Friday Flotsam

Fa! Ri! Fl! Ot! Da! Y! Sa! M!

capp and croissant

You want to know what I’m sick of?


Wait! Hear me out on this.

Hotels. MASSIVE, posh, too-expensive, froo froo hotels. It’s not that I think they’re BAD. Because they’re definitely not an awful place to be. I’m no animal. It’s just . . . . what happened to MOTELS, MAN?

A funky, multi-colored vintage motel with a little awning and an outdoor pool out in the middle of everything. What happened to that whole thing? And why don’t more people stay in motels? (besides roaches and bed bugs and murderers. . . oh my.)

Guys, I think we should bring the motel back. I just feel like there’s a giant missed opportunity with motel MAGIC, and all that they could be!

PICTURE THIS: a bar next to the outdoor pool. And maybe a fire pit. Everything feels like it’s from the ’50s and ’60s with muted pinks and pale blues and yellows. Patio lights are strung everywhere and good music plays in the (now slightly bigger) lobby where you check in and mingle with the other guests. Rosé is given out among arrival. Okay that’s basically all I want really. The rosé at arrival.

I think this could be a thing!

In my head it’s WAY more charming and fabulous than a hotel could be ever be. Have I gone mad? Don’t answer that.

Listen. Are there motels in this country that I need to seek out? We’re traveling to Oregon this June (another month-long relocation!) so I’m on a hyper mission to stay in those funky motels with big neon signs out front!

Roaches sold separately.

green antiques

And while we’re at it, WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO GAZEBOS? I just feel like there aren’t enough gazebos in this world. And the gazebos that you’re thinking about right now, well . . . they’re famous.

The Sound of Music.

Gilmore Girls.

Music Man.

Anne of Avonlea.



WHY DON’T WE HAVE MORE GAZEBOS? If a town or village is being built from scratch, I just feel like at that very first meeting, a gazebo needs to be at the top of the list. “Super pumped to build our new town, you guys! Eeee! Where will the gazebo go!?”

I mean, how hard was that?

Wait, you know what, I’m adding a gazebo to all of our motels! It’s right next to the bar which is right next to the swimming pool and fire pit under the patio lights and the rosé in our hands that we got at arrival. Done.

So glad we had this talk.

snowy pergola

On a scale from nope to UM, YEAH – how bad do we need to watch Bird Box?

Or You!?

Which one first? Bird Box or You?

I’ve been hearing about both Netflix shows, and while I know very little about each, I’m curious to know which one is more worth it. Have you watched?

Should I be scared?! I’m excited.

Wish I could watch under a gazebo at a motel by the swimming pool and the fire pit with the patio lights and a rosé in my hand that I got at arrival.

outdoor fridge


  1. to call it “power cut” because Peppa Pig calls it power cut.
  2. after the three-hour mark when things start to look grim and hopeless, grab some crates and baskets and organize your fridge food to stash outdoors on the concrete or yard or patio table. (p.s. that o’douls is Aaron’s. he drinks it after manual labor if he doesn’t feel like beer. weird, I know.)
  3. Gin Rummy and Speed and Go Fish! (seriously didn’t know how to play Go Fish. are you deleting me from your life?)
  4. Wine.
  5. Immediately (which we did not do) hang sheets or blankets in the doorways to keep the heat in the living room. And keep that fire going, man. Keep it going.
  6. Wine.
  7. Save your 14-year old wedding candles for said power cut. If you’re planning a wedding right now, add “extra candles for power cut 14 years from now.”
  8. Boil water in a big pot in the kitchen for warmth.
  9. Wine.
  10. Run hot shower in the bathroom five minutes before you need the bathroom.
  11. Wine.
  12. Tons of wonderful friends will offer to take your whole family in. Don’t do it! It’s a trap! (just kidding. thank you ALL.)
  13. Wine.
  14. Make your living room a campground. A tent for the kids with a blanket on top. Sleeping bags on the couch for the adults.
  15. Wine.
snowy trees

Weekend plans?

We’re getting more snow. Except! I keep eagle-eye following the doplar storm track 55 or whatever, and I doooon’t think it’s going to be nearly as bad as what they predicted even three days ago. Three inches, tops. HEAR THAT, MAMA NAY NAY? THREE INCHES AND YOU’RE DONE. Sorry to scream at you, Mama Nay Nay. (<–that’s what I call Mother Nature. You may now delete me from your life.)

