The Schitts Creeking of Americas Highways

Posted on November 21, 2022

The Schitts Creeking of America’s Highways. I am sure there are small charming places all over the world that are getting facelifts and resurgences thanks to the charming show Schitts Creek(watch it if you have not seen it yet) but as the great American road trip and wandering grow, so does the motel resurgence.

In my last post, I spoke about the nightmare Airbnb has turned into. I am here to describe one of the more charming things we discovered last summer. That is the cool thing happening in the motel world. The comeback of sorts of the roadside motel is in part due to Schitts Creek and probably also Covid19.

Factors in the motel’s resurgence

Travel did not stop during Covid, but it did change, and some of those changes are directly in line with what was happening at the time. Americans were not flying. We were driving. Many of us stayed close to home for the most part. The big corporate hotel chains had to scale back on staff, and some even closed their doors for extended periods. I traveled to New Orleans and stayed in a 17-story hotel that, in pre-covid times, I would have never entered, but in New Orleans, at that time, it was one of the only games in town. I spent one long 24-hour period not seeing another human being. That’s a very weird feeling when you are in a place where normally thousands would be staying.

At the same time, big hotels turned into ghost towns. Small independent motels found the PPP money useful in renovating enough to keep folks interested in their small motels. With the help of Schitts Creek, making them cool and trendy, we started staying in them again, and others started opening them again.

When a Karen Visits

We found in our travels last year that the owners of the motels went out of their way to explain what a small roadside motel was. Smaller rooms, rustic wood paneling, small bathrooms, and sometimes tin shower stalls. No kitchens or refrigerators. Unless you get a kitchenette. These are general but not set rules for motels, but they are the things a Karen complains about… a lot, as we learned from talking with some of the awesome folks that run or own the motels we stayed at.

Both my mom and I found it odd that the folks we spoke to on the phone went so far out of their way to explain what a motel was and how it differed from a hotel. Once we dived into online reviews, it became evident that some folks don’t get the charm of a road trip or a roadside motel. That’s too bad because they are missing out on some awesome places to stay and a cool way to meet new people and learn about the fun places to eat and drink locally that frequently you don’t get from the big hotels or in big cities.

What constitutes a Motel

This is my definition, I’m sure someone has a respectable official definition, but this is mine. A drive-up establishment where You park your car in front of your room. There is an office with an attendant or a bell you ring for service. In a pre-covid world, you would have been able to stop on the spur of the moment. Many motels you now reserve as they don’t have full-time desk help or the front desk leaves early evening. There are often Vacancy or No Vacancy signs located by the road. They are usually single stories tall, with a few being two stories if there is a view. There may be a vending machine and or ice machine outside. Feel free to add what constitutes a motel for you in the comments. But I think have provided a visual; if not, I will remind you to look at Schitts Creek.

The Great Lakes

I got my love of road-tripping from my parents, and we have stayed in many a motel while we traveled the highways of these here united states. There is something very yin and yang about the Great Lakes and Motels. They go together like Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers.

When I was a kid, an escape to the Northshore of Lake Superior and a night in a motel were so fun and exciting. It is where my love of both the road trip and the roadside motel stems from

In my opinion, it is the best way to travel the great lake states, and the motels were some of our favorite stops on our road trip around Lake Huron

The Favorite

I will tell you, I wish it was anywhere but where it was. But it won the favor because the woman running it was an outstanding hospitable human being and made everything better. The sunrise was breathtaking, and it had a haunted put put course next to it that we were told about! Sadly I did not see a single ghost.

The winning motel is Bayview Motel in St. Ignace, MI. It is small, it has tin showers. It has a microwave and a TV, they have heat that works, and they have a view of the lake, which is amazing! BBQ grills if you don’t want to eat tourist food. A firepit where they have nightly fires burning. A beach area that you can swim from if you want to. And again, a stunning sunrise. The downfall is it is in this particular tourist town. But it is everything you want a motel to be and then some.

That Sunrise!

I will catch heat for what I am about to say, but Mackinaw Island is overrated. As much as I enjoyed this motel, I do not understand the fascination with the overpriced ferry ride to an island with overpriced fudge and taffy. As always, I will explore this topic of popular tourist destinations I hate in a future post. Until then, let me know what you love about Mackinaw Island. Maybe you will convince me to return to the Bayview Motel again.

Schitts Creeking of our Highways and what I think it means.

Despite my favorite motel experience last summer being in a town I don’t like, I have to say the schitts creeking of our highways is an exciting development. In all my travels over the last year, I have stayed at several reasonably priced motels with varying degrees of success.

