We are still pushing northwards towards the Netherlands and the Belgium border is not too far away.
In theory if we pushed on, and the evening traffic thinned a little with no hiccups on the way, we could be home in about two hours or so.
But it’s been a long day in the car and Himself is tired, with me unable to provide assistance as second driver we take the safer option and start looking for a hotel for the night.
We were delighted with the Novotel we stayed in at Chartres http://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/novotel-chartres/ and so when we spot another Novotel at Lens, we pull in the gates with a smile. Suddenly the weariness hits us, my foot begins to ache with a vengence, the kids are getting irritated with each other and we are starving.
Himself disappears inside to Reception to ask if they have a Family room available. He comes out looking a bit glum… there are two family rooms available but one is upstairs (there is no lift) and the other is a smoking room.
I’m a little astounded, families who use these rooms usually have younger kids, think push-chairs, baby seats, nappy bags and all the kid junk you need when travelling with young kids etc seriously, why are Family rooms not automatically on the ground floor if there is no lift in the building? and even more worrying ….they actually allow smoking in a Family rooms where babies and young children sleep? in 2011 ? yikes.
I have chemical lung damage and an asthma problem so now we are faced with the choice, either I get to hobble up stairs ( painful) or I get to wheeze all night. Even if I didn’t have a lung condition I wouldn’t want my kids sleeping in a smoking room.
We are tired to the point where we are past looking for another hotel so I opt for the non-smoking room and the stairs and they tell us that there’s a restaurant on site but it’s clear that I can’t do the stairs twice so room-service it will be.
We order dinner, and it’s tasty enough but there’s not a huge amount of it. I’ve included a second photo of Himself’s main to show you the whole plate. Himself was still hungry afterwards but too tired to be bothered ordering something extra and waiting for it to arrive etc. All the little touches that made the other hotel special seem to a little off the mark here.
The view is only of the rooftop of the hotel… but for just off the motorway it’s quieter than I expected at least.
We do however sleep very well and wake refreshed… let’s see what the new days brings.