Would the worldʼs last smoker, please empty the ashtray
Tuesday, May 24th, 2022Alive18,655days
Such a nice, elegant French Quarter courtyard. Or, at least it would be if the Hotel Saint Marie didnʼt use it as a smoking lounge. I had to wait five minutes for the drifting smoke to clear to get a nice picture of the fountain.
Honestly, though, this is among the least of the Hotel Saint Marieʼs sins. Never again.
For generations, hotels have been more than places of rest. They have served as public spaces, places of respite, and cultural institutions.
I have met people who donʼt understand why good hotels have elaborate lobbies, full-service bars, and fine restaurants. They think of hotels as nothing more than a place to sleep. But just as you can use a computer for more than sending messages, hotels are far more than places to be unconscious.
The Hotel Galvez is one of those places. On this day, it serves my and my wife well as a refuge from the heat. A place to recharge with afternoon tea. And an opportunity to reflect on what we did today.
There is no shortage of shorted and flip-flopped tourists to-ing and fro-ing through the space, intent on maximizing their experiences. But experience is about more than checking items off of a list. Itʼs about savoring what life offers you. They can have their precisely-computed schedules of water parks and trinket hunting. A comfy chair, an ocean breeze, and an attentive waitress are what makes a vacation memorable to me.
I didnʼt necessarily expect to wake up to chirping birds and the softness of wind through sagebrush this morning. But I also didnʼt expect to wake up to a diesel-powered emergency sump pump.
The water line feeding the Best Western Plus Hotel in Fort Stockton broke overnight. Which means that after driving 400 miles last night, I have to drive another 350 miles without a shower. In August. In Texas.