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30 Responses to Friday Flotsam

  1. Candace January 18, 2019 at 8:03 am #
    Definitely not on the way to Oregon but you should totally check out the Madonna Inn in California. It is the most charming motel! Each room is a different theme. My husband surprised me with a California road trip for our honeymoon and we stayed there for a night. Our room was straight out of a fairy tale. It was called "Bridal Falls". So, so neat!
  2. Amanda R January 18, 2019 at 9:29 am #
    We stayed in a few cute motels on our road trip last summer, but they were in Arizona and Colorado, so definitely not in your drive! But I agree so much with your reasoning! I love motels!
  3. Dana January 18, 2019 at 9:29 am #
    The motels of my childhood where the parents were asleep and all the kids from the whole motel were at the pool without sunscreen or a lifeguard at 7:00 in the morning? Is that what you’re looking for? Those places were a blast!
  4. Jill January 18, 2019 at 9:55 am #
    I spent many a childhood summer in motels across the country. The Hotel Dylan in Woodstock, NY is on my summer wish list. Courtney and Robert Novogratz designed the rooms.
  5. Reagan January 18, 2019 at 10:12 am #
    Check out Modtraveler on Instagram; he posts a lot of great retro motels. I am obsessed Mid Century everything so I love your idea for the motel! I am crossing my fingers this weekend won't be as bad as last, my husband worked 26 hours straight in the storm.
  6. Jennifer January 18, 2019 at 10:23 am #
    Have I got the motel for YOU - The Lark Bozeman: / The folks who own this property are investing millions in a place in Walla Walla - to be called The Finch. And you should totally check it out, then report back so I know what to expect when the Walla Walla project is finished...
  7. Ashley January 18, 2019 at 11:25 am #
    I live about an hour away from the Oregon coast, and can promise that whatever town you guys stay in will provide lots of motels for you to see that fall into the major NOPE category. :) We watched Birdbox weeks ago and I'm still not sure how I feel. I had to leave the room once because it was just too intense, but I don't really feel like seeing it made my life better.
  8. laura January 18, 2019 at 11:44 am #
    Just FYI: The Madonna Inn is a Landmark Resort Hotel & Spa, not a motel.
  9. Wendy January 18, 2019 at 12:12 pm #
    You described in Austin texas to a Tee!
  10. Shannon January 18, 2019 at 12:21 pm #
    If you come to Oregon you may just end up moving here! The Pacific Northwest is basically THE promised land (in my humble PNW opinion). Also, if you want to take it even one step past the 50's motel magic, check out this vintage trailer resort. ( Added bonus is that the trailer resort is a super short drive from the heart of Oregon wine country and is also a stones throw away from a fun indoor waterpark for the kiddos.
  11. Sophia January 18, 2019 at 12:28 pm #
    In Victoria BC we have a motel called Hotel Zed (it really is a motel) and it’s super funky retro motel but they have a VW bus to pick you up at the airport and real cruiser bikes you can use to explore the city! Annnnnddd they have a bright purple water slide. The kids looooove it!
  12. gary weidner January 18, 2019 at 12:45 pm #
  13. rosemarie January 18, 2019 at 12:55 pm #
    We stayed at a really cute motel in Napa...because everything in Napa is either $80 a night or $400 a night...nothing in between. We loved it.
  14. Ashley January 18, 2019 at 1:48 pm #
    Mingle with other guests? You lost me there. It sounded charming and cute, but make small talk with random strangers on vacation? Girl you crazy Side note: this is also why I’ve avoided taking a cruise. I dread being stuck at a table of strangers night after night (unless all those people were awesome and your new BFFs, but seriously when does that ever happen???)
  15. Laura January 18, 2019 at 2:36 pm #
    Oooooh boy, do I have to place for you... Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa (a because first of all (most importantly?) It's in Calistoga. In Napa. In WINE COUNTRY. Second, it's all Route 66/travel lodge of yore themed. But like, hip. Like if Wes Anderson needed a Motor Lodge & Spa for a scene..this is it. You need to go.
  16. Emily M January 18, 2019 at 3:07 pm #
