I wasn’t prepared for that question.

When I arrived at the Drifter Motel for my stopover in New Orleans and told the woman at the front door that I had a reservation, she asked me “for how many hours?”

I wasn’t quite sure how to respond.

“Oh, you’re staying at the hotel. I thought you were here for pool time.“ Apparently, the Drifter Hotel is the spot for Gen-Z sunbathing in NOLA, and she mistook me (me?) for a sun worshiper.

After I breathed a sigh of relief that this wasn’t an hour-by-hour hotel, I checked in and made my way past the throngs of half naked 20-somethings to relax in my poolside room before my next visit.

One of my goals for the expedition was to find lodging that gave me a visual sense of a bygone era, the roadside motel. It proved to be quite difficult to find what I remembered from my childhood. Most roadside motels have either been bought and sold to a Super 8, or turned into expensive swanky boutique motels.

The Drifter Hotel had just the right vibe. Still vintage, a little frayed at the edges, but chock full of liveliness and midmod references.

The next morning, I had the pool and the motel to myself. I was in retro heaven.

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