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Author Topic: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November  (Read 6223 times)

abefroman329

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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2021, 10:19:55 AM »

I hadn’t looked at this thread before. I see the various comments about Tru by Hilton. We stayed in the one on US-52 near Florence, SC, in June. We would not likely stay there again unless no other nearby hotel were available. The space was weird. No closet, no real storage space. I suppose that’s not a big deal if you’re only there for one night, as we were, but we didn’t love hanging our stuff on hooks on the wall, there was only the one rolling desk chair, and the floor felt greasy under our bare feet. The bathroom was OK, though.

By no means the worst place we’ve ever stayed, but we prefer something a little less…..unconventional. I would never even consider a Tru for a multiple-night stay somewhere.







Ugh, that is entirely too utilitarian for my tastes.  Thanks for the photos, I won't consider Tru in the future.

For whatever reason, I'm focusing on hotels where I can order breakfast from room service with the tag that you hang on the door.  Although I'm not even sure if those exist anymore, or if you have to do it electronically now.

And another reason not to store things under hotel beds: Hotels have rodent issues.  In fact, I'm never staying at an America's Best Value Inn or whatever they're called, because my parents once stayed at one and there were glue traps under the beds.
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hbelkins

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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2021, 12:19:39 PM »

A few updates:

Current plan is to leave town on a Wednesday evening, spend that night at my mother-in-law's house in Valpo, IN (she'll be here), and then drive to Cincinnati on Thursday morning.  I'm planning to visit the American Sign Museum (https://www.americansignmuseum.org/), which I hadn't even heard of until my brother told me about it last weekend; I'm pretty excited about that.  I'll spend Thursday night at the Aloft in Newport, KY and then leave to finish the drive to Asheville very early on Friday morning.

Plans for the drive home are still very much TBD - we'll have to leave the AirBnB sometime on Monday morning, and I don't have to be back to work until Wednesday.

I think I've decided on a premium sedan from Hertz, although I have a reservation for a comparable car from Avis as well, and, frankly, I'm probably just going to call both agencies the day I'm to pick up the car to see what they're going to assign to me.

It would appear that I don't need to rent an SUV for the purposes of driving through potential wintery weather - is this correct?

The sign museum was part of a Cincinnati road meet from years ago, although I understand it has moved from the location it was in at that time. When we visited, there was a lot of neon and not much road-related. Still, it was an interesting attraction.

^ I had a very similar reaction to Tru (in my case, the one in Greensboro GA). The nicer way to put it is that it's comparable to the best modern-design Motel 6s, with elevators and (unlike Motel 6s) might have some hot breakfast offerings.

What's the price range on Tru? Cheaper than a Hampton?
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SkyPesos

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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2021, 12:48:43 PM »

What's the price range on Tru? Cheaper than a Hampton?
Looks like it's around the price range of a Hyatt Place/House or Aloft from a bit of searching.
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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2021, 12:51:51 PM »

What's the price range on Tru? Cheaper than a Hampton?

Our rate at the one seen above was $110 plus tax (total $123.20 for one night), which was the AAA rate. The Hampton just down the street is maybe $10 more. Next time, we'd happily pay the $10 more. We didn't select the Tru because of the lower rate, though—I was looking at the Hilton app to find somewhere at that exit and my wife suggested we try the Tru simply because we'd never stayed at one before.
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abefroman329

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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2021, 03:18:14 PM »

A few updates:

Current plan is to leave town on a Wednesday evening, spend that night at my mother-in-law's house in Valpo, IN (she'll be here), and then drive to Cincinnati on Thursday morning.  I'm planning to visit the American Sign Museum (https://www.americansignmuseum.org/), which I hadn't even heard of until my brother told me about it last weekend; I'm pretty excited about that.  I'll spend Thursday night at the Aloft in Newport, KY and then leave to finish the drive to Asheville very early on Friday morning.

