Meeting Business as Usual – with caveats

If you’re curious about what it’s like to get on an airplane again as well as check in to a hotel during pandemic pandemonium read on for details from my recent experience on a business trip to Nashville.

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Remember Travel?

Tired of sitting at home staring out the window and thinking about your next escape? Take a journey with me as we visually revisit some of my personal travel ‘postcards’, and who knows? Maybe you will be inspired to pull out some of your own memories! Yet one more activity you can do from the comfort of your couch!

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Wag This Way

May you never bark at your own reflection.

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Christmas on a Cruise?

Yes, we finally did it exactly one year ago this month.  And while I had a tiny bit of pre-trip anxiety about what it would be like (well, actually more like a feeling of “nothing can beat Christmas in my jammies at home with my “special eggnog” and sister’s delicious homemade cookies, but go ahead […]

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Anchors Aweigh – Thoughts from a Military Funeral

  Seems weird writing a blog post about a funeral but then again this wasn’t just your average family funeral. This one had a bugler, a bagpiper, a full military band, horse drawn caisson, and the seven member honor guard with rifles at hand, all in place to provide the final salute to this decorated […]

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Meeting Notes From the Kingdom

Mickey Margarita

Worked a meeting at ‘the happiest place on earth’ last week, aka Walt Disney World here in Orlando, and yes, I couldn’t resist snapping a few photos of the not-so-hidden Mickey’s you see everywhere. And by everywhere I do mean, well, see for yourself.

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Being the First – One Small Step

I was the last child born into a family of four, so growing up I didn’t have a lot of experience with being the first. But here are some people that do:

* Barack Obama, USA’s first African American President
* Sandra Day O’Connor, first female US Supreme Court Justice
* Charles Lindbergh, first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean

Then there was this guy, Neil Armstrong. First man to step foot on the moon.

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Nashville Notes

Had a great week working a new client program in Nashville at the world famous Gaylord Opryland Hotel which, if you’ve never been there, is a bit, well, large. Actually it’s huge.

Think I’m exaggerating? Here’s my daily mileage assessment as per my actual step counts:

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In Living Coral

Living Coral - Pantone Color of the Year 2019

Do you have a favorite color? I do. Seeing anything in a shade of peachy-coral, pale or even bright orange can put me in my happy place, so you can imagine how big my smile was when I first read the news that Pantone had named coral the color of the year for 2019.

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Things I’ll Miss About Christmas This Year

You know how sometimes we all get caught up in a snow-globe blurry whirlwind of shopping/baking/decorating/entertaining in addition to eating and drinking too much this time of year? Well guess what? I’ve found a cure for all that. It’s called take a trip.

That’s right. Leave the country, and don’t look back on your way out of town. And now that we’re approaching departure, I’m here to tell you that this is my year to do just that! Most likely by the time you read this, I’ll be at least one champagne toast and thousands of miles away enjoying a never ending flight [in United’s Polaris Club Business Class, no less!] to the land ‘down unda’ , aka Australia. Yep. A trip we’ve talked about for several years finally aligned with the sun and stars and a full moon and voilá! Tickets were purchased, plans confirmed, schedules rearranged, bags were packed [and repacked. . .] and off we go. It’s an epic adventure, for sure, and you can expect some good stories to follow in this blog about all those escapades and detours as we explore and discover not only Australia but also New Zealand and Tasmania.

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Life is a Trip – But Where Are You Going?

I’ve heard the silence recently and it sounded like this: “TML, we haven’t seen you post anything in a while. We miss your writing because shucks, sometimes it’s pretty darn amusing! Where the heck are you?”

[Pausing while I raise my hand]: “Right here in Las Vegas, working another meeting. Can you see me now?”

“No wait, now I’m in San Francisco!”

“Um, don’t blink because I just arrived in Indianapolis. . .and Chicago, now Ft. Lauderdale, San Antonio, Erie/PA, Orlando, Dallas, Detroit, Branson/MO, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and now back in Orlando again. Did I mention NYC? Well, I was there again, too…”

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Farewell to the Hive!

This is both hello and goodbye to all my Hospitality Hive readers! Sorry to report that the Orlando Sentinel made a recent decision to end the run of all our Hype Orlando blog columns effective April 30, so this is it.