I am excited to see more affordable options. I love that a new group of managers and people who have hospitality in their bones are deciding to do renovations and upgrades to a uniquely American way of travel. The road trip is alive and well, and with many of us suffering from wanderlust, let’s hope that we see even more of this something old is new again mentality.

Is Airbnb a Nightmare?

Posted on November 14, 2022

Is Airbnb a nightmare? My short answer is yes! As I mentioned in my last post Bay City, Michigan: AnUnexpected Treat, we stayed in an Airbnb, and I would have some comments on our use of Airbnb’s on the trip we took around Lake Huron and on some other trips I have taken.

I think it is essential to address Airbnbs before people start planning spring break and summer vacations. So here goes. These are my experiences with Airbnb over the years. You can insert VRBOs on the camping side Hipcamp. I have, at one time or another, used all three. Though I will tell you Hipcamp will be a post of its own.

Airbnb the beginning

First off, the original idea of Airbnb was some dudes in San Fransisco renting out air mattresses to conference attendees to make their rent and get the conference folks a place to stay when the hotels were booked. “air, bed, and breakfast” It was literally born out of the fact rent is too high and unaffordable across the nation. Ironic now.

It is mind-blowing to me that some 16 years or so later, Aibnbs have become nearly unaffordable for the average person. They are no longer the cheap alternative to a hotel room. They still sometimes suit a purpose, especially when traveling to tourist destinations like the Outerbanks with large groups. Though I would argue you are better off renting a large house for multiple families from a smaller property ownership or management agency that has worked or knows about hospitality management in the area and not a homeowner based in Manhattan or somewhere.

I do not doubt anyone who has used Airbnb or the like frequently in the past 16 years has some great stories and wonderful deals, myself included. What has happened more and more frequently, though, as I search for places to travel and stay that do not end me sleeping in Hope the Bronco. I have found there is a common thread. It is becoming more restrictive on time. 4 pm or later check-ins and out by 9-11am. It is becoming less and less hospitable. As more people that have no idea what hospitality is, enter the Airbnb arena, they are decorating their places beautifully and adding steam showers and decks and hot tubs and pools, but they are also adding to that 3-ring binder they all leave you with citing a long list of restrictions and rules.

Cleaning Fees

Let’s talk cleaning fees. A hotel does not charge you a cleaning fee. If You stay more than one day, they will change your sheets and bring you towels. Many hotels offer for you to opt out of this if you choose to save water and staff time, but there is no fee on either side of it. If you eat in the room, they take the food boxes away. think pizza or KFC buckets; there is no charge for garbage removal.

If you order room service, you can choose to set the dishes in the hall or leave them in your room. There is no charge either way. In the last two years, I have stayed where I have had to bring my own sheets and towels. I have had to pack up my trash and find a dumpster to place it in off-site. I have had to do the dishes and run the dishwasher. all while paying at least 125$ cleaning fee and, at the most $300 cleaning fee. Even if the space only costs $99, with those fees, everything is over $200 a night. That is no longer a deal that is the cost of a hotel room.


This is where hospitality knowledge comes into play. Many of us travel to places we have never been before. If you go to school for hospitality management, you are told on the first day that LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION will play a factor in everything you do for the rest of your career. The professor in the first class I ever took in college was not wrong about this.

The issue with Airbnbs is that they are homes and/or condos, in many cases, being bought up from areas that are not tourist friendly. Nor close to the things you need, like the airport or the cruise ship terminal. They are cheap to purchase. Sometimes run-down homes were people’s actual homes until investors bought them up. Investors spend thousands fixing them up, mostly cosmetically, and then not wanting to rent them for under $500 a night.

Is Airbnb A Nightmare

When you spend $500 a night in a hotel, you are staying and paying for hospitality. You expect a central location and clean sheets. Possibly room service or concierge service. You can stay at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans in the French Quarter bordering the business district for $500 a night. For that price, you can get amazing amenities. You can also go down the street into the heart of the French Quarter and stay at the Bourbon Orleans(a personal favorite) for $200-400 a night. At either of these hotels, be able to walk, trolly or taxi anywhere very easily. Have room service or a local restaurant within steps or delivered.

The view from a balcony
A View from a Bourbon Orleans Balcony

That level of service does not take place in most airbnbs or vrbos for the same price. For example, I found a place on Airbnb in New Orleans that said walkable to the best New Orleans has to offer for $100 a night. To walk to the French Quarter from this location would be 5.1 miles each way. We can argue that the French Quarter is not the best of New Orleans, but it is where everyone who visits wants to go. It holds nightlife, art, and culture. The French Market is there, and so is the tourist part of the Mississippi River and all the river offers.

