The navigation system in the car indicated that we had five miles to go before our destination when the sign for McAllister Inn caught my eye and made my heart sink. The roadside strip motel was a far cry from our usual off the beaten path accommodation choices. Mel had chosen this one and she has a proven track record for finding us great accommodations on our adventures. This time she had missed, or had she?
After a stop in Ennis where we discovered Willie’s Distillery and the magic that is the Dr. Huckle and Mr. Hyde combination of Willie’s Huckleberry Cream Liquor and Dr. Pepper, we headed back to our hotel. I spent most of the 10-minute drive from downtown Ennis preparing myself for an evening of mostly good-natured ribbing about our accommodations from the closest thing I have to a mother in law and Mel’s enthusiastic and vocal 10 year old son.
Check in was easy and low key. We were given room number eight. I walked the few feet from the front office to the room while Mel and the gang moved the car into a parking spot that would facilitate the movement of our mountain of stuff inside for the cold evening.
The key went into the lock easily and the door swung open. The smell was the first thing that hit me from the darkness. It was amazing. The light switch illuminated a large, extremely clean and well-designed double queen suite with a small kitchenette, cool back porch and indulgent bathtub.
The look of apprehension on Mel’s face fell away as soon as she walked in the door. Rather than ribbing from her mom and son, I got her playful gloating about how she was the master super travel queen and knew how to pick them. The only regret for our plans was that we did not include dinner at the steakhouse as part of our evening. We were still too full from a late lunch in Missoula to justify a visit to the venue billed as a “Johnny Cash and Ella Fitzgerald loving steakhouse and bar.”
Instead we settled into the comfy queen size beds and turned on the TV. We consumed as much of the show Rediculousness as grandma would tolerate, about four and a half minutes, before settling into a marathon of movies from the Vacation series on AMC. Willie’s Huckleberry Liquor and Dr. Pepper were flowing almost as fast as the laughter. Occasionally Mel and I would sneak out onto the back porch to steal a kiss and look at the stars and moon above the dark Montana sky. You can learn more and book your reservations at the McAllister Inn at McAllisterlodging.com