• 2007 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (7/24/2016)

    Tasted non blind. Garnet to dark garnet color in the glass, clear looking throughout. Nose of berries, cherries and plums. Flavors of berries and cherries. Medium acidity, medium tannin, full bodied. Drink over the next few years. Ready to go. (92 points)

Posted from CellarTracker

  • 2000 Château Grand Corbin-Despagne – France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru (7/19/2016)

    Garnet to dark garnet color in the glass, clear looking throughout. Nose of flowers, berries and plums. Flavors of plums, berries and cherries. Medium acidity, medium tannin, full bodied. Drink or hold.

Posted from CellarTracker

Today marks the 6th anniversary of this blog. Wow. 6 years of doing this. I also made my 1,600th post last week. Pretty impressive when you look at all of the blogs I’ve followed over the years and the majority of which I no longer get posts and updates for because they’ve long given up on their blogging efforts. It is tiring at times. Sometimes you simply cannot muster the energy to make a simple post. But the passion is still there after all these years. Hopefully it’ll continue for many more to come.

Happy blogging and reading to all.


Holiday Inn Express & Suites Childress
3001 Ave F NW
Childress, TX 79201
(940) 937-0900
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Childress

Saturday, July 9th, 2016

OK. Let’s get right to it. This experience flat out sucked.

We arrived around 8:30PM for our pre-paid reservation and were greeted by a note on the door there are no rooms available. I’m sure it’s OK. We have a reservation.

The hotel is swarming with people. Mostly teenage boys and girls running around with plates of stinky, poor quality pizza. After waiting a bit for the backed up line at the front desk to clear I finally moved to the front of the line and identified myself at which point I was finally acknowledged as priority club member. Happens all the time so no great shakes. After signing the registration paperwork I’m handed a set of card keys coded for room 221 while the card key jacket says 202.

Uh, bad sign. I should’ve turned around and left at this moment.

So after assuring us we needed to go to 221 we go up the smelly, overcrowded with teenagers, slow moving elevator to floor 2 and open room 221 and VOILA! It is dirty. Food crumbs on the desk. Linens rolled up in the side chair. Bed unmade. Stinks to high heaven like a bunch of hormone driven teenaged baseball players have been in there farting and eating stinky, poorly made pizza. So needless to say we lug all of our luggage back down the slow moving, stinky, overcrowded elevator.

By the way, they call it luggage for a reason. You lug it.

So we let the front desk know about our room and she starts staring at the clean room list that shows our room is indeed clean dispite our visit to the contrary. After waiting an inappropriate amount of time for the other desk clerk to help her (she’s only been here two weeks she shares; heck of a way to learn on the job if you ask me) she finally gives up and decides to code our keys for room 202 that we were originally assigned and walk us up there herself. So we all climb back onto the stinky, slow moving, overcrowded elevator up to floor 2 and we get to room 202 and low and behold…

It’s occupied.

Yeah, the front desk gave us keys to an occupied room. If you know anything about the hotel industry you know this is breaking a cardinal rule. You can’t even tell anybody who is staying in your hotel, more so let a complete stranger into an occupied room. It’s called security. People get robbed or worse when entering other people’s rooms.

So we all climb back onto the smelly, overcrowded, slow moving elevator back down to the lobby at which point new hire is totally flustered and desparately in need of help from experienced clerk. Unfortunately, experienced clerk is busy compounding my problem by issuing 6 newly cleaned rooms to just arrived guests of the band tour. So I get to sit there and wait until she finishes miss-coding their keys. Yes, I watched her do so. I was also there when two of them later came back down to get their keys fixed.

So finally after a lengthy wait experienced clerk decides to upgrade me to a King Suite and credit my rewards account with 5,000 points. There, that should shut up this trouble making traveler. So off we go to the stinky, slow moving, overcrowded elevator to room 218 (I think) which is a handicapped accessible room (I hate those, they are for handicapped travelers and only be issued to them for said reason) and upon flinging the door open to our luxurious suite we find…you guessed it. Yet another dirty room that has been ransacked by stinky, marauding teenagers.

So we climb back onto the stinky, slow moving, overcrowded elevator and go back to the lobby and I slap all of my possessions right on top of the front desk and ask “Care to try again?”. Yeah, I’m finally losing it. It took this long before I finally lost my cool but even Mr. Steady loses it at some point.

So there is much embarrassment, lot’s of staring at the clean room list, exclamations of “why are they marking these rooms clean when they’re not?” and the like. Ultimately they get their final chance and give me a two queen suite (I reserved King for a reason) up on the third floor this time. Maybe we’ll luck out by changing floors. Apparently floor two is the seventh circuit of hell. So we climb back onto the stinky, slow moving, overcrowded elevator and head up to floor three. We discuss on the eternal ride upward that if this room is dirty we’re demanding a refund and driving home tonight even if it means I’ll fall into bed cranky as hell at 2 AM. So we locate our penthouse and fling the door open and VOILA! A room that appears to be clean! It stinks like cheap spray scent from aisle 11 at Walmart but by god it is clean. So out of desperation we decided to keep the room and drink TWO bottles of wine to dull the pain. Trust me, one wasn’t enough at this point.

The internet was slow. Might’ve had something to do with a hotel full of teenagers streaming everything from Pokemon GO to Sears women’s underwear ads. That’s my guess. Oh well, it was 9:45 by the time we got to a room so we were ready for bed anyway. Yeah, 9:45. Arrived at 8:30. It took an hour and fifteen minutes to get a room acceptable enough to sleep in.

The complimentary breakfast was typical Holiday Inn Express schlock. Comes with the territory I guess. So deal with it and quit your bitching.

Conclusion: I won’t be returning. Ever. There is a Hampton Inn practically across the parking lot. They get my business next time.

UPDATE: the hotel manager finally contacted me and apologized for all of the problems and is working on better training the staff and will issue a full credit for my stay.

  • 2009 Domaine Pierre Labet Beaune Clos Du Dessus Des Marconnets – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Beaune (6/17/2016)

    Light yellow color in the glass, clear looking throughout. Nose of orange peel, yellow pears and sea spray. Flavors of yellow pears, yellow apples, lemon spritz and a dash of cardamon. Medium acidity, medium to full bodied. Drink or hold. (91 points)

Posted from CellarTracker

  • 2002 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Valmur – France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru (6/16/2016)

    Yellow color in the glass, clear looking throughout. Nose of dirty diaper, Graham cracker and butterscotch. Flavors of lemon and Anjou pear framed over an earthy finish. Medium acidity, full bodied. Drink over the short term. My guess was this is a 2005 Ybarra Chardonnay Australia. Man I blew this one. (90 points)

Posted from CellarTracker

Sorry everybody. I’m right in the middle of a grueling work schedule. I’m currently on site at a client site in Phoenix, AZ USA literally waking around 6AM each morning, pretty much going straight to work at the client and getting to bed around 10PM each evening. Every single day since I arrived on site Saturday.

This is on the tail end of another trip where I did the exact same thing for a solid week at another client last week.

Which was on the tail end of…you’re getting the picture.

Fortunately I’ll be heading back home tomorrow and hope to start making some more posts about wine, food and travel. Hopefully also I’ll be able to finally decompress a little from the work and travel schedule. I look forward to visiting with you here shortly.


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