Intercontinental Earth Hour

Welcome to day 13 of 31 Days of Heterotopias: Motels and Hotels, a month of posts about how motels, hotels, and inns function as heterotopias and liminal spaces in society.  Each post will look at these ideas from its own vantage point, which may not obviously connect with the others, and which may mention motels and hotels only peripherally or may focus on them without referencing heterotopia or liminality. I won’t attempt to tie the posts together. They’ll all be listed here, as they are posted.


Earth Hour in 2016 was on Saturday, 19 March, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time around the world.

Earth Hour — which I had never heard of before 2016 — is a worldwide annual event begun in 2007 and organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF — until 1986, it was called the World Wildlife Fund), encouraging individuals, communities, and businesses to “turn off non-essential electric lights for one hour … as a symbol of commitment to the planet.” (There’s an Earth Hour FAQ but most of the links don’t work.)

As it turned out, I (with my spouse) was at the Boston Intercontinental Hotel during that hour in 2016, and they were observing it, serving us a trio of fruit & veggie juices and some lovely snacks in the rather dimly lit but spacious lobby. I don’t know why I didn’t get photos of that event — probably took them with my phone, then accidentally wiped them — but I did get photos of the Boston ICH, really much too highfalutin for us (and too pricey, at $250-300 per night), though very perfectly located next to South Station (and Amtrak).

The hour in the lobby was odd, a sort of social hour in an essentially anonymous space. I’m not sure whether the dim lighting made it better or worse.


From the outside:



In the public spaces:

front entrance and concierge desk
Rum Bar and restaurant (also a wedding planning office)
lobby with comfy seats we enjoyed sitting in


In our room, there was a weird sort of rice-paper screen sliding divider between the room and the bathroom, with its gigantic (and completely neglected by us) tub.

bed and chaise with view into bathroom through open screen
bed and view into bathroom through open screen (and my reflection)
bed and closed screen to bathroom
giant bathroom tub with view into bedroom through open screen
mirrors, sink in bathroom
shower and robe, bathroom
bed, chaise lounge, chair
I imagine we were the only ones in the hotel watching Spongebob (though not during Earth Hour, of course). And when I say we, I mean he. Nice TV, though.
ice bucket, glasses, coffee maker
the desk with a plant, window, and the information about participating in Earth Hour
minibar, which we never touched … who doesn’t bring their own seltzer, soda, wine, and snackage? Oh, wait, Glenlivet?


I should add that this is the place where I took the stairs down instead of the elevator, probably to get ice on another floor or just to see what was what, and then could not get back onto my floor. The door was locked, not only to my floor but every floor. I had to walk all the way down and exit outside, ending up in an area that was a sort of work zone, and from there found my way back around to the front of the hotel, only to find it wasn’t actually the front of the hotel at all but instead the automatic door into some privately owned condos adjoining the hotel. All this exercise and adventure for only $275/night!

But it’s next door to the Amtrak station!


Note the pyramid (the T — metro — entrance):

I always wish the hotels were like they are in movies and TV shows, where if you’re in Paris, right outside your window is the Eiffel Tower. In Egypt, the pyramids are right there. In the movies, every hotel has a monument right outside your window. My hotel rooms overlook the garbage dumpster in the back alley. — Gilbert Gottfried

With the Boston ICH, you can have pyramids and, if you take the stairs, the dumpster.




More Than Promised

Welcome to day 12 of 31 Days of Heterotopias: Motels and Hotels, a month of posts about how motels, hotels, and inns function as heterotopias and liminal spaces in society.  Each post will look at these ideas from its own vantage point, which may not obviously connect with the others, and which may mention motels and hotels only peripherally or may focus on them without referencing heterotopia or liminality. I won’t attempt to tie the posts together. They’ll all be listed here, as they are posted.

“I love hotels for their solitude and comfort, but I believe a seedy one can have as much promise as a plush one.” — Freema Agyeman (actress)

When I booked the Sea Whale Motel in Middletown, Rhode Island, I had slight idea what we were getting. The online reviews were pretty good, but with a few dark negatives. We’d never been to this area, except passing through nearby on train, and though I knew Newport was classier, dressier, and much more expensive than I wanted, I worried that this little motel, on a main road, cheaper than almost any other accommodation in the vicinity, would fail to satisfy. I thought it might be sketchy, seedy, scary. Or located in some remote place that made it impossible to get anywhere without headache.

