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Roomless in Bend, Oregon

With colorful, city-themed rooms, a funky Statue of Liberty out front, and a hearty multi-course breakfast, all for $80 a night, the Mill Inn was definitely a contender for the coveted title of Darn Good Digs - that was, until the innkeeper sat down to breakfast with us.

The Mill Inn

We had spoken with Carol on the phone when we booked our rooms.

She was a Brooklyn native, friendly and talkative. She said she’d give us her best room at a discount, “because you’re from Brooklyn.”

As Benjamin nibbled on his specially prepared mouse-shaped waffle, Carol raved about Bend. She pulled out guidebooks and postcards to show us all the local highlights.

Then, out of nowhere, Carol said… “about your room.” It never occurred to us in a million years that she was going to kick us out. “You can’t stay here the next two nights.” We were floored.

Carol explained that a family was taking over the entire inn for the weekend. She told us not to worry, that she had a different place for us. The first floor of a condo she owns. 8 miles outside town. “It’s gorgeous. You’ll love it.”

To her credit, when we told Carol we wanted to stay near downtown, she did make calls to some other hotels – she found a room for us at a nearby b & b for over twice the price. And when Allison found a room at a nearby motel, Carol actually insisted we follow her shiny black pick-up to make sure everything was ok with our new digs.

Room 344 was clean, but musty.  Still, we were ready to start anew in Bend.

“I can’t say we’re not disappointed,” I told Carol when she asked if we were happy. “We booked our room six months ago, and we were psyched to stay there.”

“Mine is the best place in town,” she said, but then it clicked…

“I’m not going to charge you for last night. I never was. And stop by for breakfast tomorrow. You can come in the back door. And I’ll let you sit at my table tonight at the Taj Palace to see Raven dance. She only dances here once a year. You don’t want to miss it.” She even offered to have someone babysit.

We didn’t make it to breakfast, but that night we did happen to walk by the Taj Palace, a local Indian restaurant downtown. Sure enough, a poster for Raven, the belly dancer, hung on the window. I’m sure she was an excellent dancer, except she wasn’t dancing that night. She’d be there the following weekend, but we’d be back in Brooklyn by then.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Sarah | July 30, 2008 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    what a crappy experience! i can’t say that i’ve ever had anything like this happen to me, but i would be really disappointed as well. she obviously booted you for more profit, but that never really works out well in the long run, does it?

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