David Hostetler; Final Blog

Red Roof Inn
7340 Plantation Road
Pensacola, Fla. 32504

Aug. 30, 2015

I have reached the final stop on my “Cross Country Red Roof Inn Tour” in Pensacola, Florida. Thus, I am writing my final blog entry for this trip.  I plan to stay an extra day here to do some visiting.  I needed a break from the view of the windshield.  Why not here in the Cradle of Naval Aviation?  After 12 hours of travel, Toni, the desk clerk, greeted me with the southern hospitality common in the Floribama region of the Gulf Coast.  She followed up with a call to the room about 30 minutes later.

A King Room with microwave and refrigerator, I am in good shape for my two-day stay here.  The hotel is nestled away in a professional park setting providing a very quiet room for sleeping.  It is close to restaurants and shopping as well as the Interstate.  A breakfast restaurant across the parking lot provided a great way to start the morning.

My Navy training causes me to pause at this point and review the plan, the execution of the plan and how it may be improved.  I smile to myself when I learned the Navy way of planning is to start by saying, ‘How did we do it last time?”  Since this was the first time, I had made my best attempt.  The plan was solid and set a very high standard for the next execution.  Planning out the distances and estimating the driving time each day could use some tweaking.  I might change the 12 hour drive to two days if possible next time.  THAT was a long day.  At least it was daylight driving only.  Safety for you, your family and everyone on the road around you is most important.

Staying in the same hotel chain provided an expected level of service and quality every night, regardless of the location. I was pleased on all four stops.  It began to feel like I was staying in the same place, but was actually progressing along.  Familiarity with the property and the décor helped, but the constant factor across the country was the pleasant professional staff who serve you at the Red Roof Inn.

I am aware that different military services have different and sometimes more methodical ways of planning operations and missions.  All are very effective upon execution.  My advice is to plan your trip.  Including Red Roof Inn worked well for my plan.  It may do the same for you.  “How did we do it last time?”  I know how I did it…and I can confidently say: “Mission Accomplished!”

In closing:  If you have ever donned a uniform to serve your city, state or country, Please accept my sincere gratitude for what you and your family have done.

Executed a plan with minimal changes.

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David Hostetler; Blog Input #3

Red Roof PLUS+ San Antonio Downtown – Riverwalk
1011 E Houston St
San Antonio, Texas 78205

Good evening!  Checking in online after checking in at Red Roof Inn San Antonio.  Following a long, but somewhat relaxing, drive from El Paso to San Antonio I am staying in the downtown area just off I-37.  A quick ten minute walk will have you in the middle of the historic district including the Riverwalk and the Alamo.   The lobby had a large supply of tourist maps and the staff was quick to answer questions about sightseeing options. I went downtown and took the Riverwalk boat tour.  Very informative and scenic.

You may have noticed a photo of my travel companion, Susie, in yesterday’s blog.  Because my current room accommodations are very similar to those described in my two previous blogs, I will focus on pet accommodations for this edition.

I have walked into three different lobbies this week and have always received smiles for Susie and me, I think).  There seemed to be far more pets than I expected when I booked these rooms.  Pet owners are traveling with dogs of all sizes from 75 pounds to 7.5 pounds while Susie “tips the scales” at 35 pounds.  They (Owners) seem to understand that they and their pets will be comfortable at Red Roof Inns.  In San Antonio this downtown hotel even has a grassy area on the property for your pet to walk safely and to do “what is necessary” while on the walk.  It includes a special receptacle for proper disposal (such as those seen in community parks).  The San Antonio and Tucson properties had tile floors in the room which keep it cooler and makes for an easier clean up from an accident.  It was recommended to me to not bring Susie downtown with me, but I leave that to you and your pet.

I will end on a lighter note:  The drive along I-10 is a very long, mostly unpopulated, stretch.  The speed limit 80 MPH along most of the stretch.  During the drive it occurred to me that the increased speed limit still requires Texas State troopers to run speed traps and actually write tickets!   Lots of flashing lights today. (No tickets for me.  See 75 miles per hour comment in yesterday’s blog.)  I feel I can safely surmise that speeding ticket is most likely far more than my room rate at Red Roof Inn.

