Travel day during a business trip. Wake up at 3:45am in Jamestown, New York, because you have to catch a 7:00am flight from Buffalo to Madison, Wisconsin. Icy streets, no coffee, until you get to the Buffalo airport. No Starbucks. Have hot and mediocre coffee and a Danish out of a cellophane wrapper (never eat anything that comes wrapped in cellophane).
Doze on the plane. Ah, O’Hare has Starbucks.
Land in Madison. 35 degrees. A rental car and no place to go. Find the DoubleTree. It turns out to be near the University of Wisconsin, amidst shops, eateries, used book stores, and all the hustle and bustle of a college town. Try to check in, even though it’s too early. Unexpectedly, they have a room ready for me at 10:00am. I have an upgrade to a suite, one of the best I have had in a long time. The staff is exceedingly friendly. I have a vegetable omelet in the almost empty restaurant, and the coffee is superb. Feeling better now. Taking a long nap until 2:30pm. Feeling much better now.
Walking to the Museum of Modern Art. Then browse the bookstores. One should always visit college bookstores. It’s like there are books from other universes from authors that I have never noticed before. It’s the Anti-Barnes-and-Noble. Picking around science fiction books, art books as always, and some medieval history stuff.
I walk back to the hotel. Having traveled between two cities, having spent a work day not working at all, and feeling like I have had a mini vacation.
And a plug for the DoubleTree Hotel in Madison: Great hotel, excellent accommodations and amazing staff. Pick this up, Google.