Saturday, June 29, 2024

Hampton Inn Tucson Airport

Date of Visit: June 20-24, 2024

While for longer stays, we prefer to have a roll in shower, when booking in February I could not find anything to book that was central or at least near something we planned to do. We ended up booking a King Accessible w/ Tub at the Hampton Inn Tucson Airport to at least have toilet grab bars in a location that works good for the various things we like to do when visiting Tucson.

Access aisle with no ramp

The parking in front was initially rather disappointing. The space for unloading is great in that it basically a whole parking spot turned into access aisle between the 2nd and 3rd accessible spots, but the sidewalk there is not ramped. At first I thought you had to go around to the front entrance, but there is a ramped sidewalk on the side of the first accessible spot, which was not a van accessible spot. Later when we came back and all the spots were full, we discovered there were more accessible spots around back and those were better in that the ramped sidewalk was between the two spots, although the ramped sidewalk did cause there to be a slight trip hazard where the front passenger gets out.

Barn Door to bathroom

Mostly we really like that more places have gone with a barn door for the bathrooms. This barn door was messed up, though, and the first time I used the bathroom I got trapped. Luckily, I was not alone and Dad figured out that the bottom track holder was loose so that it turned when you closed the door all the way and then blocked the door from reopening. We did not feel like dealing with maintenance during our stay, but we reported it as we were checking out and they were right on sending someone up to look at it, so pretty sure they would have at least attempted to promptly fix if we had reported it when we first noticed.

Toilet and grab bars

For once, the grab bars were in a way that Mik could get on toilet himself. Surprisingly, he did not knock the toilet paper off like usually happens with the single side holders.

Tub with bench and grab bars

The tub had a fold down seat on the back wall. It also had pump bottle toiletries. I was somewhat disappointed the water never really got hot even when turned as far as it goes, but at least it did get reasonably warm which our next hotel did not even do.

Roll under sink

The roll under sink was a little awkward with the faucet on the side. It was a problem and maybe that makes it easier for some to use.

microwave, fridge, and shelves

Under the TV, there was a microwave (low like Mik likes). To the left was a fridge behind the door. To the right was a cupboard with pull out drawers.

Desk and sofabed

By the TV was a desk area on each side. Only one side had a chair, though. By the desk was the sofa bed, which I ended up sleeping on without pulling out as a bed because Mik did not feel there was enough floor space for him if we pulled it out due to the somewhat awkward layout of it being between the bed and the TV. The rolling ottomans and the side table were handy, although it caused extra clutter that contributed to Mik feeling there was not room to have the sofa bed open.

King size bed

Next to the bed was the closet area. At first I thought it was rather lame with it only having a small hanging area in the corner mostly blocked from accessing by the night stand. I then realized the curtain was hiding the rest of the closet area.

Full closet area

Mik's waffles with raspberry syrup and whipped cream

The breakfast was good. There was decent variety of things available and the hot breakfast varied each day (eggs, omelettes, sausage, biscuits). Mik really enjoyed the waffles as they had different sauces, whipped cream, and fruit to put on them.

Mik eating breakfast

Other than our first and last morning, Mik had us bring his breakfast up to the room because the seating options for breakfast are not the best, Most of the seating is at a high top table and small short coffee tables by the couches. There are a some regular tables, but especially the first day it was too crowded to get one.

Overall Hampton Inn Tucson Airport was a decent place to stay, but Mik says he’d probably try somewhere else than stay again. The room layout was too awkward and just did not work out well for all of us. His biggest complaint, though, was the TV as there was no regular Fox channel and the TV signal frequently cut out.

Destination Info:

6971 S. Tucson Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85756

Best Western Discovery Inn

Best Western Discovery Inn building and parking lot view

Date of Visit: June 19-20, 2024

I booked a Mobility Accessible room with 2 Queen beds and tub. Upon check in they did make it clear that the room was in the pet section and offered to move us when we said we did not have pet, but as it was the only accessible room left we preferred to stick with it. The hotel did end up pretty full that night and the only time we even noticed we were in the pet section was when leaving in the morning and two dogs briefly barked at each other when they met in the hall.

3 cookies

We all enjoyed the cookies we got at check in.

Desert view and Interstate

The room was located on the back side of the building which was near the Interstate, but was still quiet.

View of room with 2 queen beds and tile

Mik loved that the room was tile throughout.

Table and Chairs

We moved the table and chairs into the corner and piled our stuff in the area right where we came in and Mik still had plenty space in the front of the room to hang out on the floor as he likes.

TV Stand

It was the smaller style mini fridge. Mik liked that the microwave was low. The power for charging stuff in the TV stand was helpful.

Closet to right in bathroom

The closet area was in the bathroom.