I worried for naught. Oh, it was slightly seedy, but in an upper-class sort of way.


Really, it wasn’t seedy at all. It’s waterfront, on Easton Pond where the drinking water comes from (along with adjoining Green End Pond). Easton Pond leads to Easton Bay and from there to the ocean. It’s only a mile or so to the Cliff Walk in Newport, and it’s easy to get to Portsmouth, Bristol, Tiverton, Jamestown, and the Kingstowns from here. The place is a real mom-and-pop motel; the owners were present every day, at the front desk, doing laundry, watering plants, just walking the grounds and chatting.

I enjoyed sitting outside in the adirondack chairs, watching the red-winged blackbirds in the mornings, and the ruddy ducks, which I hadn’t seen before.


We visited in May this year, when it was a little chilly to lounge outside except bundled in layers, but the deck is a nice feature for warmer weather.


The view from the deck to the pond (Newport to the left):


And from the lawn to the ponds:


Exterior (we were upstairs, with a deck):


The inside was perfectly motelish, with wifi that worked and two places to sit with computers. There were two entry doors from the outside, one in the front of the motel (off Route 138A) and the other in the back off the deck, above the parking lot.

room view from door
two double beds (there are also queen beds but I reserved too late to get one)
bureau, desk, closet space
table/desk, coffee maker, chairs, fridge, microwave


The Sea Whale was actually a nice unassuming respite in between bouts of fancy dining,


visiting an upscale auto museum,


touring a grand home and gardens, taking the Cliff Walk in Newport,


walking various trails and beaches (including Trustom Pond, Kettle Pond, Sachuest PointFogland Beach),


visiting the Portuguese Discovery Monument,


and driving hither and thither looking for some place we might want to live. It wasn’t plush but it gave us more than it promised, which is high praise for an unknown roadside motel.

after sunset at the Sea Whale


Hotels I Haven’t Known

Welcome to day 11 of 31 Days of Heterotopias: Motels and Hotels, a month of posts about how motels, hotels, and inns function as heterotopias and liminal spaces in society.  Each post will look at these ideas from its own vantage point, which may not obviously connect with the others, and which may mention motels and hotels only peripherally or may focus on them without referencing heterotopia or liminality. I won’t attempt to tie the posts together. They’ll all be listed here, as they are posted.

This must be a special class of heterotopia: hotels and motels that one sees, admires, perhaps even tours, but in which one never actually spends a night. I mean, talk about ships that pass, a crossroads of the familiar + unfamiliar, a place that’s also a non-place, a threshold that one walks right up to — but doesn’t cross; or does cross, and then crosses right back.


This is the Hampton Inn & Suites, on Amelia Island (Fernandina), Florida, Dec. 2016. Those sherbet colours!



Here’s the Norseman Inn, on a spit of land at Ogunquit, Maine, June 2015.



I’ve eaten at the Bohemian Inn in Savannah, GA — Christmas breakfast one year, a dinner another year, drinks at Rocks on the River another year — but I’ve never stayed in the hotel. I’d like to but I am in love with the HIX there.

Dec. 2013
morning of 25 Dec. 2010
a blurry, modern elegance on the morning of 25 Dec. 2010


The Westin on Jekyll Island, GA, is new-ish (2014?). It’s always been rather empty when I’ve been there.

Dec. 2015
July 2016
Harry’s Observation Bar, outside, Dec. 2015
inside the almost empty Westin, Dec. 2015


This little Lighthouse Motel right on the beach in Pine Point (Scarborough), Maine was renovated recently and is now the Lighthouse Suites. It looks great. I’d like to stay here sometime.

pre-renovation, Dec. 2011
in the midst of renovation, May 2015
almost renovated, March 2016
post-renovation, June 2017


This is a Westin hotel in Savannah, GA, across the river from downtown Savannah; you can take a commuter ferry that runs every 20 minutes between it and downtown Savannah. I’ve taken the ferry a number of times, just for the fun of it, but never stayed in the hotel; it seems a bit inconvenient unless you’re attending a conference there.

ferries lined up outside Westin hotel across from downtown Savannah, Dec. 2013
pink camellias in front of Westin hotel, Dec. 2016
bee in pink camellias in front of Westin hotel, Dec. 2016
the Juliette Gordon Low ferry on the river, with downtown Savannah and the Georgia Queen boats in the background, Sept. 2008


And finally, the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, an iconic place to stay on Jekyll Island, GA, but though we’ve been visiting the island since the 1990s, we’ve never stayed here. We have had a few Christmas brunches, some other meals, and a tour of the hotel, however. Looks nice!

