there was no room at the inn. that’s how another story gets started too. . . i flew into albany, new york with the boy scouts brandon and ben. we picked up a car at thrifty and aimed north for montreal. but we faltered. all of us were tired. we weren’t scheduled for anything until the next day, so we called the most reliable of hotels. . . the hampton inn, this one of plattsburgh, new york.
there was no room. or, at least, no nonsmoking rooms. we made a decision to stay at the econolodge. it was even cheaper! always a good thing.
the boys retired to their room and i went to mine. i was struck by the smell of socks that had done their service in a stressful athletic setting. was it me? i smelled my pits and sat down on the bed so i could lift my delicate size ten foot up to my nose. airplane industry being what it is, even a one and a half hour flight is an all day operation. but this wasn’t me. it was the room. i looked up and realized that part of the ceiling was collapsing. there had been some water damage. there would be no heat or air conditioning because the unit by the window was under a drip drip drip from the ceiling. there were mouse droppings in the bathroom. but i was too tired. i went to sleep fully dressed. i woke up to hampton inn envy.
the next morning, i couldn't help but take a picture of the hampton inn across the way. hampton inns are always clean, they give you treats, and they listen when you have a problem. i am absolutely not paid to say this, i'm just saying it because it's true.
but it’s okay. this morning is a new day! off to montreal, where i’m hoping to see the biodome. but i’ll do whatever my facebook friends want to do! as long as i can find a hampton inn afterwards.
. . . and a present for jay from indianapolis.
i have only met lynn nguyen once before, when her family came from pittsburgh to visit her uncle tom and his friend dirk (f2fb #103). she was in eighth grade, self-possessed, gracious, and didn’t seem to mind that i was ancient. although, to be fair, i was only 45 years worth of old. she has a younger sister who is about to enter denison college (hey, eastman, oberlin’s not that far away–you could be a gentleman and see her!) the nguyen father is a carpenter. the nguyen mother is a seamstress. she wanted to try to make me a traditional vietnamese wedding gown, not that i’m getting married but the gowns are gorgeous. unfortunately, she just couldn’t believe myh measurements. when the dress arrived, the twins were unable to be accommodated. i could be the pamela anderson of ho chi minh city if i wanted to!
today, lynn is studying at the university of pennsylvania. her major is visual studies but the all important minor is pre-med. she knows she will not practice in the united states because she says medicine today is about politics and not about helping people. instead, she wants to go to a third world country where her skills and her compassion will be put to best use. i was surprised that her view of american medicine is one that is shared by a number of people. i really admire her commitment.
speaking of that commitment, she was studying for her biology final but she took some time to show me the campus. we ended up at the robert indiana sculpture “love” which reminded me of the day that jay schwandt (f2fb #38) went to the indianapolis art museum and saw robert indiana’s painting of the same design. jay bought me a refrigerator magnet of the same sculpture.
i wished lynn well on her exams and begged her to see me in chicago when she sees her uncle tom next! then she reminded me that tom knows how to get the best flights, the cheapest rates, and that all her family makes tom book their flights.
then it was onward to northern philadelphia where i took a room at the king of prussia hampton inn. i was promised a nonsmoking room but when i entered the room i thought maybe a gang of young thugs had decided to host their monthly budget meeting the evening before. i called the front desk just because i didn’t want to get charged the two hundred dollar “clean up” fee for smoking in a room. i have a terrible fear of being blamed for things i haven’t done. leave it to steve at the front desk, who not only comped the room but set me up in the hilton honors program. go steve, employee of the month!