Tomorrow I am off to Pensacola, Florida, the “Cradle of Naval Aviation.”

Note:  Due to the San Antonio hotel’s downtown location, there is a nominal daily charge for parking.


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Travel with guest blogger and veteran, David Hostetler- On to El Paso, Texas!

David Hostetler; Blog Input #2

Red Roof Inn
7530 Remcom Circle
El Paso, TX 79912

August 27, 2015

I completed my stay at Red Roof Inn-Tucson with continued superb service from the front desk staff including Don, Antonio and Mayra.  Top-notch service.  I checked out in the late morning and started my trek across eastern Arizona, New Mexico and on to El Paso, Texas.

A few thoughts came to mind as I drove out of the desert into the high plains of New Mexico.  In a time that we are quick to fly from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’, I am reminded and impressed on how vast this country is.  Looking out and being able to see mountains that are 18-20 miles away is truly impressive.  As a Navy veteran, I am used to seeing the sky meet the flat ocean on the horizon.  But to look to my left and see the sky touching the flat surface of the earth I am awestruck. The other thought that comes to mind on days such as these is this.  Those who settled the American west did so on covered wagons, horseback or on foot and not in air conditioned vehicles sitting on cushioned seats listening to their favorite music.  They covered maybe 15 miles in a day, while we cover 75 in an hour.  Their resilience will always be a constant reminder of how tough our fore fathers were.  Needless to say, they didn’t have a reservation at a Red Roof Inn waiting at the end of the day’s travels.

As the plant life around the freeway slowly turned from brown to green, I knew I was leaving the desert and getting closer to Texas.  I arrived at the Red Roof Inn in El Paso and was pleased to find it easily accessible from the interstate and nestled within numerous restaurants and shopping venues.  (Economical shopping right across the street if you want to stock up on snacks for the road.)

The front desk clerk, Ivan, greeted me and was soon joined by the manager, Ernie, to welcome me.  Ivan immediately completed my check-in and



helped me with some paperwork that needed emailing to San Diego.  That was completed before I even went to my room.

As for the room, I tried a different type this evening.  Known as the “Center King” it was in superb material condition and immaculate.  With a king-sized bed, as the name connotes, it has a business desk, a dinette table with two chairs, two stuffed chairs, along with the other items found in a standard room.  It also has two climate control units to allow different temperatures in different parts of the room.

In my opinion, this is ideal for the business traveler staying for a week or longer or anyone who enjoys the extra space.  My dog, Susie, surely enjoyed it. She fell asleep about an hour ago (on the floor, of course)! It was an extremely comfortable and quiet with easy access to the elevator.

After a very restful night’s sleep, Susie and I are ready for the day’s journey.  Next stop, The Riverwalk in San Antonio.  Until then…

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Travel with Veteran and Guest Blogger, David Hostetler

David HostetlerDavid Hostetler

Brief Bio:

David Hostetler is a retired Navy Commander and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy.  He served on US Navy ships and shore installations for more than 21 years.  While traveling the United States and the world he visited 43 of the 50 states and 25 foreign countries while staying in various hotels and motels of all levels.  These are his comments.

Red Roof Inn

3704 E. Irvington Road

Tucson, AZ 85714

Moving and the military seem synonymous to most. Having been retired from active duty since 2007, moving has been much less frequent.  Sorting items, inventorying, packing, loading are all very stressful. However, once that is complete, the cross country trip is next.  It is now that the odyssey begins.

I am traveling with my dog, Susie.  A very fun-loving active border collie, I needed to find safe comfortable, affordable, pet friendly hotels for Susie and me along I-10 from Arizona to Florida.  A quick internet search led me to Red Roof Inn.

My itinerary has a stop in Tucson, Arizona (where I am writing this), El Paso, Texas, San Antonio, Texas and Pensacola, Florida over the next five days.  Red Roof Inn has locations in all of my stops.