Christmas Day, 2015
Christmas Day, 2015
Sept. 2013
Christmas Eve 2016
Dec. 2015
the hotel annex, seen from a hotel room, April 2012
courtyard, April 2012
croquet lawn, seen from above, April 2012
pool, and river view, seen from above, April 2012
view of marsh and Sidney Lanier bridge, from a hotel room, April 2012
upstairs corridor, April 2012
dining room entrance, April 2012
bar, April 2012
afternoon tea set up, April 2012
tea room, April 2012
dining room for Christmas brunch, 2015
shrimp and other buffets, Christmas Day brunch, 2016
gravlax and smoked foods, Christmas Day brunch, Dec. 2015


I can’t wait to not stay at some other hotels and motels!


Featured image is Holiday Inn at Jekyll Island, GA.


Impermanent & Insignificant

Welcome to day 10 of 31 Days of Heterotopias: Motels and Hotels, a month of posts about how motels, hotels, and inns function as heterotopias and liminal spaces in society.  Each post will look at these ideas from its own vantage point, which may not obviously connect with the others, and which may mention motels and hotels only peripherally or may focus on them without referencing heterotopia or liminality. I won’t attempt to tie the posts together. They’ll all be listed here, as they are posted.

“Any considered motel nomenclature would begin by marking the impermanence that tends to define these roadside accommodations. There are so many examples to cite of this possible taxonomy that you might lose an entire evening in front of a screen searching words like “rainbow,” “breeze,” “wind,” “wave,” “surf,” “sleep,” and “shore.”

“But what of the preponderance of sand? There’s so much dust caught up in the history of the motel. The chief trait of sand is its very insignificance. Like a one-storey L-shaped structure set against the enormity of the American landscape, it’s not something that tends to occupy one’s attention. It lacks both financial and intrinsic value.

“It bears our footprints as we walk through it before a gentle breeze erases our trace in much the same way that the former presence of a traveller is extinguished by the motel cleaning staff at 11 a.m. following a night’s stay.   …


Homogeneous and basic, but also ubiquitous, the motel will eventually be consumed by itself, as the life of convenience and mobility it promised accelerates like a sand storm to envelope our entire way of life. As it is gradually buried, we’re moving too fast to even notice.” (“On the Preponderance of Sand Name Hotels,” at Motel Register on Tubmlr)


The insignificance of sand is debatable of course. Sand, as beach, seems intrinsically valuable to me (and others: see end of “The World is Running Out of Sand” by David Owen in the 29 May 2017 New Yorker for discussion of sand loss and sand replenishment, relating to Hurricane Sandy), but sand used by the construction industry has historically been of economically low value, e.g., averaging $4.81 per ton in 2000; however, the rise of “frac sand” — sand used in the fracking process: “Oil and gas drillers inject large quantities of hard, round sand into fracked rock formations in order to hold the cracks open, like shoving a foot in the door” — has increased the price of sand. In 2014, it reached between $60-70 per ton; as of this spring it was back to about $40 per ton (per WSJ), ten times its price almost 20 years ago but still so cheap, relatively, that “transporting sand and stone for ordinary construction becomes uneconomical after about sixty miles.”

Still. One could imagine the same being said of each of us not long after our deaths, that we were impermanent and insignificant. Come to think of it, if there is someone to say it it might be said of the human species a few hundred or thousand years from now, that homo sapiens were ubiquitous, impermanent, and in the end, insignificant in the scheme of time. A thought to ponder next time you’re in The Sands, the Sleep Inn, the Autumn Breeze motel, the Summer Breeze motel, or my usual staying-over spot in Rockland, Maine, the Trade Winds Inn.  (I wonder what the wind is worth. To a sailing ship, everything.)


parking lot and rear of inn

they were working on rooms near us last August
entering the room, which was actually a sort of suite, with a sitting area and balcony
bed, bureau, view to sitting area and balcony
view from room to refrigerator, microwave, entrance door
king bed
sofa in sitting area
chairs in sitting area
bathroom (sliver of my arm in mirror)
view from balcony — boats in the bay


We were there for a day or two and then we were gone.


