Subject: Talking about amenities
Hi Ziners,

Our New England, New Brunswick and Quebec driving trip, lodging in b&b's and inns came to an end yesterday. Driving trips are great for accumulating stuff and by the time we arrived home, our car was almost as full as it used to be when we got home from our long-stay-in-Florida winters. We did plenty of shopping on the rainy days, which were many unfortunately.

Recently the New York Times Travel Section had an article on hotel amenities that folks adopt. I have often thought that this would be a fun thread. This might be as good a time as any for us to discuss something a bit different.

With the strict rules on carry-on size and weight limitations on airlines, I'm going to have to curtail my adoptions of those cute little soaps, shampoos and lotions I so enjoy using at home between trips.

Our four-year old granddaughter loves using our big Jacuzzi tub and I always use the occasion to unwrap a new little soap for her and we talk about the place where I got it as she bathes. Yesterday we bought her a globe, which we will keep here so that the geography lessons can continue while she is happily getting wrinkled fingertips from these overly-long aquatic sessions.

So fess-up, what do you collect and why? Do you just save the stuff or do you use it? Do you also love those wonderful little jars of jam? (Do they purposely make the glass jars thick so they weigh too much to shlep them home?) Which hotels have the best amenities?

What do they do with the partially used bars of soap? Doesn't it seem like an awful waste? I confess that I've been known to wrap up a half-used bar of soap and take it with me to the next place so I'll be able to have a fresh bar to take home. Now that so many hotels are moving to refillable liquid soap dispensers, will only luxury hotels provide collectible amenities in the future?

Are you one of those that prefers that hotels take the most economical course to keep rates as low as possible or do you enjoy the nice little touches that distinguish one place from another?

Let's talk - please share your stories and opinions on this subject.

Regards, Linda