Roll under sink

Roll under sink.

Toilet by tub with grab bars

Mik couldn’t get on toilet himself with the grab bars, but it seems rarer and rarer he is able to do that in new situations. This design so close to wall and tub, I imagine is probably not the best for many others either.

Tub with grab bars and mounted toiletries

The tub had a bench leaning against wall. This was the first time I had stayed at a Best Western that had switched to the on wall toiletries. While we did not end up using the shower, these are the squeeze style and I have found these hard to use at other places and the high height probably makes them even harder if you cannot stand. At least the shower wand head was left low, though, as so many times we have noticed it is put up on a bracket up high.

Threshold out

The threshold on the way out of the room was a little high.

Breakfast menu

The breakfast here was one of the best we’ve had a Best Western. They had a lot of variety including yogurt, fresh fruit (bananas as well as fresh fruit like watermelon cut up in cups to grab from the fridge), Uncrustables, biscuits, eggs, sausage, and oatmeal.

Overall we really enjoyed the Best Western Discovery Inn. If Mik had not decided he wanted to go straight home and skip the Petrified Forest National Park, we would have stayed her a night on the way home, too.

Destination Info:

Best Western Discovery Inn
200 Estrella Ave
Tucumcari, NM 88401

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Best Western Tulsa Airport

Date of Visit: June 18-19, 2024

The Best Western Tulsa Airport was our first stop to sleep on our way from Chicago to Tucson. When we were starting our day with our first (and really only) planned stop before Tucson being Pops in Oklahoma we considered getting there on our first day, but found that there was an mobility accessible room at the Best Western Tulsa Airport available to book that night and no accessible rooms at the closest Best Western past Pops. We mostly do not mind not getting an accessible room when it’s just a stop on the road to sleep, but since we noticed it was an option we booked the room in the morning rather than our usual in the evening as we are getting ready to be done for the day.

Mobility Accessible room with 2 beds

This definitely is a low end Best Western and the price does reflect that at least (nothing since I used points…or $58/night if I hadn’t). The rooms are rather worn and it had a musty smell to it. It was clean, but they did not stock the bathroom adequately with there only being bath towels and wash cloths (no hand towel) and 2 bottles of shampoo (no soap and no conditioner). Since the room was on the far back side, we did not bother asking for toiletries and just used one of the extra bars of soap I had saved from earlier in our trip.

The biggest concern we had when we first got to our room was that there were kids that were playing around outside the room next door and kept going back and forth to other rooms (it seemed there were families staying here long term/living here). It was noisy with them knocking next door every time they came back and you had to watch out for one of the little kids riding his trike down the walkway. It was around 7pm when we got there, though, and it was not excessively loud. Overnight there was no noise, so they did seem to respect what would be considered typical quiet hours.

toilet with grab bars

The toilet grab bars were interesting. Mik could almost get up using them, but they were slightly too high for him. They then made it hard to help get him the rest of the way on, especially for me, because of how they stick out and are so close on both sides.

roll in shower

The mobility accessible room description I booked said it was a tub, so we were surprised to find it was actually a roll-in shower. That worked out well for us as Mik was due for a shower after being in Mom’s condo where there is a tub and while I have three accessible rooms book our trip only the one night I have booked as we head back east is a room with roll in shower. The water pressure was not the best, but it did get hot fast and it was well designed slanted inwards that there was no water mess outside the shower like you often have to deal with.

Fridge, Microwave, and "closet" area with low clothes hanging bare
Fridge, Microwave, and Low "Closet" area

open floor area by bed when you first come in room

Mik found the area right when you came in before the first bed a good area for him to hang out and there was an outlet by the chair for him to use for charging his phone and tablet.

The breakfast was okay. The selection was somewhat limited, but there was eggs, sausage patties, individually packaged muffins, bread for toast, oatmeal packets, and waffle maker. Kind of disappointing there were no bananas and the only fruit available was one apple. They very well might have had bananas and more apples as even though we were at breakfast just a little after it supposedly opened at 6am, there were several other groups already eating.

Overall it was worth what we paid for and it was worthwhile for the roll in shower. Also, it worked out as  the right location to stop for the night as it was close to a Walmart to get a needed oil change first thing the next morning and going any further would not have allowed for our leisurely driving day that included an unplanned stop to eat at Cozy Dog Drive In. The extremely slow internet that was unusable was rather disappointing, though.

Destination Info:
Best Western Tulsa Airport
222 N Garnett Road
Tulsa, OK 74116

Pops 66: Getting Our Sips on Route 66

Mik and Kjersti with their soda bottles in front of Pops 66 66-foot bottle

Date of Visit: June 19, 2024

Since Dad and I discovered Pops 66 on our drive from Tucson moving to Alabama in 2013, we have been to Pops several times usually when it is not really on the way. This trip, though, it was just a short detour off the route and was another Route 66 stop.

