Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Our American Journey - Day 23 (2)

Yesterday, we finally got to meet someone we’d only corresponded with by e-mail to date. Jill first got in touch with us several years ago, having found us on a website somewhere. She had a bunch of Jesus videos available in various West African languages and wondered if we or others we knew could use them. She’d cover the shipping costs. Soon we discovered that her servant heart covered a whole lot more ground than that. Together with her friend, Terri, she was not only willing to send out various ministry materials, but also other useful and personal items to those working overseas who couldn’t get them. We’ll never forget the box of goodies she sent to us in Burkina Faso back in 2004!

It was a chilly, rainy day outside, but we spent a warm and inspirational afternoon with Jill & Terri, talking about ministry and missions. One of the best things, hands down, about this trip has been the people we’ve met, visited, and stayed with.

For those of you that have been wondering how we made out with the Days Inn customer service issue, we’ll give you three guesses and the first two won’t count. That’s right, no phone call. There’s probably not much point in following up more on this except to notify corporate headquarters that the motel in question never did call us, right? After all, what are they gonna do about it now? No sense making a federal case out of it, I guess. What do you think?

One new motel chain we’ve discovered on this trip is Baymont Inn & Suites. The first time was out of necessity: they were pretty well the only place that had a room left when we arrived in Longview, TX. The second was by choice, thanks to a little financial incentive in the form of a serious discount coupon we picked up at a Michigan Travel Center. Baymont isn’t luxury, but it’s not economy either, so it costs more than we’re normally willing to pay. However, it has the nicest rooms of any of the motels we’ve stayed in. Nice continental breakfast and eating area too, kind of like a little café. Okay, there are no exercise facilities, so there’s still room for improvement. And we’ve not had a customer service issue with them yet, so we don’t know how they’ll actually do in that department. But we like their attitude:

“A 100% satisfaction guarantee is nice, but at Baymont, we try a little harder. Should you have a problem during your stay, let us know. If we can’t correct it, your night’s stay is on us. Plus you’ll receive another 10% off your next visit. It’s just our way of showing you how serious we are about your experience.”

We also have to recommend the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain. Good meals, a decent variety, good service, and reasonable prices, all in a unique country store atmosphere with old-tyme artefacts all over the walls. Their coffee’s a little weak for our taste, but we can always find a Starbucks afterwards if we need to. The contrast makes us appreciate the Starbucks more :) Cracker Barrel also has the coolest gift and souvenir store, neat stuff we’ve not seen anywhere else. I wish we had this restaurant chain in Canada just for that reason alone! But since we don’t, Kathy & I took advantage and stocked up on a few things for upcoming celebrations. Check them out the next time you’re driving in the USA.

Well, it’s almost midnight again. Time to hit the sack. We’ve got a long day ahead of us tomorrow, but are looking forward to sleeping in our own bed again tomorrow night!

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