Thursday, February 28, 2008

Welcome to the Motel Catalina

...Such a lovely place, such a lovely face.

If you're a fan of The Eagles you probably recognize the lyrics from the song "Hotel California." I'm not going to bother with a discussion on that song at the moment. However, I do wish to talk about a premier traveling destination on Indianapolis's West side called the Catalina Motel. I used to drive by this motel every day on the way to and from work. It's located on US Highway 40--also known as the "Historic National Road." In fact, my latest commute route takes me by this establishment on the way home just about every day.

While some hotels (or "motels" in this case) entice today's weary traveler with high-speed Internet access, work-out facilities and a complimentary breakfast, The Catalina Motel sticks to the basics like POOL, TRUCK PARKING, VACANCY, IONED, the world's oldest "American Express Card" logo (see the seperate gold and black sign) and my personal favorite, "COOT."

"What is COOT?" you may be asking yourself. Well, as it turns out a COOT is an aquatic bird, similar to a duck. But a COOT is a "rail" and not a duck. It doesn't have webbed feet...which probably makes sense because I'm quite sure no one would want to swim in the POOL located at The Catalina Motel--unless the water is (IONED for your protection (whatever that means).

I should end by pointing out that sadly, this sign is no longer. I noticed the other day that it had been taken down and replaced with a newer, more generic sign (but the motel looks the same). I'm not sure if they still have all of the amenities that drew them to my heart or if they still take your old yellow and black American Express Cards.


Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

What a bummer that they took the sign down. I could see them replacing the broken panels, but it is such a cool old sign.
Sometimes progress is not all it's cracked up to be.

JAM said...

How sad. Yet another piece of priceless
Americana disappears.

Glad you have a nice pic of it though.

Randy said...

Don Henley vehemently denies that Hotel California had anything to do with satan. But, he is an artist and makes a lot of money. I love Henley and the Eagles and I have heard all the stories. I guess only Don and Glenn Frey know for sure what they were singing.

Really, that whole sign needs to be destroyed. I mean, really, I don't think that would be the first place I'd check in to. JMHO.

Be well Roger.

shay said...

"you can check out but you can never leave.."

I know it's a bad bad song but so catchy:)

Love the old sign. I wish someone would come and IONED my house. No Coots here though maybe you need a coot to be ioned?

Rebekah said...

Well, I was wanting to take a drive just so I could see this sign. But now I guess I wont.

Ooh, ooh, I do have training in Indy next month, maybe I can talk my boss into letting us stay there.

Toni said...

What I love is how they went for a tone-on-tone effect, matching the "pool" sign to the grey sky. It almost appears to disappear. But then, you said it DID disappear. That's deep. And COOT, btw, is street talk for Cooties (Um, I believe if you look carefully, you'll see that it is in fact COO, space, T). You can get 'em there. I think they're free, along with basic cable.

Don'tcha love some of our local grandeur? Why, just this past month I was driving down 267 toward 70 and noticed that White Castle's sign advertised, "Taking reservations for Valentine's Day."
I'm sooo out of the loop, having been totally unaware that one needs a reservation to eat at White Castle. That and a stay at the COOT Inn speaks romance like nothing else, eh?

eally said...

LOL, I read this post the other day and my husband and I rode out to the beach yesterday (BEEE-U-TIFUL day here in FL) and on the way out there we passed our famous beach sign that was just restored this last year and I thought about you and your post. I was thinking "oh darn, I should have had my camera out quicker to snap a picture of our giant fish pointing the way to the beach so I could put it on my blog for you to see..." - it's been there for YEARS!!! LOL