After seven hours of driving seeing one road runner, a desert squirrel and a multitude of cacti, I was ready to stop and relax. Susie and I walked in to the front desk area at the East Irvington Road location in Tucson. The host was quick to check me in, offer me a cold bottle of water and give me specific directions on how to get to my room and where stairs and elevators were located.  He also informed me that guests receive a 10% discount at the Denny’s restaurant next door.   I subsequently received a courtesy call from him about an hour later to see if all was in order in the room.  It was.

The non-smoking (never been a smoker) room was clean, freshly painted in the Red Roof Inn colors.  A single sink vanity area with granite counter tops and a stylish mirror gave the room an “at home” feel.  As advertised on line, the room had a refrigerator and microwave for convenience. A flat screen cable-connected TV provided my “ESPN fix” for the evening.  The A/C was a welcome relief after temperatures above 100 the entire day.  Although I didn’t use it, this location has a nicely landscaped pool that includes a “chair lift” seat for disabled customers to take a dip.

The bed had fresh linens and a firm mattress and provided a good night’s rest to prepare me for my next leg to El Paso.   One last helpful tip before I was leaving,  I got superb front desk help downloading a huge document and the faxing it to the Title Company for my home sale.  About 20 pages worth!

More tomorrow from the Lone Star State.


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Experience Commerce, GA

The city of Commerce is a great place to go for a fun, relaxing getaway with the family. The city served as inspiration for Olive Ann Burns’ novel Cold Sassy Tree and visitors find the area as charming as the book. With shopping, restaurants and a train track down the center of town, visitors are taken back to a relaxed era. Here is a list of things to do and see while in town:

Outdoor Fun:

Lake Lanier

Lake Lanier

  • Lake Hartwell or Lake Lanier – Plan a fun trip to the lake. There are many fun activities and adventures you can do around the lake, including canoeing, camping, swimming, hiking, biking, boating and fishing!
  • Tococa Falls– View this beautiful waterfall in the North Georgia Mountains that is 186 feet high- 26 feet taller than Niagara Falls!

Family Fun Center:

  • Funopolis Family Fun Center– Attractions include mini golf, bumper boats and laser tag, an arcade, go karts, climbing wall, mini bowling and more!.


  • Atlanta Dragway – NHRA – Home of the NHRA and known as Georgia’s house of speed- Make sure to attend a
    racing or dragster event while in town!
  • Road Atlanta Raceway– A Motor sports facility that is known as the world’s best road courses that hosts professional and amateur races and a driving school. Some major events that take place here are the Petit Le Mans, Drift Atlanta and The Mitty.

Local shopping:farmers market

  • Jaemor Farms at Banks Crossing This local family run business/market provides fresh homegrown fruits, vegetables, homemade breads & cakes, jellies, jams, preserves, and more.
  • The Veggie Patch at Bouchard Farms– The Veggie Patch is filled with locally grown, organic produce for a healthy living and is a Certified Organic and Certified Naturally Grown farm in Commerce, GA.


  • Tanger Outlet Mall – An outlet mall with name brand and designer factory outlet stores with great savings!


A set up new golf clubs on a beautiful golf course

  • Double Oaks Golf Club An 18-hole, par 72, daily fee public golf course with a driving range and six sets of tees for all skill levels. Other amenities include a swimming pool and a banquet hall.
  • Deer Trail Country Club– A 9-hole regulation course with the longest tee ranging 6,093 yards for a par of 72. The course rating is 68.8 with a slope rating of 119.


  • Chateau Elan – Offers championship golf, a full-​production winery, European health spa, dining, and more.  

Southern Dining:

When in "VFMLID=66431729"commerce, get the most out of your travel experience by staying at budget-friendly and pet friendly Red Roof Inn & Suites Commerce. Not only are all activities listed above under 25 miles from the hotel, but the Inn also has a newly remodeled outdoor pool with beautifully landscaped picnic area. All guests’ rooms are equipped with flat screen HD TV, extended cable, in-room coffee maker, mini refrigerator & microwave, hair dryer, irons & ironing board, free WiFi and free local and long distance calls within the continental United States.

