Sunday, November 26, 2006

Flowers on a hotel lobby table


Since I began hitting the road a little more often, I've come to appreciate hotel lobbies. Because I'm a free-WiFi junkie, I tend to lurk in these transitional places because this is where they typically offer no-charge, no-need-to-register access.

Somewhat cynically, these same hotels will charge you for the privilege of plugging into a conventional wired high-speed modem in your room. I'm sorry, but I have issues with paying between $10 and $15 - and sometimes more - per day for the privilege of being chained to an ergonomically nightmarish hotel desk when free access awaits me a few floors below.

The hotel in Colorado (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for more background on my recent trip west) had an especially lovely lobby. It was festooned with lots of different couches and chairs, arranged in friendly little seating areas around a large fireplace. Near the front entrance was a huge round table with glass vases in the middle. As soon as I first walked in, I knew I wanted to capture this unique fixture, but wasn't sure how.

Since I had left the tripod at home, I set the camera on the table and used the self-timer. The resulting image won't end up framed on my wall, but it takes me back to a moment when a hotel lobby offered a comfortable refuge and an opportunity to reconnect with the rest of the world.

Your turn: What does a refuge on the road look like to you?

18 comments:

craziequeen said...

I'm always stunned by the way you make us look at the ordinary and see the extraordinary.

It's contagious - but it doesn't help my terrible photography and lack of artistic ability..

cq
Michele sent me here today.

kismet said...

You are a genius!

My refuge on the road is a hot bath. I never stay in any hotel that has only a shower, have to have my hot bath to soak away the travel.

~K!

vm (via Michele)
but you knew that :)

margalit said...

Oh man, I SOOOOO envy you this trip. I went to undergrad school in Boulder and used to take this trip over to Aspen and Vail to ski. I can't believe you stopped in Georgetown, which has to be one of my favorite places to visit on the road. It's so cool, just like out of Bonanza or something! I miss Colorado desperately, yet when I lived there I was restless for the lack of water. I need mountains AND the ocean.

My favorite refuge on the road is a diner with a bottomless cuppa coffee. Give me coffee and a bathroom and I'm a happy camper!

Here via Michele today.

craziequeen said...

OK, second visit and time to answer your actual question....

I'm with Kismet - refuge is a hot bath and a good book. Time to soak away my problems....

Speaking of which [looks longingly upstairs]

cq
Who know who sent me again, my friend.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

My refuge is usually the hotel pool if I can get to it. If it's a particularly bad trip the hotel bar. It's amazing how what ails you can be cured by one good amaretto sour.

Have a lovely sunday evening :)

Here via Michele's

Claire said...

You really have a knack for seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary!

Here from Michele's..again!

Star said...

I am pretty adaptable when on the road. I am happy to find an extra pillow in the closet.Michele snt me this visit.

Thumper said...

My refuge on the road is any available clean restroom... I even found one somewhere between Ohio and California that I would have photographed, if I'd had camera on me.

Yeo, that's what floats my boat when I'm on the road. Spiffy restrooms...

Here via Michele's ;)

kenju said...

The flowers and foliages in large glass containers are very nice to look at; interesting, but not so busy as to tire the eye.

When I travel, a suitable refuge is a very clean and comfortable, spacious room, decorated in soothing tones. If the hotel has an indoor, heated pool and hot tub, so much the better!

Michele sent me today, Carmi.

kenju said...

And P.S. A refuge ought to have a coffee pot and endless packets of real coffee to make at your leisure.

David said...

Rest stop
1 mile

hehehe

here from michele

Tim Draayer said...

When ever I'm on the road my favorite places to take refuge is in the local parks. I love taking in fresh air and the peaceful walk.

Ravvy said...

My refuge while travelling is a fire to gaze in till the wee hours of the morning.
Im not the kind of person who likes too much comfort since I've only ever lived in the country part of South Australia, and travelling for me has only ever been camping and 4WD'ing through the amazing outback.
Dont get me wrong, all the luxury of a nice hotel could only be awesome, but i've not the the means nor the reason to be bunking there.
I love a roaring hot fire when everyones still up and chatting and full of life and I love a mellow, coal glowing, small flamed but still warm fire to gaze into as the evening goes into the next day. Theres something so mesmirising about fires. And how they draw your attention even tho its really just burning wood. Great smelling warm feeling burning wood.

I'd like to get the chance to stay in a hotel that was so lovely I'd know I was being spoilt even just sleeping on the Egyptian Cotton whatever thread count enormous kingsized bed... Yeah.

Hello from Michele's today (tho i cant leave comments there so i'm just saying it here!)

Hope you are well, Carmi
Carola

carli said...

Since I don't like to travel (see any comment left on your blog by me regarding traveling, I look for familiarity. The last time I was away from home, I found myself in a movie theater. It might not be what other people do on vacation, but I feel comforted being around locals who are just going about their daily lives.

Catherine said...

I've never thought about a refuge on the road - I'm always so excited to get a chance to actually do some travelling. Here from Michele's again

utenzi said...

There are no refuges on the road, Carmi. At least not for me. I need to be in my own home! People that spend a lot of their days on the road must either like it or really suffer--and from your descriptions of leaving home and arriving back I suspect you're in the latter group. Like the fabled Dorothy once said: there's no place like home.

I really like your picture of the vases from the hotel lobby, Carmi. And that's good advice about using the lobby for connectivity instead of paying for it in the room. I'll remember that tip.

Anonymous said...

Those arrangements must have looked better in person. Your shots are great nonetheless.

i dont travel much...but a good walk would be nice and of course shopping!

David said...

its definitely a hot tub, in the middle of a snowstorm! yah