Price Difference

After fees and such, the Airbnb ended up being about $220 a night. This is not hospitality. It is also not the great deal one would think it is. This is setting yourself up for a potentially bad trip to New Orleans. This same scenario can be set up repeatedly in the Airbnb/Vrbo world. No matter where you visit.

Management Companies

Lastly, let’s talk a second about who owns these Airbnbs now. The Airbnbs and Vrbos are increasingly owned by wealthy investors who hire apartment management companies to run their properties. They put minimal upkeep into the property and get a maximum $$ out. They often buy up local single-family housing and turn them into single-night or weekly rental units. Diminishing space for people to rent and live in the area. This has far reaching affects the most notable is labor shortages in tourist destinations.

An Example From Our Trip

We encountered this on our trip around Lake Huron; We chose a place for all the reasons you do. Great location and the photos were beautiful. The listing said bars and restaurants were close by, and the views were amazing. It was an old stone house, and it had a history associated with it. We arrived, and it was an old stone house. Built up against the side of a hill. The original wood floors were amazing. Though the water coming off the hill from recent rain was actually coming through the side of the house and across the kitchen floor. The front porch was rotten, the bushes were so overgrown that you could not see out the window, let alone find a view. This is one example of what makes Airbnb a nightmare.

We were over 9 miles from a town or a restaurant. If you live there, I am sure that was close by. As a tourist, that is not close by, especially if you would like a cocktail or wine with dinner. It was an unacceptable place to stay for these reasons and a few others.

Credit to the management company they refunded our money and in the same breath said they had over 60 other airbnbs available in and around this area we were in. I passed, and I was able to find a wonderful hotel in the area that led to one of the best meals of our trip and one of the most wonderful towns to spend a little time in. I will write about this town, hotel, and sights in one of the next articles on the blog. Have you found Airbnb a nightmare, and if so, what have you done about it?

Changing my ways

In writing this bit on Airbnbs, I have decided to go back to looking for hotels/motels and actual hospitality businesses. If I cannot find what I need, I may possibly use Airbnb or Vrbo. I have to say there is something to be said about professional people doing professional jobs.

Professionalism is still important.

That last line in the above paragraph is the most important I spent most of my career being told that I did not hold real jobs. That waiting tables and managing restaurants were not real work. That somehow, time spent in an office was more valid. I used to fight the stigma, and then I just came to not think about it.

But at the core of what bothers me so much about Airbnb/vrbos is that people with money assume now anyone can do it. It’s easy work. It takes no skill. At this stage, I think as Airbnb suffers some serious growing pains and issues, we can see that not everyone can be a hospitality manager. That it does take hard work, and people want to escape their lives for a night, a weekend, or a week. Having us do our own dishes or bring our own sheets and paying for that privilege is way too much like staying at home. Especially when the hospitality leaders have such great programs now to reward you for using their products. We will talk about that in a sooner rather than later post.

Bay City, Michigan: An Unexpected Treat

Posted on November 10, 2022

The first trip I took this past summer was around Lake Huron. There were so many fantastic, fun, and exciting things on our road trip it is not fair to do only one post. The first unexpectedly intriguing stop was in Bay City, Michigan.

Driving around Lake Huron, you tend to get lost in the lake. The way the lake is situated, you see a beautiful sunset or sunrise at nearly every stop! If there were nothing else but these breathtaking starts and ends to the day, the trip alone would be worth it. But there is so much more to see and do. Admittedly we underestimated the spots off the lake by a few blocks to miles. Bay City was one of those underestimations.

Had we known what a charming place this was, we probably would have stayed longer than one night and enjoyed the restaurants and art of the city. There appears to be a rich history in and around Bay City that I hope one day to go back and explore a little more.

We stayed in the most charming Airbnb, and I say that knowing that Airbnb is a waning enterprise until those that own them get some basic hospitality understanding. This will more than likely be a whole post unto itself. Because I have lots to say about Airbnb.

This Airbnb was lovely, and it was in a historic old home. Was it worth it? Probably not for the cost we paid for one night, but it did take dogs, and if we had not been on the road all day, it was within walking distance of many restaurants. I feel there is a lot to explore in Bay City.

Bay City, Michigan. A charming little town split down the middle by the Saginaw River, as you can see by the map, it is at the tip of the Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron.

We arrived later than planned because the stretch of road to Bay City was filled with beautiful lake views. Remarkable shipwrecks and overall Lake Huron Beauty. As mentioned above, it is why we did not have a great deal of time to explore. We learned our lesson on this trip, and the Great Lake adventure we are planning for this spring will have more exploration built in.