Safe travels and happy adventures!


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Wellness Day Fun

Red Roof celebrated Wellness Day on August 18, 2015 and the day was filled with fun, relaxation, tips to stay healthy, and more! Here are some of the events we got to participate in:

  • We had a Blood Drive with American Red Cross. “The need for blood is constant and only volunteer donors can fulfill that need for patients in our community. Nationwide, someone needs a unit of blood every 2 to 3 seconds and most of us will need blood in our lifetime.”blood drive collage
  • We had a blast with our Dunk Tank where we got the chance to dunk some of our Senior Management! We donated $1 to get a chance to throw and the money we raised will be going to Flying Horse Farms!dunk tank collage
  • We held an Urban Zen Yoga Class which helped us to find calm in chaos. The time to rest and restore is when you don’t have time to rest and restore. The class was designed to promote relaxation by releasing the tension we store in our muscles and was held In a quiet low-light room. The result was a substantial calming of the nervous system. Aromatherapy, Guided Breath Awareness, Simple Meditation Practices and Reiki were also all offered to coax maximum release.

A few of the other vendors who came to help us celebrate Wellness Day and Health were:

  • Ascential Acupuncture with Essential Oils – Acupuncture can be used to reduce stress, pain, anxiety and more!acupuncture Collage
  • Complete-Chiropractic
  • Buckeye Physical Medicine & Rehab/Massage Therapist-A massage is great for reducing stress, pain and to help one relax! 033A6599
  • Columbus Public Health – Health Screening
  • Personal Trainer
  • Red Roof Benefitswellness day Collage

Thank you to everyone and all the vendors who helped us celebrate Wellness Day!

Wishing everyone great health!



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Top 5 Cities to visit in Pennsylvania

Whether traveling to become immersed in a big city or to become one with nature, Pennsylvania is the perfect place to go to get the best of both worlds. Check out the list below of the top 5 cities to visit in Pennsylvania along with things to do and see while in town.

Here are 3 must-see big cities to visit while in Pennsylvania:

1. Pittsburgh

  • Pittsburgh Zoo– Visit one of the 6 major zoo and aquariums in the US that houses 4,000 animals that represent 475 species.
  • Heinz Field– Visit or catch a game at the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers!
  • PNC Park– Catch a game at this ballpark, home to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    pennsylvania travel

    Duquesne Incline

  • Andy Warhol Museum Explore the largest museum in the US dedicated to just one artist. This museum is built where Andy Warhol grew up and features an extensive amount of his artwork.
  • Point State Park- Commemorates the battles that took place during the French and Indian War. The park houses one of the country’s largest fountains.
  • Phipps Conservatory Walk through a 13-room Victorian glasshouse that has something new every season. The many gardens include a Japanese, perennial, aquatic and children’s themed gardens. See butterflies and birds at the Discovery Garden.
  • Carnegie Museum– Visit one of Pittsburgh’s most internationally recognized institutions that houses Impressionist, post-Impressionist, American and European paintings over the past two centuries and more.
  • Duquesne Incline– Take a ride up this cable car to get an amazing view of the city. Duquesne Incline is also a museum where the upper station houses the history of the incline.

Nearby Red Roof’s to stay at while in Pittsburgh:

2. Hershey

  • Hershey Chocolate World– Take a tour, create your own candy bar, watch a 4D chocolate mystery and more at this sweet attraction.

    black bear in zoo

    Black Bear at ZooAmerica

  • ZooAmerica– A walk-through zoo featuring North American Wildlife from five regions of North America.
  • The Hershey Story– Visit the informative and interactive museum dedicated to the history and legacy of Milton S. Hershey and the chocolate candies he invented. One of the exhibits is the Chocolate Lab where you learn about the ingredients and how to make Hershey’s chocolate. You also get to make some chocolate creations yourself.
  • Indian Echo Caverns– Take a tour and experience the limestone caves and the wildlife that lives inside the many rooms of the cavern- truly a geological wonder!
  • Hersheypark– Ride one of the many roller coasters and amusement park rides at this fun, family themed park.
  • Troegs Brewing Company– Take a tour of the brewery and experience how the beer is made. Don’t forget to stop by the tasting room and the snack bar.