The Hospitality Hive was created in 2014, and since then I’ve shared close to 100 blog posts covering topics that ranged from tacky tourists to really cool hotel events to the invasion of Chinese travelers in Florida. I shared my fun and educational experience as a pie judge for the American Pie Council annual competition and my enjoyment at attending a beer tasting dinner, which by the way was also educational but heck I’m not going to lie, mostly about fun. I told you about ice carving competitions held poolside at The Rosen Centre Hotel and shared with you details about my chosen profession which is as a meeting planner.

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My Friend Henri

At first all I saw was that beautiful smile because, once launched, it pretty much occupied the majority of his face. But then I was drawn in by his eyes, although I’m not exactly sure what color they were as I couldn’t get over how they just seemed to be sparkling. Yep, this man had a serious twinkle going on from deep within those eyes making you wonder just exactly what they had seen.

As we met for the first time I naturally offered my right hand which he took with his before drawing me in to his chest for the most comfortable hug, the kind you just want to close your eyes and fall into having found a safe haven from whatever else was going on in the world around you. It was almost as if he sensed that you needed a good hug at that moment in time and that alone was the reason he had gotten up that morning to fulfill your wish. Weird, right? Eventually, the embrace ends. You take a step back, and in that one tiny moment you notice his arm has a tattoo. Suddenly things get awkward because you don’t know whether to actually look at that tat or quickly turn away to pretend you never saw it. That it couldn’t possibly be what you know to be true. In the end, you know what you saw, and it takes every ounce of strength you can muster to pull yourself together and continue on with your very first meeting of Henri Landwirth.

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Hotel Rooms of the Future?

Anybody out there curious about what will await us when we check into a hotel room of the future?’

I am, which is why that headline caught my eye from a recent industry read. Sure enough, some trends are fairly easy to predict because we’re already dealing with some of these projected changes (remote check in via a mobile app and/or self service kiosks, keyless room entry, etc.). But others might surprise you. . .

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Conference ‘What Ifs’?

What if there was an active shooter in a convention zone?

We all now know IT can happen anywhere, and every time it does the very first person interviewed says “Gosh, we just never thought it would happen to us ‘here [fill in the blank].”

And yet it does, and the reality is it will continue.

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Nice Hotel Touches That Often Surprise!

The Broadmoor magically lit up for the holidays in Colorado Springs, CO.

Because I travel a lot, I get to stay in and explore many different types of hotels. In fact, you could say I’ve seen the good (Hello, JW Marriott!), the bad (did I actually stay at a beach dump called the Very Pleasant & Happy Hawaiian Inn?), and the exceptional (please don’t make me go home Mr. AAA and 5 Diamond Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs! I can’t bear to ever leave you…)

And even though many things in a hotel room are predictable, I’m still frequently pleasantly surprised when exploring a new room, even if the hotel is part of a standard chain where you would expect consistency in every room you visit. But I’ve found that what sets most hotels apart are the small unexpected touches that make you stop and pause, many times with a smile.

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Hey Pi People!

Listen up PI lovers. Today is your day! Woot-woot!

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This is My Orlando – What’s Yours?

Working in the world of meetings and conventions where exciting things are always happening, I tend to take some things for granted. Perfect example was when I recently explained to an out of towner that all of the four groups I had just managed here in Orlando had chosen to have evening events at one of ‘the Big Three’.

“Huh?” was the reply from the puzzled friend.

“You know, Walt Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Orlando. Each client had a special event at one of them.”

“Wow! You can host private parties at those places?”

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They Came. They Saw. They Chainsawed.

Oh yes they did! Hard to believe it was already one year ago when I attended the first of these events, and now I’m so excited it’s coming back for round two on December 16. What I’m referring to is Rosen Plaza’s Iced Out holiday event wherein local top chefs put their chainsaw skills to the test, battling each other (not to mention the Florida weather. . .) by creating amazing sculptures out of huge blocks of ice. With a chainsaw. Poolside, at the Rosen Plaza. Now you see why the weather plays a part in this? Even on a cool night carving an ice sculpture outside can be tricky!

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