When I drove cross country, I stayed at a good number of motels along the various interstates in our great land. In each of these places, where I paid between $50 and $70 for a room, I was able to get free Internet in my room. The one hotel I stayed where I had to pay for an Internet connection was the fanciest place I stayed on trip (a corporate hotel where we stayed for the Bat Mitzvah). As I had to pay for Internet access in my room at the hotel where I stayed for the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists’ Association convention.
And now on the second night of my unusual Winter vacation, I can only blog because I agreed to pay the $9.99 fee for Internet in an otherwise very nice hotel in Miami Beach (where you also have to pay to use the workout facility). Last night in Denver, I declined the option of paying for Internet at another nice hotel.
What is it with these fancy hotels that they seem to feel obligated to charge their clientele for Internet where roadside motels offer it free of charge? I wonder if it’s because they have a captive audience or because they cater largely to people traveling for business who can put such incidentals on their expense accounts.
In its first twenty-four hours, this has been an unusual trip. Yesterday, a friend who lives near Ontario (suburb of Los Angeles) drove me to LAX. On the flight to Denver, I sat next to a young veteran (he had served in Iraq) who had flown in from Palm Springs, changing planes in Ontario. He was going to meet friends in Colorado and go skiing. When we talked, he complained about how clueless the media were when reporting from war zones — and how often he, his fellows and the troops under his command had to go out of their way to protect them. In so doing, they became less effective in taking on the terrorists.
In Denver, without a winter coat, I experienced freezing temperatures, but that inconvenience was minor because I could not have otherwise spent time with a cousin and a beloved Aunt and Uncle. My cousin, a Democrat, is most enthusiastic about her man for ’08, Barack Obama. Her excitement seems similar to that of other supporters of the Illinois Senator’s White House bid.
This morning, we left Denver in a snowstorm and arrived to 80 degree temperatures and sunshine in Miami. With such warm weather, a new niece (born this very morning) and a vacation with my Dad, his wife, five of the PatriotNiecesWest and three of the PatriotNephewsWest, I really don’t have too much too complain about. Even the fee for Internet access.
I guess I’ll just see that, as I saw the snow in Denver, as a minor inconvenience I need experience so I can blog while spending time with some of my favorite people in the world.
I hope all of you will get to share this time of year with such people. Even when you have to suffer some minor experience to gain such great joy.
– B. Daniel Blatt (GayPatriotWest@aol.com)