We read about an exciting place for coffee. Harless & Hugh was the perfect start to a day of driving and exploring on our way to Presque Isle. The coffee was outstanding; they made their own syrups the caramel was delicious. As you can see in the photo, the morning toasts were delectable. Lox for mom and Avacado for myself. Plus, we shared a muffin and a cheese pastry.

Morning Toast

Overall Bay City has me wanting to go back and see what other things this cute town offers. It is a 4-hour drive from Columbus, Ohio, and Cleveland. Five hours from Chicago and five and a half from Indianapolis. It would be a great destination for a long weekend. Let me know if you decide to check it out.

The Great Lakes: Lake Huron Road Trip

Posted on June 20, 2022

The Lake Huron Road Trip has convinced me that Lake Huron may be my favorite great lake right now. In my entire life, I have always lived in a state that borders a Great Lake and yet I have forgotten how amazing these bodies of water are and how lucky we are to have them in our back yards.

On very short notice with only a little less than a 3-week planning window. I decided that a trip around Lake Huron with my mom and my dog would be a great way to start my very first summer of being a lunch lady and having the summer free.

It was one of the best spontaneous somewhat crazy ideas I have decided to make. If you have a parent you love and are close to who is getting older I cannot tell you what a great way it is to connect and be closer as adults than to do a road trip together. This Lake Huron Road Trip was our chance to connect.

The logistics were more than I let myself see so there are some great lessons I learned.

  1. Driving makes you tired and you get even more tired if you stop and get in and out of the car. Which you should absolutely do on a road trip. If you don’t just fly.
  2. Realistically 150 miles a day is max. You miss way too much if you do more than that. I have a lot more to say about this so follow along.
  3. The idea of just stopping when you are tired is nice but because of factors like having a dog, the seasonal businesses, and businesses closed after covid(this will be a whole post). This is nearly impossible.
  4. Google is not the end-all, be-all for info. I have suggestions to use and incorporate resources you would think were gone but are not. This too will be its own post.
  5. We rely too much on the internet and when you want to escape that means no internet. So enjoy the experience and write about it when you get home. Snap a million photos. your camera phone still works.
  6. Invest in some things that make life easy or help the trip. The below links show my top 5 best purchases for the trip and why I found them useful. I also will admit there were one or two we bought on the road. I hope this saves you that trouble.

An awesome cooler. There are good coolers and there are great coolers. Buy a great one. Why? Because it is amazing not to have to find ice every 12 hours when you are out where you go a day or several hours not seeing another human being. There are several brands you all know Yeti, this is the RTIC there is also Coho and I am sure others. This was worth every penny.

If you are young this will mean nothing but if you have reached the age of needing reading glasses they are a must. Especially when you see number three on the list. I don’t want you to spend a bunch of money on reading glasses though because on a road trip you will invariably break a pair lose a pair or drop a pair in the lake. So a five-pack that comes in its own box is perfect!

Maps. They don’t make them like they used to. It was hard to find a comprehensive off-the-beaten-path map of the areas we went to. We came across these maps from National Geographic and they ended up being very helpful. They make them for many parts of the united states and this is the Canadia Pack we got. I would also suggest a good atlas and taking time to stop at information centers.

You will probably say Whaaaaattttt?? but hear me out. I have started carrying in my car a portable cutlery set. It became invaluable when stopping at roadside food trucks, and getting to-go food from stands, markets, and gas stations. I cannot stand the little plastic utensils for reasons ranging from the environment to they are little and cheap. This makes dining on the road a joy.

This last one turned out to save us many a night. I suggest carrying one for each person or bed in the group. This is a sleeping bag that can open to cover a bed. If you are tent camping you are already prepared but we stayed in cabins and it got very cold a few nights when the quilt provided was not enough. Pull out the stuff sack zip this open and lay across the top of the bed and bingo you are warm in a few minutes. It also makes a great sleeping bag if you are tent camping though this is not designed for backpacking.

We had a truly wonderful adventure on our Lake Huron Road Trip and I cannot wait to get into the details of the trip with you. I intend to share it from beginning to end and highlight some really special spots. Michigan, Lake Huron, and Canada were incredibly beautiful and fun road trip! I hope this encourages you to plan your own adventure.

#lakehuron #roadtrip #puremichigan #canada #trippingvittlesadventure

Tripping Vittles: Lake Huron Road Trip

Posted on May 26, 2022

The Lake Huron Road Trip, the first substantial road trip is happening. Starting on Monday we will be heading out on our road trippn adventure. I spoke about what was coming the last time I wrote. So today I thought it was a great time to introduce you to my traveling companions.

