On our trip to San Diego we stayed in several hotels while on the road, and with my brother and his wife while there. Here’s some thoughts on where to stay—or not stay—if you find yourself on the same or similar trip.

Avoid, at all costs, the Best Value Inn just off the freeway in Stockton (California). It’s on our list as one of the top two worst hotels we’ve ever stayed at (the other was the Knight’s Inn in Ashland), and is definitely the skungiest, dirtiest one: the carpet has sticky spots (like gum, I hope), there were some dead ants on the bathroom counter, the bathroom floor just felt wrong—in fact, most of the bathroom just gave an icky vibe. It’s also right off the freeway, so you hear the traffic all night (no biggie for me, since I sleep just fine with white noise).

On the way back, we stayed in Fresno. The Quality Inn there on Shaw Avenue off Highway 99 was the best of the hotels we stayed at: very roomy, free WiFi, good continental breakfast. And relatively cheap.

The next night we stayed at the Railroad Park Resort in Dunsmuir, about 50 miles north of Redding. Neat little place, rather rustic, nestled up against Castle Crags State Park. Totally worth it for the kitsch factor, but you might want to avoid the restaurant they have there: I found the food to be entirely mediocre and a bit over-priced. You’d probably be better off finding something in Dunsmuir.

Air Time

More on the California governor race. In order to be fair, federal rules dictate that all candidates have to have equal air time on television, and since there’s a huge disparity between the screen time someone like, say, Arnold Schwarzenegger has and someone like, say, Larry Flynt has, cable TV networks have made the decision to pull Arnold’s movies. There’s a story about it here.

As you might imagine, I have several thoughts on this.

First of all, nationwide cable TV networks are pulling Arnold’s movies? Seems unfair to punish the rest of the nation for the consequences of California’s governor race. I wonder how long it will take for some litigation-happy idiot outside of California to try to sue the SciFi Channel for this.

But then, wouldn’t it be much more amusing (and California-like) if instead of pulling Arnold’s movies, they gave equal amounts of screen time to the other candidates? Then there would be nothing on California TV except candidates… imagine the horror:

  • Hours and hours of Diff’rent Strokes for Gary Coleman;
  • For Larry Flynt, there’d either have to be a Hustler Channel (is there one already?), or just show The People vs. Larry Flynt over and over again—though no doubt some Californians would vote for him thinking they were electing Woody Harrelson;
  • Arianna Huffington would be on the air flaming all the other candidates and progressively moving closer to a “gang audit” (in the immortal words of Dennis Miller) by various government agencies;
  • Porn. Courtesy of Mary Carey. This might not be so horrible.

If you’re interested, the certified list of candidates is here (PDF). All 135 of them.