Plans for the drive home are still very much TBD - we'll have to leave the AirBnB sometime on Monday morning, and I don't have to be back to work until Wednesday.

I think I've decided on a premium sedan from Hertz, although I have a reservation for a comparable car from Avis as well, and, frankly, I'm probably just going to call both agencies the day I'm to pick up the car to see what they're going to assign to me.

It would appear that I don't need to rent an SUV for the purposes of driving through potential wintery weather - is this correct?

The sign museum was part of a Cincinnati road meet from years ago, although I understand it has moved from the location it was in at that time. When we visited, there was a lot of neon and not much road-related. Still, it was an interesting attraction.

It's still the case - it's not road-related unless you consider old Holiday Inn and Howard Johnson's signs to be road-related.
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abefroman329

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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2021, 09:55:15 AM »

Planning to stay at the Holiday Inn Express in London, KY on the way home - if anyone has any experiences of staying there, good or bad, please let me know.
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hbelkins

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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #31 on: November 01, 2021, 10:30:26 AM »

Planning to stay at the Holiday Inn Express in London, KY on the way home - if anyone has any experiences of staying there, good or bad, please let me know.

Probably a typical HI Express, and IIRC it's located at the KY 192 exit. Can't really recommend any good dining establishments in that area, but there's a Krystal nearby if you want to experience the southern version of White Castle.
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abefroman329

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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #32 on: November 01, 2021, 11:58:52 AM »

Planning to stay at the Holiday Inn Express in London, KY on the way home - if anyone has any experiences of staying there, good or bad, please let me know.

Probably a typical HI Express, and IIRC it's located at the KY 192 exit.

Correct.

Can't really recommend any good dining establishments in that area, but there's a Krystal nearby if you want to experience the southern version of White Castle.
Oh, I've had it before, I lived in GA for 8 years and my family lived there for over 20.  I like Krystal's fries better than White Castle's.

It does look the standard chain options, plus independent Mexican and Chinese restaurants.  If I go up 75 one more exit, is Shiloh Steakhouse any good?
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hbelkins

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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #33 on: November 01, 2021, 08:32:42 PM »

Planning to stay at the Holiday Inn Express in London, KY on the way home - if anyone has any experiences of staying there, good or bad, please let me know.

Probably a typical HI Express, and IIRC it's located at the KY 192 exit.

Correct.

Can't really recommend any good dining establishments in that area, but there's a Krystal nearby if you want to experience the southern version of White Castle.
Oh, I've had it before, I lived in GA for 8 years and my family lived there for over 20.  I like Krystal's fries better than White Castle's.

It does look the standard chain options, plus independent Mexican and Chinese restaurants.  If I go up 75 one more exit, is Shiloh Steakhouse any good?

Haven't tried it myself, but i hear it's good.
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snowc

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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2021, 01:24:52 PM »

Stay away from Sheraton. As I said in the Minor Things that bother you thread, its too much and its too professional.
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abefroman329

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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2021, 02:28:44 PM »

Stay away from Sheraton. As I said in the Minor Things that bother you thread, its too much and its too professional.
Yeah, I'm not sure what all of your complaints were, but the ones I could figure out weren't unique to one hotel or hotel chain.
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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2021, 02:38:05 PM »

Stay away from Sheraton. As I said in the Minor Things that bother you thread, its too much and its too professional.
Yeah, I'm not sure what all of your complaints were, but the ones I could figure out weren't unique to one hotel or hotel chain.
sorry, i was very upset basically with the incident with kickbacks.
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abefroman329

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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #37 on: November 03, 2021, 04:35:04 PM »

Kickbacks?
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snowc

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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2021, 04:58:59 PM »

