East Tennessee

A beautiful day in Johnson City!  After a nap I am feeling more like a human. I pulled a quick trip to Charlotte today shuttling our daughter to the airport — may have been a bit too ambitious for this old lady.

Our current good fortune has led us to the Carnegie Hotel, a very nice hotel with a spa on the lower level.  The hotel lobby is grand — has lots of seating including an antique courting bench that seats two people on opposite sides so they have to keep to themselves, an oddity from bygone times.  Next to the lobby is a cozy library and bar.  Through an elegant loggia, I enter Wellington’s, the restaurant, where breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served to diners who enjoy the high ceiling, leather seating in warm booths and tables.

Our room here has a king-sized sleigh bed, sofa upholstered in velvet, TV armoire, desk with chair, and a small refrigerator tastefully disguised in a cabinet with carving on the front.  All of the furniture pieces are topped with moisture-protective glass.  There are pretty lamps everywhere.  The bathroom is absolutely huge, with a separate tub and shower.  The shower is surrounded in glass.  The granite vanity includes double sinks.  The floor has the antique-style octagon tile.  The Carnegie provides Starbucks coffee in the rooms.  I think I’m liking this place already.

Starbucks

Simply said, I love Starbucks. We go way back to the time when Starbucks was a relatively unknown coffee shop in Seattle. My friend had accompanied her husband to a medical meeting there and had discovered the dark, rich flavor of Starbucks coffee, bringing it back to serve in her home. After one sip I was hooked! I began to order it by mail, several pounds at a time. I still buy the beans to grind daily at home.

Obviously, America has voted in agreement because we now have Starbucks almost everywhere. Wherever we travel I seek out the local Starbucks — I have to have my dark roast. Call it addiction? I call it staff of life!

So here we are this morning. Starbucks in Kingsport, TN where pleasant music contributes to the happy atmosphere. I’ve been here so often that the staff has begun to recognize me. All of the people – staff and customers – are friendly. Space is a little tight here so strangers are not opposed to sitting together at the long six-seater table. At some times of the day the place becomes an internet cafe and is so popular that there’s not an empty seat in the house.

My newest discovery – call it a breakthrough – is the double-walled travel mug. I had resisted making this purchase for literally years because I did not realize that this mug would keep my coffee warm for so many hours. In the coffee world, there’s nothing worse than luke warm coffee. No more of that for me!

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