Few Hours in Life More Agreeable (Middlebury Inn, Vermont)

Welcome to day 9 of 31 Days of Heterotopias: Motels and Hotels, a month of posts about how motels, hotels, and inns function as heterotopias and liminal spaces in society.  Each post will look at these ideas from its own vantage point, which may not obviously connect with the others, and which may mention motels and hotels only peripherally or may focus on them without referencing heterotopia or liminality. I won’t attempt to tie the posts together. They’ll all be listed here, as they are posted.


“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” ― Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

I mentioned earlier that there are six motels/hotels that we (spouse and I) stay at over and over, in Savannah, Boston, Middlebury VT, Orleans MA, Boothbay ME, and Ogunquit ME, and I profiled the one in Savannah, the Holiday Inn on E. Bay St., in that post.

Today, let’s check out — or check into — The Middlebury Inn, in Middlebury, Vermont, home of Middlebury College.


The Middlebury Inn is actually both an inn, in an historic building with a lovely lobby, quirky old elevator with a staffed operator, and tea service every afternoon, and a motel adjacent, where pets are allowed. We’ve stayed in both sections, the motel when travelling with dogs and the inn when not. I didn’t take photos of the motel, though, except a blurry one of the dog on the carpet. The rooms are not all that different from those in the inn.


The lobby is welcoming.



morning coffee


Here’s an upstairs corridor in the inn:


Some room shots,  in different rooms over three years:



As usual, for us and I imagine other travellers, location is key, and the Middlebury Inn is right in the middle of this small college town, across from the town green and Episcopal church,

The Inn from the green
Early November on the green
early December on the green
St. Stephen’s on a Sunday morning
storm clouds over St. Stephen’s and the Congregational church
St. Stephen’s in late November
crabapples and window reflections at St. Stephen’s

… a short walk to the supermarket, to Fire and Ice (our favourite restaurant in town),


Adirondack chairs made of skis on the Fire & Ice porch
part of the big salad bar at Fire & Ice

… and to the downtown/Otter Falls/Frog Hollow area, with the Edgewater Gallery (we have a few pieces of art in the house from Edgewater),

Otter Creek shimmering
entrance to original Edgewater Gallery
glassware inside Edgewater Gallery, looking out at Otter Creek

… more restaurants and coffee shops — Carol’s Hungry Mind Cafe, 51 Main, Storm Cafe, The Diner —

Storm Cafe at Frog Hollow
Carol’s Hungry Mind Cafe (red awning) and other shops
The Diner (yellow), theatre, Baptist Church, and others

the Vermont Book Shop, a stationers, a small cinema, an old-fashioned Ben Franklin’s 5&10, clothing shops (I buy clothes and Christmas gifts at Sweet Cecily), and other boutiques.


Ben Franklin and Marquis cinema


It’s also walkable to the Marble Works businesses, which includes the Stone Leaf Tea House that we love love love,

bridge over Otter Creek of Marble Work shops and businesses
dark sky over Marble Works
gone-by sunflowers against marble
Round Robin resale ship in the Marble Works
everything looks great against marble


Stone Leaf Tea House
Stone Leaf Tea House
tea and treats at Stone Leaf Tea House
lemon and green tea cake (Stone Leaf Tea House)
gunpowder tea
tea sampler with dark puer, cherry, jasmine (Stone Leaf Tea House)
matcha and lemon cake, tamari almonds, dried fruits (Stone Leaf Tea House)


… and to Danforth Pewter, where many Christmas gifts for friends and family have been purchased over the years (ornaments and earrings, mostly).

Otter Creek Brewing is just a short drive away.



And probably most importantly, the Inn is centrally located for walking/hiking the Trails Around Middlebury, which is what occupies most of our time when we’re visiting the area.

Below are some photos from some of the TAM trails over the years, all hiked between end of the October and the beginning of December. (I have no idea what Middlebury looks like in the spring or summer. For us, it’s a fall-winter tourist town.)