Bag of Candy and Two 6-packs of Soda

Mik and I each got a six pack of sodas. Mik got Serenity Sodas Orange & Cinnamon, Chocolate-Covered Maple Smoked Bacon, Rocket Fizz S'Mores, Dublin Texas Orange Dream, Filbert's Banana, and Lester's Fixins Pumpkin Pie. I got Rocky Mountain Soda Co. Evergreen Elderberry, Twig's Farmer's Brew Butterscotch Root Beer, Filbert's Banana, Northwest Soda Works Marionberry Creme, Jackson Hole Soda Cowboy Cream, and Henry Winhard's Black Cherry Cream.

Classic Candy aisle at Pops 66

We also got some candy from the classic candy area. Since we are not sure if we will swing through Nashville on our way home or not, yet, Mik decided to get a peanut butter Goo Goo Cluster.

Butterscotch Smoothie Peanut Butter Cups

We really enjoyed the butterscotch smoothie peanut butter cups. The other candy (mostly Cow Tales) we are saving for snacking on later as we are not worried about them melting in the parked car.

Accessible Parking in Last Row at Pops

This is the first time we hit Pops in the morning and there were not many cars there, so we got an accessible parking spot in the first row. However, there have been times that we have used one of the spots in the last row, which to some extent is more convenient as they are next to the sidewalk to the building and you do not have to go through the gas pump to parking area of parking lot.

View of driving area between accessible parking in first row and building

Kjersti and Mik with their Sodas in front of 66-foot Pops Bottle

One of these days we need to stop when the restaurant side is open and we have time to spare as you can get an ice cream float made with any of the flavors from the Pops cooler area. We had not planned to this time, but if the restaurant part was open at 10:30am (about when we got there) like their website says, we likely would have this time as Mik had purposely waited until after Pops to have a snack.

Pop 66 Bottle Lit Up at Sunset
2016 Photo of Bottle at Sunset

Pops 66 is a good stop to stock up on some fun sodas (and candy) any time of day, but the soda bottle does look good when it is lit up at night. 

Destination Info:

660 OK-66
Arcadia, OK 73007

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Cozy Dog Drive In

Mik in Front of Cozy Dog Drive In

Date of Visit: June 18, 2024

When planning Mik’s 30th birthday trip, we had considered doing some Route 66 things. Originally it was something we were going to do towards the end of the trip when we went from Anaheim to Chicago, but we ended up starting the trip from Chicago (it was a change we made about a week before the trip to allow Dad and I to make a quick weekend detour to go to see the ceremony for mom’s uncle being inducted into the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame). When planning the trip, Mik ended up only wanting to do Pops in Oklahoma. The first rest area we stopped at in Illinois, though, had info on Route 66 attractions in Illinois and Dad suggested we stop at some of them. Mik could not be convinced to stop at the Man with a Giant Hot Dog statue or World’s Largest Catsup Bottle, but he was up for having an early lunch at the Cozy Dog Drive in…once I told him it was no farther off the route than stopping somewhere else for lunch. 

Cozy Dog souvenir display

With it being called a drive in, we thought it be similar to Sonic, but it actually has seating inside and a drive through. Eating inside was definitely the right choice as they have Route 66 decor and information including Route 66 books you can you look through while you’re there.

Mik rolled up to booth table

Mik found the booth tables perfect for him to roll up to. I little hard for Dad and I to get in and out without moving Mik, but once all in it was good. There are also regular tables that you can pull chairs away from to roll under.

Table with chairs

Mik eating corn dog

Mik, of course, had to have a corn dog.

Mik eating chili cheese dog

He also had a chili cheese dog.

Cheese on a stick

I enjoyed the cheese on a stick and we all shared the fries, which were Mik's favorite style of fries.

Cozy Dog Cola in bottle

To drink, Mik had the Cozy Dog cola and I had the Cozy Dog root beer.

Cozy Dog root beer in bottle


Mik said the bathroom was good as they were just one person style rooms that are spacious versus bathrooms with stalls that even the accessible one frequently is not big enough for a wheelchair and helper.

entrance to Cozy Dog Drive In with Route 66 Roadside Attraction sign

Cozy Dog Drive In ended up being a great early lunch stop. We got there around 10:30am and there was pretty much no one there. By the time we left probably half the tables were in use and the drive through line was around the building almost to where we were parked. 

Mik and Kjersti in front of Cozy Dog Drive In Sign

Destination Info:
Cozy Dog Drive In
2934 S 6th St
Springfield, IL 62703

Route 66 Springfield, Illinois sign at Cozy Dog Drive In