An Exercise In Trivial Pursuits

Fatshion, Food & Frivolities – Life in Las Vegas & Singapore


CarMax, Motel6 and Penny’s Diner



Last weekend when we went to visit Max in Carlsbad, we brought him to spend the night with us at the hotel – Motel 6 has a pet-friendly policy. All you needed to do was to let them know beforehand and they will arrange for you to stay in a more pet-friendly part of the hotel (i.e. near the grassy areas).

Other than our overnight bag, I also packed snacks, bottled water, Max’s doggie bed, some doggie treats and his leash. T brought along his laptop to code since we were going to spend a quiet night in the hotel after retrieving Max from the hospital. It was so awesome and you could tell that Max was really excited to be around us. We even took turns to walk him around the compound at least 5 times before having to return him.

Before Calsbad though, T went to get his Corvette appraised again (you know, this business of raising funds for Max’s treatment). CarMax took slightly more than 1 hour to get that done and we entertained ourselves by taking selfies, surfing the Net (there’s complimentary WiFi) and walking through the used car lot to see if there was anything within our budget and to our fancy.

On our way home on Sunday afternoon, we ended up at Penny’s Diner again. This time, we shared a chocolate malt, T had a veggie quesadilla with refried beans and rice, and I had a veggie omelette with hashbrowns and an English Muffin. YUUUUMMMY!


And that was how we spent last weekend! How do you normally spend your weekends?


Motel 6 Carlsbad South


So last Saturday morning T and I drove up to California again to visit Max. This time, we decided that the prudent thing to do was to spend the night. We didn’t rent a car because there were only 2 of us. Petrol in California is more expensive than in Nevada and we didn’t want to drive back and forth since it’ll cost us twice as much than if we were to stay in a budget hotel. T found a Motel 6 that was less than 10 minutes away from the hospital and booked it online the night before we left. We got to see Max on Saturday afternoon and again on Sunday!

The drive through the desert was boring after about an hour or so. I tried to entertain T (and myself) by clapping. T was puzzled but didn’t ask me why I clapped repeatedly. He has long come to accept that I’m a special snowflake and there are just some things that I do that defies logic. I saw that we drove through Zzyxz Road (Cool name right?) and I spotted a sign for Penny’s Diner! We dropped in for lunch (will write another post on this) and headed straight for the hospital to play with Max.


When we finally got to check in, we drove to the wrong Motel 6. There are apparently more than one of them within a short distance. T said that he didn’t like the first one because the reception area smelled bad and he was glad the one we stayed was better.

I think the Motel6 website for this particular establishment has outdated pictures. Our room was definitely much nicer. At the very least, the sheets and decor was more modern. We had a queen-sized bed, a TV (with many cable channels for FREE), an area with shelves, hanging rail and 6 hangers for clothes, ensuite bathroom with toilet and bath tub, a spacious vanity/sink outside the bathroom (very handy when you have more than 1 person in the room) as well as a small corner table with 2 seats (suitable for a proper sit-down meal or just throwing all your stuff). Outside, there are some vending machines, an ice machine and also a pool.

20130923-202221.jpgWe paid just over USD60 inclusive of taxes and I think it was a decent price. It’s basic and clean. For the amount of time we spent in there, I think the room served us just fine. We checked in at about 4pm on Saturday, rested for about an hour, then headed out to have dinner with my friends Noel and Stella (and their baby Kate) who’ve just moved to LA from Singapore. LA is a 90-minute drive from Carlsbad and by the time we got back to the hotel, it was close to midnight. A quick shower, some TV and it was lights out till about 9.30am on Sunday. Check out time is 12 noon and we dilly-dallied watching more TV until it was just about 5 minutes to check out.

They provide more than an adequate number of towels (wash cloth, bath towels, face towel, floor towel for the bathroom), 4 plastic cups and a plastic container (similar to a generic ice cream tub) for ice. There’s no in-room mini-bar, and there are no toiletries except for 2 small bars of soap (one at the sink, one at the bathtub). But that’s okay, right?

Staying in a motel is definitely not as good as being in your own bed at home. I couldn’t wait to get back to our house but I’d say Motel 6 wasn’t too bad. If it’s necessary, we might stay at a Motel 6 again sometime soon.

Motel 6 Carlsbad South #471
750 Raintree Drive
I-5/San Diego Freeway at Poinsettia Lane
Carlsbad CA 92011
Phone: (760) 431-0745


Max has cancer


About a week before I arrived, Max had surgery to remove some tumours and a few days after I got here, we found out that those were malignant tumours. Long story short, after several rounds of testings and ultrasounds, we decided that the best course of action was to send Max for radiation therapy because the Vet couldn’t remove all the bad stuff.

Max is a loving and super friendly Black Lab that T adopted from a shelter about 4 years ago. He was originally named Droopy and T paid for his eyelid surgery to correct his you-guessed-it droopy eyelids. Max is not just a dog. Max is family. To be precise, T calls Max his ‘fursborn” child.


So early on Monday morning, we went off to rent a car to take Max to the California Veterinary Specialists in Carlsbad, California. We picked up the car from ENTERPRISE Rent-A-Car (this time we rented a black FORD Focus for under $35 a day including taxes) and I drove it home, following behind T’s Corvette. By 8.30am, we’ve packed Max into the car and were headed to California. The drive was long and Max had no idea where we were taking him. It broke my heart to see him wagging his tail happily and I was teary-eyed almost all the way. Our appointment was for 3pm but because we’ve never taken this journey, we left early and got there by 1.30pm (even with 2 pitstops where Max got out to stretch his legs, drink water and do his business).


Max will be boarding in the facility for the next 25 days or so to receive radiation treatment. When the 2 nurses came to take him away, he was confused and maybe a little scared. He kept trying to jump into T’s lap and pawed him. We had to walk a few steps with him so that he would budge. I was fighting to hold back my tears. One of the nurses saw my red eyes and tried to reassure me he’ll be fine and well taken care of. Instead, she herself started crying and said that they will email to update us regularly. T feels that it’s a good sign that the nurse cried because that means she knows how we feel and they will be gentle with Max.

This is definitely emotionally and financially draining. There was no question that for T, saving Max was of utmost importance and putting him down was a last resort. So, we’re now trying to figure out where all this money will come from and are trying to sell some of our stuff to pay for everything. When it rains, it pours. But I think we’ll be okay because we’re together, you know? We’re told that Max will have a 85% chance of full recovery and now that I’m here, T won’t have to take the dreary drive across the desert alone. We will be visiting him every weekend till he’s ready to come home.