St Louis, Missouri

Last night I stayed in a $30 motel where, due to a quirk of the plumbing, the contents of my upstairs neighbour’s toilet bubbled up through the plughole of my washbasin. I had been warned that Salina was the bad food capital of America, and dinner at the Ponderosa Steakhouse was accordingly dire.

Tonight I am staying at the luxurious Chase Park Plaza Hotel, in a corner suite, high floor, park view – courtesy of Bob and Jamie Craft, who are also allowing me to gatecrash Jamie’s 60th birthday celebrations at the exclusive Niche restaurant where their son is the head chef.

I love it when these juxtapositions occur in my life. I didn’t mind the humbleness of my bed and board last night – I was tired after another long day driving and grateful for anywhere to lay my head. But I am also grateful and appreciative of my much nicer circumstances tonight – and all the more so because of the contrast. If I enjoyed this kind of luxury all the time, I’m sure the delicious pampered feeling would soon wear off.

And I’m REALLY excited about getting to use the fab facilities in the hotel gym tomorrow morning – a bit different from my early morning trot across the flats of Kansas followed by a dumbells session in my room that constituted my workout this morning.

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