Ever had one of those trips when everything just went perfectly? Where every plane was on time, every detail executed without flaw?
My trip to Atlanta was not one of those. But you know, sometimes flowers bloom out of the middle of cow pies.
When I arrived after flying across the country, my luggage did not show. It had been routed to the wrong airport, so I was stuck for a couple of hours.
To kill some time, I looked around for something to eat and stumbled upon a barbeque place – right there by baggage claim – and had a fantastic meal.
That took the pain out of the wait.
When I got to the hotel, it was late. As soon as I entered the room I noticed that the bathroom had not been cleaned, and that is putting it mildly. Better stated, someone had felt obliged to leave a welcome card (so to speak) in the toilet. Either that or they had forgotten to flush.
Welcome to Atlanta.
The desk was apologetic and gave me a nicer room, as well as complimentary admission to their VIP lounge, complete with free breakfast and snacks all day.
I felt better.
At the conference, the crowd we were expecting for our panel discussion was paltry – maybe a dozen people when we had expected many, many more. Plus I forgot my notes back at the hotel.
But we got to talk in a more informal and intimate setting, and in the process we all made some new friends. That was pretty nice.
Our hotel, by the way, was not exactly “adjacent” to the convention center. It was a good eight block walk, and they don’t call it Hotlanta for nothing. As I was trudging along in my wool jacket, sweating like an Ensign at a qualification board, I noticed a restaurant called, “Pittypat’s Porch.” We ate there later that night, and as the oldest restaurant in Atlanta (according to the management), the food was out of this world.
So after suffering a long flight, delayed luggage, raw sewage, long and sweaty walks, lost notes, and a small audience; I enjoyed two incredible meals, a nice room with VIP access, and met some new friends.
I call it a net plus.
Postscript: The airlines gave me free baggage on the way home – I think it was to compensate for the foul up on the way out. Life is good.