A few reflections at the close of my first visit to the USA for 10 years.
1. To US Insiders. As I meandered between Williamsburg and Manhattan, one thought struck me time and time again - how well you present your history. Academic historians may protest at "oversimplification", whilst marketing buffs might lament "missed opportunities" - but I found the majority of sites to be accessible, informative and very enjoyable. And, moreover, watching the straggling columns of schoolchildren, though their attention sometimes wandered, I felt that, for the majority, the experience would serve to embed a latent sense of curiosity that, later in life, might fuel a resurgent interest in the insights to be gained from US history.
2. To Marriott Intl. (I preface these remarks by stressing that the hotels at which I stayed were in no sense a representative sample).
a) Staff/associates were in the great majority of cases unfailingly good in terms of professional competence and communication skills.
b) Concierge/Executive Lounges in the US do not seem to compare favourably with those in Europe and Asia in terms of availability, facilities, and range and quality of F&B provision.
(For the record my favourite JW Lounge is in Asia and Marriott is in Europe. Identities given only in payment of substantial consultancy fees!).
Lastly, linking these points togther, I should mention the young Marriott Associate in Philadelphia who, with an exquisite sense of mischief, assigned this Englishman to Room 1776.
Alexis de Tocqueville could not have said it better! Welcome to our shores and thank you for rekindling a sense of history and pride that we "yanks" often take for granted.
In a turnabout is fair play moment, I recall a British Air Vice Marshall asking me during an official meeting at Royal Horseguards (at 10 am on a Wednesday) if I'd care for a drink. Thinking coffee I was nonetheless welcomed with a fine whisky, neat, which made my day in dreary London that much better.
Please visit often--after all we are, as Shaw said, two nations separated by a common language