Nearby Red Roof’s to stay at while in Hershey:

3. Philadelphia

  • John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge – A, 1000 acre National Wildlife Refuge that works on preserving, restoring,
    Independence Hall

    Independence Hall

    and developing the natural area.

  • Franklin Institute Science Museum– A science museum and center of science education and research that provides learning through hands-on exhibits, live shows and more that was named in honor of Benjamin Franklin. The museum also houses the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial.
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art– One of the largest art museums in the US. The front of the museum has the Rocky steps that appeared in the movie Rocky.
  • Lincoln Financial Field– Catch a game or visit the home stadium of NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Independence Hall Tour the building where both the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were signed by our Founding Fathers. Independence Hall can be found in the center of Independence National Historical Park which preserves several sites associated with the American Revolution and the nation’s founding history.
  • Liberty Bell– See the Liberty Bell, an iconic symbol of American independence.
  • Philadelphia Zoo– Visit one of America’s first zoo’s.

    pennsylvania love

    LOVE Sculpture in Philadelphia

  • Longwood Gardens– See one of the world’s greatest gardens with beautiful fountains, architecture and exhibits.
  • National Constitution Center– This center hosts interactive exhibitions, theatrical performances, and constitutional conversations/debates.
  • Citizens Bank Ball Park– Visit the stadium, home to the Philadelphia Phillies.
  • Sesame Place– A Sesame Street themed children’s amusement park with rides, shows, and water attractions for young children.
  • LOVE Park– A favorite destination to visit that’s holds a famous sculpture. Located in John F. Kennedy Plaza.

Nearby Red Roof’s to stay at while in Philadelphia:

Here are 2 places to visit if you want to get away from city life and enjoy nature and the relaxing Amish country:

4. Lancaster

  • Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park– A fun-filled amusement park for kids and families with rides, roller coasters, slides, a water play area, a castle and live entertainment.
  • Amish Farm & House –Take a countryside bus tour of the beautiful Amish Country. After the tour, check out the gift shop for hundreds of locally-made items.

    amish country pennsylvania

    Amish Country Horse and Buggy

  • AAA Buggy Rides – Take a AAA (All About Amish) Buggy Tour through the beautiful Amish country.
  • Bird-in-hand Farmers Market The Bird-in-Hand Farmers Market features tons of delicious offerings, including fresh meats, cheeses, baked goods, fresh-squeezed lemonade, apple cider, rows of homemade canned goods, locally made crafts, quilts and more!
  • The Amish Village – Take a tour of the authentic Amish lifestyle, including 12 scenic acres of properties, which include a school house, barn, blacksmith shop, smokehouse and more.
  • Rainbow Dinner TheaterNow Known as Rainbow Comedy Playhouse. a great place to enjoy a comedy show and a full meal!
  • Dutch Apple Dinner Theater– Enjoy a great show/musical as well as a delicious dinner.

 Nearby Red Roof’s to stay at while in Lancaster:

5. Danville

Nearby Red Roof’s to stay at while in Danville:

Safe travels and happy adventures!


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Plan a getaway to Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is a great place to go for some relaxation and rejuvenation. You are near the water, there is great fishing and beautiful weather. It is also a place filled with tons of history. When visiting Charleston, make sure to put these great attractions on your list of things to do:

  • Charleston Museum– Visit America’s first Museum that was founded in 1773. Learn all about the history and stories of the South Carolina Lowcountry.
  • Magnolia Plantation– Tour one of America’s oldest public gardens and one of “America’s Most Beautiful Gardens” (Travel + Leisure Magazine) filled with thousands of beautiful flowers and plants.
Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina.

Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina.

