is totally worth it! The hotel is really well kept and the Granzella's restaurant across the way had excellent food when we had dinner there. Topped with a deli to buy amazing bread and olives, I was sold! Most of the "pet friendly" hotels I googled in Sacramento had "bed bugs" so I decided to take the kids on an adventure! We all loved it at Granzella's Inn. The town of Williams does not look like much when you see it but it is evidently known for fishing and other stuff. Anyway, great memories there for sure!
Other Hotels that were OK.....
The La Quinta Inn's were ok, but make sure you check if they have 3 stars on-line and also the reviews. We stayed at one that was a 2 star (I forgot to check) and although the beds were very comfortable and they allow pets, the hotel had some issues. But Chester the hamster enjoyed his stay! And since I booked two separate rooms that adjoined, the rates were very reasonable.
The more expensive beach hotels along the Oregon coast were easy to sneak Chester into on the luggage racks and was a much nicer stay. I know.......VERY amusing this is! ha
The trials of bringing a hamster on a long road trip....
SO all sorts of jokes go through your head while you are driving! What if the hamster blows out of the window? What if I make a quick stop and Chester turned into a furry pancake? What if the cage fell off the luggage rack in that 4 star hotel........would they actually "throw us out?!" These are the things you think of! But all in all the trip was a success and my little girl loved having her cute little friend along with us on the trip. And although I was a bit irritated at some of the things we had to do I know that this time will not last forever and when my little girl is older she can say to her friends in college that we took her hamster on a road trip from California to Seattle and then stopped all along the Oregon coast and stayed at gorgeous beach hotels on the way back.
I mean "how cool is that?! ha ha
Hub Pages Author - GPAGE
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