Kickbacks?
If you are not from NC, read on to know what KickBack Jacks is (and its predecessor Rockola)
KickBack Jacks started as Rock-Ola Cafe in 1991, as a small restaurant. It eventually expanded to
a multi-outlet franchise and in 2010, acquired Tripps. Changed its name to KickBack Jacks and all
locations changed to KBJ in 2011-2012.
Has a good vibe, the lady who served us in Fayetteville was pregnant at the time (37 weeks! :wow:) and JUST had her baby a couple weeks ago! She was EXCELLENT. Has a good variety of food, I usually order the buffalo chicken wrap, its AWESOME!
Next time you visit NC, try going there and report back the results. I see that you are going to asheville this upcoming week, so there should be one (crossed fingers! 🤞🏻) in the vicinity!
EDIT: No KBJ in the Asheville area, so you might (if you got time) go to the one in Winston Salem.  :banghead:
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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #39 on: November 03, 2021, 05:00:17 PM »

Perhaps I just confuse easily, but...

Chris

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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #40 on: November 03, 2021, 05:14:59 PM »

Perhaps I just confuse easily, but...

Chris
It's not just you.  I might go drop acid and see if snowc's posts make sense while tripping.
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abefroman329

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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #41 on: November 03, 2021, 06:30:56 PM »

Kickbacks?
If you are not from NC, read on to know what KickBack Jacks is (and its predecessor Rockola)
KickBack Jacks started as Rock-Ola Cafe in 1991, as a small restaurant. It eventually expanded to
a multi-outlet franchise and in 2010, acquired Tripps. Changed its name to KickBack Jacks and all
locations changed to KBJ in 2011-2012.
Has a good vibe, the lady who served us in Fayetteville was pregnant at the time (37 weeks! :wow:) and JUST had her baby a couple weeks ago! She was EXCELLENT. Has a good variety of food, I usually order the buffalo chicken wrap, its AWESOME!
Next time you visit NC, try going there and report back the results. I see that you are going to asheville this upcoming week, so there should be one (crossed fingers! 🤞🏻) in the vicinity!
EDIT: No KBJ in the Asheville area, so you might (if you got time) go to the one in Winston Salem.  :banghead:
I'm glad to hear you like the place so much and had a good experience there, but (a) the menu looks the same as every other casual sit-down restaurant and (b) I'm not going to drive 5 hours round-trip out of my way to eat there.
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hbelkins

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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #42 on: November 16, 2021, 11:53:03 AM »

I understand there's a Kickback Jack's in Johnson City, Tenn.

Regarding your travel route, Kentucky has started a paving project on I-75 between Exit 11 and the Tennessee line. That will knot traffic up horribly.
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abefroman329

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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #43 on: November 18, 2021, 05:51:55 PM »

Well, I returned home on Tuesday from a successful trip.

Long story short, Hertz ended up giving me a Mustang convertible.  It was a lot of fun to drive, but the interior reeked of stale cigarette smoke when I picked it up.  Fortunately, I had several days where it was either (a) warm enough to drive with the top down or (b) warm enough to drive with the top down and the heater on, but it had leather seats, and the smell was still noticeable when I dropped it off yesterday.  It wasn't a great rental experience, but Hertz did the best they could.

I left Chicago on the evening of Wednesday, November 10.  My departure was delayed by a tractor-trailer whose driver decided not to risk trying to make it under the L overpass on Sheridan, but did so at the last minute, and the Loyola campus police had to help him turn the truck around.  Other than that, the drive to Valparaiso was uneventful.

I left Valpo for Cincinnati on the morning of Thursday, November 11.  I opted to take US-30 to US-31 south to I-465 because I find the stretch of I-65 between Chicago and Indianapolis to be godawful boring, and then took I-74 and I-75 to the American Sign Museum (I thought it was great, but small [it only took me about 30 minutes to see everything], and think it has something to offer to roadgeeks as well).  The construction-related traffic on I-74 was probably the worst I experienced on the whole trip.  I had dinner with friends and their children at their house in Cincinnati, and spent the night at the Hotel Covington, which I thought was nice.

