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17:23:26 - 2000-04-05

A GUY COULD GET USED TO THIS

Writing this morning's entry about some of the freebies I've gotten at press conferences made me think of the ultimate freebies I've received at my job.

A few years ago, I got to wear the "Travel Writer" hat around the office.

Which...ummm...basically meant I did the travel writing.

Jeez...what did you THINK it meant?!?

Oh don't sit there so innocent-looking with MEEEE, Missy....

(huff...huff...huff)

I hope you're happy. Now I'm as out of breath as a decapitated turkey.

Anyway...why do I let myself get so worked up over the looks that I think you're all giving me??

*sigh*

Alright...we got the tangent out of the way...let's proceed...

I didn't go to Europe or anything like that during my travel writer days.

Truth be told ... I only did five different little jaunts.

And four of those were all in the same state I live in.

Two of those were week-long stays at Bed and Breakfasts on the beach.

Talk about peaceful...man oh man...

Another was a bed and breakfast in North Alabama which completely sucked.

One was a travel writer's convention in Mobile, Alabama...

And the BEST travel writer dealio I ever did was a trip to see what Atlanta had to offer people at Christmas time.

Man oh man....

People...it was during those three short days that I realized....I COMPLETELY enjoy getting my ass kissed 24-7 by everyone I come into contact with.

Lemme try and explain the premise. About 30 travel writers from around the U.S. came to Atlanta for this trip.

They put us up in a five-star hotel.

We ate at the best restaurants in Atlanta.

From morning to night, we were being shuttled around in a private bus to see as much of Atlanta as they could fit in. Museums, malls, shopping districts ... just tons of stuff to do.

...And ... of course...it was all free.

I think we had to pay something like $150 for Susie to come with me. But holy hell...it was the best $150 we ever spent.

Every night when we got home from dinner, there was a bottle of champagne and some fancy dessert. One night I distinctly remember strawberries dipped in chocolate and designed to look like little tuxedos with bow ties.

Everywhere we went, the people there knew ahead of time we were coming. So we'd show up at restaurants for dinner and just waltz past the two hour waiting list. The chef would come out and personally shake everyone's hands and then it was order whatever the hell you want on the menu. Appetizers, desserts, whatever you wanted...EAT!!

The hotel was out of this world. Telephones in the bathroom kinda out of this world.

We went to Phipps Plaza in Atlanta ... perhaps one of the most hoity-toity malls you'll ever step foot in ... and those mall employees treated us like we were Royalty. These horribly snooty women had to stand there and kiss my ass until I walked out their doors.

I LOVED IT!!

And talk about racking up freebies... I had a trunkful of stuff to bring home from that trip. Everywhere we went, we got free stuff. The only thing I still have is a baseball cap from Phipps Plaza that I wear on my early morning walks because I have the most frightening bed head you will ever see.

The second best Travel Writer trip was the Square Flower, a bed and breakfast on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. An older woman owned the home that was split up into four different areas for guests. We slept out in an adjoining area to the house, away from all the other guests.

I have never heard "quiet" like I heard it there.

We were about a block from the beach, and for some reason, you could NOT hear the surf at all until you got closer to the beach.

You would hear seagulls on occasion. And we just kept all the windows and door open and let a breeze blow through all day and night.

Huge hammocks all over the place. In the shade or in the sun, take your pick.

And a private beach.

VERY PRIVATE, if you get my drift.

Yep...they named the drink "Sex on the Beach" after yer ol' Uncle Bob.

Alright...I'd love to rhapsodize more...hell...I'd love to read over this entry and punch it up with something remotely humorous....but I gotta start cooking.

Tonight's menu

Ribeye steak

Baked Potato

Teriyaki vegetables

Garlic rolls.

And I've gotta get cookin' babe. Maybe see ya later, eh?

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