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.
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:
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.
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.
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…”
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.
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.