Travel Partners

I thought it would be fun to show you how my mom and dog interact. We have been planning and cannot wait to start this whole adventure. I have not traveled with my mom in years.

Why a Lake Huron Road Trip?

I grew up spending time at Lake Superior. Several times in my life I have lived on or close to three of the Great Lakes. I have spent time reading about the lakes and have had small short adventures on their shores. My goal is to do a road trip around each one.

I thought it would be a blast to take one of the people who instilled my love of Lake Superior in me. My Mom and Dad took us to Duluth and places north many times as kids. The last trip around the lakes with my parents happened when I was 10-12 years old. My mom is in her 80’s now just seems like the perfect time to make this trip.

A Lake Huron Road trip will present challenges and also teach me about how I want to do Tripping Vittles on the Road. How can I take Tripping Vittles and share yet make some $$ to keep this whole thing rolling? I have such a fun vision in my head and I love you are on the trip with me. So I will ask you to do somethings. Below give me a follow. If I share something with a link and you too think that would be great, please buy it through my links. This is fun but I also am trying to create a business. I cannot thank all of you enough who already have done those things and for those that want to support me see the next paragraph.

Bookmark and Follow Me.

There are some places I will be doing live broadcasts. Sharing photos and videos and just writing about my experiences and with luck introducing you to fun, cool and neat things on the road. I will also have shopping lists for things that made this and other road trips easier on my Amazon page. Click the below icons to subscribe to my channels. Don’t miss the road trip!


Lastly a word about affiliates. As I grow companies are starting to come to me and ask me to share products. I will not do anything with a company that I don’t actually use and believe in what they offer. You will never see me representing makeup because I don’t wear it. But know if there is a link I may possibly get paid by the company or through purchases of products on their website or a purchasing platform like Amazon.

Supporting the Adventure

Lastly I was told to include this link from people who have been doing this longer than I. This is my Venmo account if you are enjoying the content but don’t buy on line or are not using the things I link to. But you want to support me you can scan the below link and toss a few dollars my way. I thank you ahead of time if this is the way you go and know everything sent will go towards this and future road trips.

Tripping Vittles Venmo Account

Thanks so much and let’s get to Road Trippn!

My Schitts Creek Experience

Posted on October 12, 2020

….This is my Schitts Creek Experience I am driving down the road after a major goof up… Did you know Nashville and Memphis are two different cities? In the same state? one is on the Mississippi and one is not.

Nashville, Memphis they sound a lot alike

Yes I did know they were two different cites I just could not remember which one was on the river and I swore it was Nashville heheheh it is not. So I am barlelyning down the road thinking I am saving myself some time jumping ahead a little from the original plan when BAM! It hits me I am not going towards the river but away from it.

At this stage all you can do is laugh so Laugh I do. and then it hits me! The TV show Schitts Creek was so popular there must be little amazing motels sprouting up all over. I will find me a Rosebud Motel and spend the night!. My Schitts Creek Experience is about to start. I am feeling really kind of brilliant with this idea!

Rosebud Motel ahead

I drove off the highway and the first stop there was a little Motel, freshly painted doors. Bright white and clean. You rang a bell… this is going great. an adorable little woman comes out. She is no Stevie but she will due. I get my key.. I am so excited to enter my version of the Rosebud Motel I was clearly looking at this place through rose colored, NO blacked out glasses.

This May not be a Schitts creek experience after all

WTF! This is My Schitts Creek Experience

Key in lock.. door open… a single king size bed in the middle of the room. a tv on the wall, the floor!! clearly they have learned after a murder or two or maybe the wild sex parties that clearly take place in a room like this. that it is best to have a vinyl flooring so the mop up is easier.

Then the smell happens like it comes at you I mean it attacks you I imagine its what an unclean sex den smells like the day after frat boy graduation.

But wait! there is more.. No you say! Yes there is a scream. Like I think its one of those murders I imagine they have that call for the flooring and then a woman voice. “I am not doing that with your dick or anyone else. Fuck you!”

Needless to say I am at a Lovely Marriott a bit further down the road.

If you are wondering what this Schitts Creek is and where You can See it I highly suggest buying the Schitts Creek Series DVD . You will not be disappointed.

My Schitts Creek experience was less than or maybe more than I would have ever imagined. I am currently accepting offers to drive the country looking for the perfect Schitts Creek Experience. You may send all inquires to Hello@Trippingvittles.com!