After breakfast at Waffle House on the morning of Friday, November 12, I drove from Cincinnati to Asheville via I-75, I-640, and I-40.  The drive was gorgeous and mainly traffic-free.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday didn't involve much driving, other than driving to/from the rental house.  I noticed a lot of "Future I-26" signs in Asheville.

On Monday morning, I drove to surprise my son at the ferry between Kentucky and Illinois, from Crittenden, KY to Cave-In-Rock, IL, via I-40 and I-24.  We went to the titular cave and spent the night at a treehouse in Goreville, IL.

On Tuesday morning, we went to Garden of the Gods, and then I drove home from there.  The Google Maps directions from there were basically "head due north until you hit I-57," which I picked up at Lake Land.

Thanks for the advice!
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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #44 on: November 19, 2021, 08:28:53 AM »

So it looks like abefroman329 had a successful trip!
My father totaled his 2014 Corolla and did severe damage to the drivers side to the point of driver door unable to open. I was going to use Enterprise but due to the shortage of vehicles, we have decided not to pursue this.
Hertz is OK. If I was you, I would suggest using Enterprise.
Glad you made it safe!  :clap: :clap:
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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #45 on: November 19, 2021, 09:12:42 AM »

I have a pretty low tolerance for cigarette smoke. I'd have to insist on a different car.
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hbelkins

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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #46 on: November 19, 2021, 09:35:07 AM »


On Monday morning, I drove to surprise my son at the ferry between Kentucky and Illinois, from Crittenden, KY to Cave-In-Rock, IL, via I-40 and I-24.  We went to the titular cave and spent the night at a treehouse in Goreville, IL.

Does your son work on the ferry? I have a friend/co-worker who lives in Marion. He's a Crittenden County native from the Tolu community.

I have a pretty low tolerance for cigarette smoke. I'd have to insist on a different car.

I'm a bit surprised that rental companies still allow smoking in vehicles, and don't assess a penalty the way non-smoking hotel rooms do.
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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #47 on: November 19, 2021, 09:38:56 AM »

I have a pretty low tolerance for cigarette smoke. I'd have to insist on a different car.

I'm a bit surprised that rental companies still allow smoking in vehicles, and don't assess a penalty the way non-smoking hotel rooms do.

Most, if not all, have a policy against smoking in cars, but it may not be strictly enforced. I've been in hotel rooms that smelled like smoke and had to get a different room.
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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #48 on: November 19, 2021, 12:16:24 PM »


On Monday morning, I drove to surprise my son at the ferry between Kentucky and Illinois, from Crittenden, KY to Cave-In-Rock, IL, via I-40 and I-24.  We went to the titular cave and spent the night at a treehouse in Goreville, IL.

Does your son work on the ferry? I have a friend/co-worker who lives in Marion. He's a Crittenden County native from the Tolu community.
No, he's 3.

I have a pretty low tolerance for cigarette smoke. I'd have to insist on a different car.

I'm a bit surprised that rental companies still allow smoking in vehicles, and don't assess a penalty the way non-smoking hotel rooms do.
I'm sure whoever rented it and smoked in it was assessed a penalty (either $250 or $500), but rental cars are scarce these days (especially at Hertz, who sold off a good portion of their fleet last year and haven't received new cars yet), and they really had no choice but to hose it down with air freshener and send it back out.  Stories of rental cars that reek of cigarette (or pot) smoke are commonplace, and I suspect it won't get better unless the rental car agencies charge a fine for smoking in the car AND charge the renter for loss of use while the interior is detailed.
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Re: Chicago to Asheville - mid-November
« Reply #49 on: November 19, 2021, 12:18:35 PM »

Hertz is OK. If I was you, I would suggest using Enterprise.
Enterprise was considerably more expensive, and I'm not crazy about them - they are notorious for going over the car at return with a fine-toothed comb so they can charge for microscopic damage, even at airports, and then I had the experience last year where an Enterprise agent gave me a hard sell on a paid upgrade and then gave me a complimentary upgrade to the same car.
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