  • Cypress Gardens – Explore the Butterfly House, Heritage Room, Swamparium (an aquarium/reptile center that hosts wild life from swamps all over the world), Swamp Boat Rides and more!
  • Joesph P. Riley, Jr. Park Catch a Baseball game at The Joe, home of the Charleston RiverDogs
  • South Carolina Aquarium- Tour the South Carolina Aquarium which features 60 unique habitats, including a 385,000 gallon Great Ocean Tank! Their newest exhibit is call Shark Shallows where you can touch sharks and rays.
  • Folly Beach– This relaxing, laid-back and beautiful city has wide beaches with great surfing and a community of locally-owned restaurants and shops. At this beach you can find loggerhead turtles, dolphins, bald eagles and more.
Folly Beach pier at night in Charleston, South Carolina

Folly Beach pier at night in Charleston, South Carolina

  • Waterfront park– Waterfront Park is a beautiful, 12 acre park along the Cooper River. The park is a great place to picnic, as it provides a great view of the Charleston Harbor. At night, the fountains along the harbor light up, making this park a great place to go during the day and at night.
Waterfront Park in downtown Charleston, South Carolina

Waterfront Park in downtown Charleston, South Carolina

To get the most out of your travel experience, stay at the budget friendly Red Roof Inn North Charleston Coliseum. The Inn is close to all the attractions, historic downtown Charleston, and outlets for some great shopping!

Safe Travels and happy adventures!


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Top attractions to visit around Irondale, AL!

Irondale is a beautiful city to visit and can be found nestled in the heart of Alabama on the eastern edge of Jefferson County. The city sits in a valley with the Red Mountains to the north and Cahaba or Shades Mountains to the south.

Irondale is famous for housing the headquarters of the Eternal World Television Network (EWTN) founded by the nun, Mother Angelica. Also, the popular movie, Fried Green Tomatoes was written by Irondale native, Fannie Flagg and based on the legendary, Irondale Café.

When in Irondale or nearby city Birmingham, here is a list of some popular attractions to visit:

birmingam al

  • Southern Museum Of Flight: This museum dedicated to honoring the memorabilia from our earliest history of flight is one of the largest aviation museums in the Southeast. Within the museum you can find paintings, photos, engines, models, artifacts, as well as over 90 aircrafts. The museum is also home to the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame, which presents over 65 biographical plaques representing Alabama aviation history through collective biography.
  • Birmingham Botanical Gardens: Visit Alabama’s largest living museum housing more than 12,000 different plants and the largest public horticulture library in the U.S. The Garden has more than 25 unique gardens, over 30 original outdoor sculptures and many miles of pathways, including a wildflower garden, two rose gardens, the Southern Living garden, and Japanese Gardens. Not to mention admission is free!
  •  The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame: This non-profit organization has over 5,000 sports artifacts dedicated to the celebration and preservation of Alabama’s excellent sports legacy.
  • Birmingham Museum Of Art: Visit the Birmingham Museum of art, housing more than 24,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings. Not to mention admission is free!
  • Birmingham Zoo: See more than 950 animals of 230 species at the Birmingham Zoo, including sea lions, rhinos and endangered species from six continents.
  • Talledega Super Speedway: Talladega Superspeedway is a motorsports complex and an exciting place to go with the family to watch the races.
  • Oak Mountain State Park: Alabama’s largest state park with over 50 miles of trails across 9,940 acres of land. a beautiful place to stop and hike or bike around- The Red Trail is included on the International Mountain Biking Association’s(IMBA) list of EPIC rides. At the park you can also ski, rent boars, golf, swim, horseback ride and more.

While in Irondale, check out this list of local dining options:

When in Irondale, you should get the most out of your travel experience by staying at our newly opened property and budget friendly Red Roof Inn Birmingham East – Irondale!

Safe travels and happy adventures!


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Experience San Francisco!

Another great summer attraction to visit is San Francisco! Not only is the weather beautiful, but there are so many things to do and see that it is a perfect place to go for a getaway. Check out the list of attractions below:san francisco downtown

With so much to do and see, the best way to get the most out of your travel experience is to stay at a budget friendly Red Roof Inn like the Red Roof Inn San Francisco Airport, close to many attractions and right next to the Burlingame Trolley, a free service that connects with the hotel and downtown.

Safe travels and happy adventures!


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