As I write this letter, I am on vacation with my wife and youngest son, beachside in Puerto Rico. We have traveled extensively through the Caribbean, but had never before visited this beautiful island. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old San Juan is an absolutely beautiful area within San Juan. We are staying at a resort-style hotel, Hotel Intercontinental. The weather is 85 degrees and sunny, while at home it is cold and rainy.
It is spring break for Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation and Evansville Catholic schools. My oldest son Maxwell had his spring break in the beginning of March, and Kris and I went to a beautiful city I had visited before, Quebec City, Canada. Unfortunately, that trip was sans Max, as the best time to check your passport status is not the day before you leave (his expired the day we left). Let’s face it, life’s lessons sometimes are learned the hard way.
I definitely will come clean and freely admit that along with long hours and crazy schedules of magazine publishing, occasionally it comes with very nice perks. Certainly one of my favorites is travel writing. What I really enjoy is that 98 percent of the time I am not the travel writer but the travel sidekick with no agenda, schedule, or responsibilities — all things I am fond of and do well. But as I am going to be hitting the “double nickel” (CB slang to you uninformed millennials) later this month, I realize I have become a bit of a hotel junkie. I really like the relaxation and vibe of a fine hotel. Hey, some of you like the mall. So when traveling in major cities, no longer wishing to feel the need to never take my socks off, and having a strategy of “hope” when it comes to the room being clean and that folks in the parking lot are truly guests of the hotel, I choose carefully from the available options.
I feel in my advancing years, I have earned the right to enjoy finer hotels. Besides, why do you think Expedia and Hotels.com exist? We still are going to many swim meet and college weekends, and I don’t see too many of my peers staying in the “no-tell motel” out in the rough industrial area by the airport, either.
I really enjoy the fine hotel stays at cities and destinations I travel to frequently, establishing local favorites. What is not to like about occasional room service, ocean and city views, and everything being tidied up for you while you are away having lunch?
During my recent trip to Quebec City, I realized how much I enjoyed just being at our hotel, the iconic Chateau Frontenac, often referred to as the mostphotographed hotel in the world. The dilemma with this beautiful hotel is it is just as nice to hole up in the room, as it is to be out exploring the gorgeous city. That is something I think most of us can get used to.
The staff works incredibly hard to ensure each guest is treated, well, special. Something an old balding fat man from Southern Indiana can get used to.
As for my son Max who was unable to travel with us? Would you have enjoyed being the master of the house at 18 years old with parents out of the country? No complaints from Max, which, frankly, gives me cause to worry a bit.
One of the greats of our business community passed away since my last letter. Louis B. Nussmeier passed away in February at the age of 83. Nussmeier Printing and Engraving turned 100 years old in 2016, and Louis was there for 62 of them.
The company has won the prestigious Cronite Cup for Best Engraved Stationery in North America an astounding 22 times, including winning again in 2016.
While often discussing his father with my good friend and frequent running buddy Steve Nussmeier (admit it, Steve) prior to Louis’s recent passing, Steve would often reply how blessed he was to work with his father for 31 of those 62 years. As someone who also worked alongside my father for many years, I would indeed call that a blessing. I am confident we both learned many important life lessons along the way.
As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Todd A. Tucker