Reporting in from the road: I spent Thursday night at the Madonna Inn
in San Luis Obispo. It was as over-the-top kitschy as promised. One of the main tourist attractions there is the urinal in the downstairs men's bathroom. People make special trips to see it. The novelty is that it's a waterfall urinal, but unfortunately it was out of order when I was there... so no waterfall. Still there was a steady trickle of tourists wandering into the restroom to see it, including many women with their giggling young daughters following behind. So if you're a guy who actually wants to use the restroom, you're out of luck.
The upstairs men's urinal featured a trough. Interesting, but there were no tourists lining up to see it.
While in San Luis Obispo we also checked out Bubblegum Alley, to whose walls people have been sticking used bubblegum for decades. Opinion about the alley is split between those who think it's really cool, and those who think it's filthy. For instance, while there we overheard a mother ordering her obviously fascinated son, as they walked through it, to keep his hands behind his back and not touch anything. No one seems to know exactly how the tradition of sticking gum to the walls started, but Wikipedia reports
a rumor that it may have originated during the 1950s out of a rivalry between the students of San Luis High School and Cal Poly: "As soon as the Poly students suspected that the High School was trying to out-do them on the gum walls, the college students stepped up their game and immediately became more creative, thus launching Bubblegum Alley."