Beyond the Build

Customer Relationships

On the Road…Again

Saint Paul Hotel

“When I get home I shall write a book about this place…If I ever do get home.”

–Alice in Wonderland

My oldest daughter and her buddies used this phrase to describe their college experiences, a unique 4 years at a great college. I’m Going to Go Back There Someday,” a song by the talented singer/songwriter Paul Williams also evokes a similar response for me.

Whether it be a two-lane road or in the city, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve passed a historic monument or special place thinking I will go back. Several years ago I realized I may not be back there again. I try not to make this mistake any longer, taking time to stop and experience the unique spots and places where I have been privileged to travel.

While we are only on some of the roads once in our lives, to me, staying in downtown boutique or historic hotels, visiting special places and enjoying great meals at smaller chef-owned restaurants is very enjoyable.

I was in the Twin Cities this week visiting a long time customer company. One evening, I was privileged to have dinner with a friend from the company. We dined for hours, just talking about the past, and “being glad of what we have, not what we did not have,” in business or our lives. I also spent a couple of days across the Mississippi in St. Paul with a new customer, where I discovered the Saint Paul Hotel. It’s not so small, but unique with rich history–well done and moderately priced.

If your travel takes you to St. Paul, I recommend the Saint Paul Hotel including a visit across the street to the Landmark Center, constructed 1903. There the “Gallery of Wood Art,” is filled with incredible pieces by very talented artisans. I purchased a few pieces knowing that artists seek their trade not for monetary value. They put so much of themselves into their pieces, and it’s a pleasure to have them as a reminder of a road well traveled.

What do you do to make business travel significant?


Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.