In the Great Lakes region. Excellent lodging with noticeably un-excellent service. Business trip, so naturally, I'm on someone else's bill.
Several of us sat in deep plush sofas today while tray after tray of Martini appeared. My beloved wife shakes her head when I return from these trips with several unopened bars of soap taken from the room... in true Yankee fashion. If the hotel or resort has stationary, I write letters to her each day, even though I get home before the letters do. I never touch the $5 entrapment bottle of water in the room, and I scoff at the idea of a mini-bar key, obviously preferring full-sized bars for my liquor consumption. Service... true service... seems gone in most non-membership lodging options.
Speaking of membership, there was once a time when such things were quietly offered to business leaders, artists, curators, and diplomats. Now, I am saddened to see young men covet mileage-based memberships or access granted by virtue of frequent stays with ludicrous names like "Platinum" or "VIP" or "GOLD", etc. Where men once gathered with art or literature in common, the modern club aspirant only has soul-deadening air travel in common with his fellow "club" member. Disgusting.
Loud mobile phone discussions mixed with athletic wear and undershirts insult the vaulted ceiling at the hotel here. Running shoes and shorts with light beer and ball-caps poison the Corinthian columns and marble floors. Curse to management for allowing this, and curse to men for insisting on dressing as boys.
Home to Boston tomorrow to lift the son in the air, kiss the wife, activate the Martini shaker, and hoist the drinks flag.