The woes of a traveler

    Greetings from the Ridge.
    They call them First World Problems, those gripes that would make Third World citizens roll their eyes in disgust at our affluent lifestyles. “My six dollar Starbucks latte came with one espresso instead of two,” “My dad bought me my first car today and it’s a used BMW instead of a new one,” or maybe, “My iPhone broke! My world is over!” all the while one-third of the world’s population is worrying about finding a meal tomorrow. Yep, I’m as guilty as the rest and if you have any social consciousness at all you’ll skip reading the rest of this column.
    We’re at the tail end of the travel season as families (in the First World) take out on their final jaunts to Branson or to visit Aunt Rose who you don’t like that well but she owns a great condo in the Ozarks. And with travel comes the alternate joy or consternation of finding a hotel for the night. They’re mostly motels by now but most sleepover establishments have glommed on to the classier title of “hotel,” since “motel” smacks of thin towels and vibrating beds.

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