The [Middlebury] Class of ’97 Trail

(26 Nov 2016)
(26 Nov 2016)
three yellow birches (26 Nov 2016)
Middlebury College building, solar panels (26 Nov. 2016)
(30 Nov 2013)
(30 Nov 2013)
sumac and white pine (30 Nov 2013)
“walk quickly through the area – don’t run” (26 Nov 2016)
juniper (26 Nov 2016)
hornet’s nest (26 Nov 2016)


Johnson Trail (all 24 Nov. 2016)


snowy boardwalk


Chipman Trail (first, 24 Nov. 2016; the rest, 2 Nov. 2015)


aspen leaf + grasshopper
yellow beech tree leaves
aspen leaves



Battell Nature Park (first three, 24 Nov. 2016; last 31 Oct. 2015)


multiflora rose bramble
grey dogwood (Swida racemosa), 31 Oct. 2015
(31 Oct 2015)

Otter Creek Trail (29 Nov. 2013)

dam and falls from Arnold Bridge
waterfall and hydro dam
ethereal snow, moss, mist
four cows


Wright Park (27 Nov. 2016)

Otter Creek with grasses and slanted trees
hepatica foliage
yellow jelly fungi
Arnold Bridge across Otter Creek


Murdock Nature Preserve (1 Nov. 2015)

large twig bird’s nest


Means Nature Preserve (24 Nov 2016)

shagbark hickory bark



Jackson Trail – obviously a favourite

28 Nov. 2013
geese in flight (28 Nov. 2013)
(1 Nov. 2015)
(1 Nov. 2015)
garter snake I accidentally hit with my foot (1 Nov. 2015)
dark sky (1 Nov. 2015)
bare trees and dark sky (1 Nov. 2015)
cricket (1 Nov. 2015)
mound of polypody ferns (25 Nov. 2016)
one equisetum stalk (25 Nov. 2016)
orange (25 Nov. 2016)
sunlight on snow (28 Nov. 2013)
blurry horned larks – the field was full of them (28 Nov. 2013)
machines shed (28 Nov. 2013)


As always when travelling, what’s nice is coming back to the comforts, even luxuries, and the privacy of the hotel, motel, or inn. At the Middlebury Inn, that pleasure is doubled when returning for a little nap in the room before afternoon tea in the spacious and well-lit lobby.





Cuddles & Bubbles

Welcome to day 8 of 31 Days of Heterotopias: Motels and Hotels, a month of posts about how motels, hotels, and inns function as heterotopias and liminal spaces in society.  Each post will look at these ideas from its own vantage point, which may not obviously connect with the others, and which may mention motels and hotels only peripherally or may focus on them without referencing heterotopia or liminality. I won’t attempt to tie the posts together. They’ll all be listed here, as they are posted.

Then there’s sex. Usually better in a motel or hotel than at home, but why? Boundary blurring of private-public? Some kind of taboo related to adultery (commonly practiced in motel rooms exactly because they’re not quite private or public), a trespass (temporary usage of a space that’s not mine), that sense of anonymity or of feeling I’m not quite the me I usually am (or that you are not quite your ordinary you) — are we idealised and idealising, or is it just that the thought of a stranger is more exciting than the familiarity of each other? Is it that it’s a break in the routine, whether a different time, the different place, different bed, or some other aspect? A reminder of brothels and motels that can be rented for an hour, even if you’re there for three days on a straightforward business trip or for a funeral?

“… the North American roadside, a place underwritten by the values and desires of a cultural system that anxiously balances the competing aims of instant gratification and moral purity.” (on “Dreamland Motels” and Freud, at Motel Register)

Elizabeth Hornbeck, in her essay on Stephen King’s Overlook Hotel in his novel The Shining (in Stephen King and Philosophy, Jacob Held, 2016), is articulate in her description of hotels as places, heterotopias, where non-normative and transgressive acts can occur, activity that subverts normal social roles and rules. She notes first that Michel Foucault “describes motel rooms as heterotopias ‘where illicit sex is totally protected and totally concealed at one and the same time, set apart and yet not under an open sky.'”


