WICHITA, KANSAS -- Perhaps if I spent some time in Kansas I would be a bigger fan of the state ... to date, however, my experience with it has pretty much been confined to long, dreary drives across it east and west on I-70 and my current long, dreary drive south on I-35. As things stand now, I can only wonder that Dorothy Gale expressed apprehension rather than relief at realizing she was somewhere else.
My brother-in-law, Dean Minnick, and I are currently holed up for the night in the La Quinta on Kellogg Drive in Wichita. It is nice only in comparison to the Budget Inn Dean had allowed his GPS to guide us to, where we most assuredly would have had our throats slit during the night. Pros and cons to our current digs follow:
* Young woman at the front desk was very friendly and professional and, after we mentioned some of the cons that follow, offered to switch our room for us.
* Our room was right off the lobby and has a back door directly into a very pleasant atrium pool area.
* Received a military discount of about $10.
* Room and public areas, while somewhat worn, were clean (with the exception of the perintent "con" listed below).
* Hot tub in the pool area, which I would have gladly availed myself of after our long day's drive down from Minnesota, was busted. (The hotel in general has seen better days and shows signs of wear everywhere; I would be surprised if it was not torn down in two years.)
* Light switch in our room was broken, so we could not use the three lights on one side of the room.
* Frames of both beds in the room have an ankle-level metal flange sticking out of them that can cause a painful bag to the leg for anyone not being careful.
* Coffee maker was set up in a spot without an outlet and had to either be perched in the bathroom or set on the floor to use.
* Washcloth in the bathroom had one corner neatly turned back to display ... an imbedded pubic hair. Yuck.
In short, nearly $100 was a lot to pay for what we got. There are other places east of this one -- going west will take you into increasingly-seedy downtown Wichita -- and you should probably just stay at one of them instead. Either way you go on many of the main drags through town, the roads are under construction -- a perpetual condition typical in towns with a traditional mob influence.