California Trip Notes

The car I rented was unremarkable (as usual). A Mazda 6 with about 25k miles on it. It ran OK but was under powered and too small for my comfort. Got pretty good gas mileage though.

I stayed at the Oxnard Residence Inn by Mariott.

Oxnard isn’t exactly the most affluent community in the area, but this part of it isn’t bad.

This hotel is fairly new and has a large empty space next to it that I suppose is intended for expansion.

It sits right next to a nice golf course and across the street from a gated subdivision.

It had plenty of parking and I pretty much adopted the space that my rental car is occupying here as “my” space for the duration of my stay.

The rooms are in two story units with 8 rooms each, four on each floor. There are no elevators and the doors went straight to an outside staircase so it’s sort of like a motel, only nicer.

I got the single King bed.

A little crowded in there, but not too bad in my experience.

The TV was a nice, 32″ LG flat screen…combined with my portable DVD player, it made for a passable entertainment system.

I like to pick hotels that have kitchens so I can cook for myself and don’t have to eat out every meal. This one was pretty well equipped, but it didn’t have an oven and the icemaker didn’t work. I got a bag of ice from the front desk that lasted me the whole two weeks though, so that was no big deal.

Now for the gripes:

Notice the computer desk is very high? The chair wouldn’t go any higher than it is in the photo…which made for very uncomfortable computing. There was no wireless internet, so I was tethered to the desk and it was very uncomfortable.

I had an external keyboard with me so a pull out keyboard tray would have been a lifesaver.

The sofa and armchair were both incredibly uncomfortable…the cushions just didn’t feel right. I had to use pillows (which, thankfully, they provided plenty of) to make them bearable.

The bed wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either.

My biggest gripes, however, were just weird inconveniences.

Notice the standing lamp in the corner…you know…the one right next to the table lamp on the desk? Didn’t make much sense to me.

Also, note how the “coffee table” seems to be made of an inner wooden box and and outer iron frame with a wooden top.

It seemed to me that things could be made more comfortable. I put the lamp beside the couch and pulled the outer part of the “coffee table” off and turned it into an “end table”. That way I’d have light to read and a convenient place to put my book, remotes etc that was in reach.

There was even an outlet in the floor under the sofa to plug the lamp into so the cord wasn’t a trip hazard.

It made much more sense and was much more comfortable and practical to me this way.

Apparently, the housekeeping staff didn’t agree because every day, when they cleaned, they moved the lamp back to the corner and turned my “end table” back into part of the “coffee table”. Every day, I had to put things back the way I wanted them.

I fully intended to move them back the way they were before I checked out…couldn’t they allow me this minor customization to make the room more friendly for me??? I guess not.

The other thing that drove me nuts was this:

Why on earth would you use salt and pepper shakers to hold PACKETS of salt and pepper?

Especially when the openings of the shakers were so small that the packets were very hard to get out?

I had to use a knife to dig the packets out of the shakers so I could actually use them (not to mention having to take the tops off the shakers in the first place).

To add insult to injury, guess what the housekeeping staff did every day? Yup, you guessed it. Any salt and pepper packets that I’d dug out of the shakers but hadn’t used got stuffed right back into the shakers for me to have to dig out again that evening after work.


Overall, it was a decent stay, but not great and I’ll probably try a different hotel the next time I’m in the area.


4 thoughts on “California Trip Notes

  1. "There was no wireless internet, so I was tethered to the desk and it was very uncomfortable."

    That is why I always pack a longish network cable when I travel.

  2. My wife was a big Mazda fan, having owned an old reliable Mazda Protege.

    She was really interested in a Mazda3. We just missed the last rental while visiting San Fran. But we did get a Mazda6.

    Kind of suckage. I don't know if I saw it as under-powered as we own a 1st generation Prius. But the turning radius was abominable. I couldn't make turns that my Dodge Durango could make.

    As for Mazda3. A friend bought one and has had a horrible time with it. Serious electrical issues that have been unresolved. Bad enough that he often has to jump it if it's been a few days.

  3. Too bad abiout the hotel.
    Didn't they have one of those door-hanging signs that say "Do not clean room" or "Do not disturb"?? Would have made a whole lot more sense then going through that Chinese fire drill everyday.

    B Woodman

  4. They did have those signs. I clean up after myself pretty well, but I do like having them restock my coffee, salt and pepper, TP, fresh towels, etc. every day.

    But towards the end, I started having them only clean every other day because the "Chinese fire drill" was getting a little old.

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