March 17

The Delight of a Hotel Ice Machine

I will totally admit that I am 100% jaded about travel. I can’t remember the first hotel I stayed in or even the first time I flew on a plane. Although the accommodations weren’t always glamorous, our family traveled. I’ve been to 43 states and nearly 20 foreign countries. So when I heard one of our daughter’s 14-year-old BFFs say that she had never been to neighboring Wisconsin nor had she ever stayed in a hotel, I invited her to join our family on a weekend business trip to Appleton, Wisconsin.

Her parents and siblings were anxious about her coming with us but I assured them that we’d take good care of her. I picked her up and she was “so excited!” We stopped in Racine, Wisconsin on the way at Larsen’s to pick up a Kringle, a classic Danish pastry associated with this small town. Lunch was in Milwaukee and she got a glimpse of the magnificent Milwaukee Art Museum designed by Santiago Calatrava.

We arrived in Appleton and checked into the hotel. The girls entered their room and the friend immediately began opening and closing the curtains, “Look at these curtains! Look how easily they open and close!” “What?! There’s a mini-fridge and a microwave?!” “Look at the towels. They’re so nicely folded!” It was delightful to see her having so much fun in a space I have gotten so accustomed to seeing. Sometimes we all need to look through the lens of someone with different life experiences than our own. I handed her the ice bucket and smiled, “I think you need to learn how to use the ice machine…” She smiled and said, “That sounds fun!”

Bill reported that when he took the girl home 28 hrs later her siblings had posted a Welcome Home! sign on the front door.