While Foucault does not mention hotels in his essay [“The Order of Things,” in which he does mention brothels], they satisfy his description of the heterotopia of deviance because of the unique kind of social space they offer. Hotels bring together individuals whose paths might not normally cross, and they create relationships and social hierarchies new to those individuals — relationships and hierarchies that do not always correspond to the individuals’ ‘normal’ relationships outside the hotel. In subverting the status quo, they are fundamentally political spaces in the broadest sense. …

“The family home … constrains the parent-child relationship, the spousal relationship, intergenerational relationships, and so forth, all according to socially defined roles. Breaking away from those norms is facilitated by leaving the normative space of ‘home’ and entering the subversive space of heterotopia. …. Heterotopias undermine our sense of ordering, defining, and understanding, and hence to some extent controlling, the spaces we occupy.  Unlike their counterparts, normative spaces, heterotopias are spaces where the transgressive can take place without censure.”


“Magic fingers” were all the rage at the classy places we went to as kids on family trips.


My sisters and I always put quarters in the slot and enjoyed the good vibrations. I shudder when I think about what was probably on the sheets and comforters. (The Flamingo Motel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho had some of the last working units in 2012, still only 25 cents a go.)



I’m pretty sure I also know what’s floating around in the “jacuzzi built for two” and it’s not any kind of aphrodisiac. (This International Inn & Suites is in Hyannis, Cape Cod, MA. Their URL is “”)


“Hotel rooms constitute a separate moral universe.'”– Tom Stoppard

It’s not exactly a motel, but it may as well be: This scene with Goldie Hawn and Dudley Moore in Foul Play is a gleaming model for all things sleazy motelish. The liquor cabinet and bad drinks, the strobing lights, the BeeGees, the sudden arrival of the sex dolls, the naked women paintings and the porn film projected on the wall, the heralded hidden bed and mirrored neon-lights ceiling, tambourines, binoculars, his coy preening and prancing. Then his utter humiliation and shame when he’s scolded and the lights come on. It’s a classic!



Hampton Inn and Olive Garden (Richmond, VA)

Welcome to day 7 of 31 Days of Heterotopias: Motels and Hotels, a month of posts about how motels, hotels, and inns function as heterotopias and liminal spaces in society.  Each post will look at these ideas from its own vantage point, which may not obviously connect with the others, and which may mention motels and hotels only peripherally or may focus on them without referencing heterotopia or liminality. I won’t attempt to tie the posts together. They’ll all be listed here, as they are posted.


Being in a foreign place, preferably for the first time, having seen many things and collected new impressions, and returning to an empty hotel room with an hour or so to blow. That mix often yields fine results.  — Stefan Sagmeister

Yes, it does, and here’s another thing that can yield fine results: Being in a familiar place, even a place of childhood, having seen many things and collected many impressions, having emotionally compressed past, present, and future into one sticky toffee, returning to an empty hotel room with an hour or so to blow.

Specifically: After spending an intense day or two with family for a sister’s 50th birthday celebration in Virginia,



with a visit on the way to meet your favourite Hannah Banana bulldog (may she rest in peace) and her brother, Tank, and her mother, Kim, in Charlottesville,


then a week exploring your most favourite spot in the world (Jekyll Island, GA) with just your spouse,


with an utterly perfect side trip to Fernandina Island, FL to spend time with a good friend who’s moved too far away,


then a 9-hour car trip back to Richmond, Virginia — to visit a botanical garden before returning the rental car and boarding the train in the late afternoon for the trip back to Boston (an overnight journey) — to arrive there tired and anxious from the harrowing rainstruck highway through the Carolinas, later than expected without food breaks, ordering ahead online (still on the highway) from your phone, from the familiar and comforting Olive Garden menu, dashing in to pick up the food in a torrential rain storm, and arriving a few minutes later at a decent-enough chain hotel — one you’ve stayed in several times in the past, including before and after funerals, before and after weddings, before and after other intense family events that take a psychic and physical toll, despite joy, love, history, because of history, patterns, the way time unfolds — to eat and rest. Only to eat,


in your room with its “Do Not Disturb” tag hanging on the doorknob, and only to rest, mindless, knowing that no one else knows you’re here and no one will come bother you, need anything, expect anything. And that there is no routine for you to adhere to. Ahhh.


We had some red wine left over from Jekyll!


Then, to get back to the quote above, in those moments you may dwell in the midst of possibility, gratitude for friends and family, reluctance and anticipation of returning home, longing for the beach and the south and the simple condo and anonymity and every-day discovery and wonder, longing for close friends to be closer, longing for exactly where you are and what you’re doing. Shaken, stirred, it’s still a fine result.

Chain motels and chain restaurants can nourish, recharge, shelter and bring comfort. Bless them.