Public Restroom Tourapalooza 2010

Last week we took a road trip to Colorado.

Yes, we like a LOT of other Texans think that Colorado should just be part of Texas (in fact I would be willing to negotiate a map fold arrangement where we cut out about 7 hours of the trip between DFW and Vail).   One of the things I love about Colorado is that pretty much everybody who is visiting is from Texas.   It is like we didn't even leave home ¦except for the snow, the mountains, the skiing, the density of fine dining and a few snowcats.

The road trip takes us 14 hours at speed limit speed and very, very, very brief stops for the necessities for life.

The necessities of life include some snacking which I can pack ahead for ¦and the dreaded road trip restroom break.

*insert scary music here*

*very scary music*

*super scary music*

Please don't make me pee in there!

Yes, this is an actual quote from one of my boys as I FORCED them to pee at a gas station.

I am a super mean mommy who would prefer not mopping up accidents in our relatively new car.

I have been taking road trips since birth.   Many things have improved across America in the 40 years I have been alive, but public gas station restrooms appear NOT to be one of them.

WHY are they so bad?

Let's take a tour!

Yes.   I took pictures.

THAT is how out of control my disgust is.

So, the first restroom we come to is out of order.   I never know what level of disgustingness is required to actually have the OUT OF ORDER sign posted.   I would have made this call more often.

Good for this gas station for calling it like they see it ¦

Of course, next door to the OUT OF ORDER restroom is the now MEN AND WOMEN restroom, but please notice that this fine gas dispensing establishment does NOT have public RR “ (they) are for Customers ONLY .

That must mean they are special.   They want to take good care of their CUSTOMERS and not waste all their restroom effort on the average American that might stop by but not buy anything.

I feel so special.

Until I enter the MEN AND WOMEN room ¦which by the way you need to please lock behind you because both men and women are using , because quite honestly, they should have condemned BOTH restrooms.

And to further our tour at another location there was this ¦

The haphazardly hanging paper dispenser which was awkwardly positioned next to the previous built-in paper dispenser that was partially ripped out of the wall.   I probably should consider it a miracle that the dispenser actually contained paper towels.

Have you ever noticed that the more disturbingly dirty the sink, the more likely it is to have a 1/2 peeled off sticker somewhere on it that declares it sanitized ?

Our last picture on this very fine tour looks deceiving.   The walls are still relatively white with just a few watermark trail exceptions, the floor is solid-surface with decent cleaning potential, the toilet is still a shade of white and there is only a little paper on the floor ¦

So what is my problem?

Let's just say that it is a good thing that smells cannot be translated through photographs and computer screens.

Yep, it was probably the worst restroom we visited on the trip and although the floor appears pretty clean, there is a 1/2 inch film of standing water across it that continues to make me squeamish just thinking about it.

The last gas station restroom that we visited on the trip was shocking for a different reason.   I had just helped Rhett through the potty process and we walked out of the stall to the sink only to encounter a MAN.

Oh, and this was NOT the MEN AND WOMEN restroom.

He looked up.

Startled.

I stared at him.

Startled.

We both said at the same time, am I in the wrong place? 

He left the sink with soapy hands to open the door and look at the sign.

He was in the wrong and fled the scene.   I felt bad for him a few minutes later as he was intentionally dodging any interaction with me in the mini mart.   He was hiding behind displays of soda, snacks and batteries.

There is one redeeming restroom fact that I have learned.   Believe it or not, the state of Texas has created and maintained rest stops that have sparkling clean restrooms.

*gasp*

I would never have believed it possible ¦the rest stops of my early road trip years were among the most frightening.   They usually boasted accommodations rivaling a porta-potty.   But the rest stops of 2010 are clean, well-stocked, patrolled and downright a pleasure ¦

except for the Watch out for Rattlesnake  signs.

0 Comments

  1. Oh too funny and big EWW. I just had to post pictures from inside Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in London, he had the coolest Dyson hand dryer, it was amazing! Really I visited the hippest bathrooms ever in London, one had a sink that was used by both the men and women, you could see through the sink. LOL. I could go on…

  2. This makes me want to dust off my scanner and post pictures of the various public restrooms in Italy. (Yes, I lived in beautiful, photogenic Italy for 18 mos. and took pictures of the public restrooms.)

  3. An iPhone can take a picture that clear at 75 mph? Wow. (As for the bathrooms? Wait til you take a road trip to the Northeast and encounter the freestanding sidewalk silos with doors that slide open and closed only when you insert coins. But at least, I suppose, there are no rattlesnakes.)

  4. Only June Cleaver Nirvana could post an eloquent dissertation (with PHOTOS!) of nasty restrooms. Yet another JCN talent. Do they ever end?

    🙂

  5. Being from Colorado, all I have to say is “I knew it!” with regards to feeling that Colorado should be a part of Texas. So when the Republic of Texas, once again, becomes it’s own country, and you lay claim to Colorado, I am most definitely in!! 😀

    You are so correct about the Texas rest stops. The absolute BEST rest area I have ever stopped at is on I-40 between Amarillo and the Oklahoma state line. We spent a good forty minutes there, I kid you not, because the kids were having a great time on the play area, and we felt safe and the area was clean. In fact, when we head back to Arizona later this year, I know that we will stop there again.

    There is something wrong with that last sentence, I think. 😉

  6. First:

    We must take a trip to Capulin together since I have a husband that also wont stop there.

    Second:

    I hate public restrooms. There’s one in Oklahoma off 35 that the whole commode jiggles and lays 2 inches off the floor. Disgusting with a capital D!

  7. I hate having to stop and use the bathrooms. Anywhere! I make everyone go a few times before we leave. I don’t know why the employees at those gas stations don’t know how to clean a bathroom…ew.

  8. That’s why it’s always best to have a hand sanitizer in cases like these. However, not just any hand sanitizer, the Germinator is environmentally friendly!

  9. LOL…. I avoid public restroom whenever possible. : )

  10. First, I am MUY impressed with your iPhone shot at 75mph.

    Second, that sign would have sent me to the nearest bush! 🙂

  11. Girl, it’s one of the massive benefits of all boys – do they really “need” a bathroom?

    LA I-49 has been christened too many times to count. When we hit the road, we hit the road. Rest stops are for modest pansies 🙂

  12. Haha, so true! I have learned which restrooms to avoid on the road trips I make frequently. But when I go someplace new? I just have to hope for the best.

  13. Those restroom pictures look like something from a horror flick – or something from that Left 4 Dead game.

  14. We always joke that we are on a mission to visit every bathroom in North America 🙂

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