    I live in a tiny town on the MS River and we have a gazebo. Kept up by the local garden clubs, no less! It's actually quite lovely and has the most gorgeous view looking out over and across the river. Its quaint and picturesque and people LOVE it. Never know when you'll drive by and catch a wedding! So I agree- Yay for Gazebos. No info on motels here; but excited to travel virtually to Oregon with you this summer. hehehehehe.... Good luck with Mama Nay Nay and those three inches!! OH and my husband watched both of those shows, and he liked YOU better. I refuse to watch either. ;)
  17. Deanna January 18, 2019 at 3:25 pm #
    You literally just described Hotel Del Sol in San Francisco! Super colorful, pool in the middle, fresh baked cookies in the afternoon...I recommend it to basically everyone. (And if you find it on Hotels Tonight and book it with them directly they’ll give you 25% off the HT price).
  18. Nancy January 18, 2019 at 3:48 pm #
    I tried watching "You" and just couldn't get into it. I'm generally not into stalkers due to personal experience and that was the direction it seemed to be going. Check this motel out even though it's not on your way to Oregon: I love that you guys are doing another month long vacay. I'd love to do that but that would take care of all my time off for the entire year :( Happy Friday!
  19. Nicole January 18, 2019 at 4:52 pm #
    There’s a motel about ten minutes drive up the road from us. It’s named after a nortorious Tasmanian bushranger 😳 (I’m in Australia). It doesn’t have a pool but it has those little hatches beside the front door where your continental breakfast is delivered with toast in a paper bag. The colours aren’t what you’re after - bright orange doors and teal rails.
  20. Wendy January 18, 2019 at 6:15 pm #
    Someone else said it too. Stay at the Vintages when you come to Oregon. I’ve always wanted to but it’s only 20 mins from home so we haven’t. Very cute though! And wine country. Also...Palm Springs I’ve heard for motels. Never been there either. Saw bird box. Liked it even though I really don’t do well with shows where kids are in danger. But it’s good and unique and Sandra Bullock is amazing - tough mama, nothing will stop her. Going to watch You this weekend maybe. Stay warm!
  21. Andrea January 18, 2019 at 6:16 pm #
    Dear Bev... I feel like u crawled in a nostalgic place in my head called ... childhood happiness!!! I talk about motels all the time and wish for them. Thank you for the great writing! And memories! And wine! And chlorine smell mixed with s’mores smell goodness... and wine. Peace out.
  22. Angela January 18, 2019 at 7:12 pm #
    You should come to Cave City, KY and stay at the Wig Wam Village. Each motel room is an individual Wig Wam. Built in 1937 - definitely a step back in time.
  23. T January 18, 2019 at 9:24 pm #
    Check out the Skyview in Los Alamos, CA. and all the wineries nearby!
  24. Shopgirl January 19, 2019 at 7:29 am #
    If you’re going to Portland you should check out the Doug Fir Lounge and the motel next to it The Juniper.
  25. Stephaniw January 19, 2019 at 2:02 pm #
    Wine is the answer to all things and all seasons. #iknowimright
  26. Lauren January 20, 2019 at 7:26 am #
    Haven’t watched either on Netflix yet- I just can’t find the motivation. I thought you may enjoy this article and pics for inspiration
  27. Kristi January 20, 2019 at 7:53 am #
    I don’t know Bev, you may just have the new thing there with the motel and gazebo and bar and pool and rose. All ya need is an investor. Just think, The Flotsam Motel. Or . You could be motel magnates!
  28. Lori H January 20, 2019 at 3:57 pm #
    Definately not on your trip path, but how awesome is this (bring back the Motor Lodges!): I have not watched Bird Box or You, but my daughter LOVED You and says I have to watch it. Please report back if you do watch either one, or The Quiet Place.
  29. Leann January 21, 2019 at 10:35 am #
    If you ever get to Austin Texas, check out the Austin Motel on S. Congress. It is VERY old school 50's
  30. Melissa Murphy January 23, 2019 at 7:35 am #
    Come to Prince Edward Island, we have charm coming out of our wazooo (which sounds painful and probably smelly). We are the gazebo capital of where ever gazebos congregate. (The gazebo part of the internet is broken from all the 'other' people checking it out so dont bother checking and just take my word for it. Plus Anne of Green Gables picks you up at the airport in a wagon pulled by horses and supplies cherry cordial...that may or may not be true.

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