A Week in Atlanta for the Guard and Reserve Conference–Then Stranded!

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Dee M-G and I flew into Atlanta this past Monday where we met up with Keith M. We consider ourselves to the A Team for MCEC in the Exhibit Hall. I mean we can really tell the story and get a lot of people to our table/booth. Keith is great at networking….I mean great. I am sorry I don’t have a picture of the three of us…next time. We will go again next year and there may be another one I can go to this summer if it doesn’t conflict with the International Music Festival in San Miguel. Nothing can bump that event! Anyway, it was fun….We always hitting the other tables for their promotional items. This year we were given lots, as in 15, toothbrushes and 2 cases of protein bars! Sally P. flew in from Rochester, NY to do a presentation…she was fantastic and did MCEC proud.   

The Hilton was so-so but well-connected…literally by sky bridges to all sorts of other hotels and little mini malls. Because the weather was so hideous—cold, rain, and fog, I never left the indoors for four days. That was yucky. So I walked indoors through five buildings using the sky bridges. From my explorations I found a round of nicer restaurants and bars for us after the conference was over.

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One of the major highlights of the trip was seeing my very old friend, Ken K., from my high school days at Kaiserslautern American High School. It had been 23 years since we had seen each other at the all-class reunion in Houston in 1993. I love Ken. He is a joyous person and great fun. He met the entire A Team….bonded with all. t was a great evening. Ken was hilarious telling us all about some of the funnier times he had in Viet Nam. I hope I get to see him again next year. Keith and Dee will insist! I wish I had a photo of him….he has aged nicely….reminds me of Gordon A.

Dee discovered that we didn’t have to stay through Friday so we changed our flight to Thursday night since central Texas was expecting snow and ice….we were pretty smug….we checked out of the hotel, broke down the display, packed and were ready to get the shuttle when we received a call from Delta….Our flight was cancelled and rescheduled for Saturday!#$%#@&. Although we missed it all, I guess Killeen, Temple, Belton, Salado, etc. were crippled with ice and snow. But not as bad as North Texas. Sooooooooo, what to do. We spent another night at the Hilton but decided to move to the Marriott for the last night. It was cheaper and waaaaaaaay nicer. The sports bar became our dining hall and also served the BEST Southern Comfort Manhattans. Too good. So what to do on Friday? THe weather was hideous…..freezing raw cold and wet. We met a young woman at the bar who was in town for the Apparel Market….the idea was born….we should go. So I called Kristi to email me copies of my Texas Tax Certificate…it was all very techno…and it worked. We printed it up and headed for the Apparel Mart through even more sky bridges. AND they let us in….although it was tricky. Dee and I were overwhelmed with the clothing and jewelry. We hit a few cash and carry jewelry showrooms….then just as we were about to leave I saw them…..my favorite hats. Max had sent me an earlier email telling me that all was well here at the houseand to enjoy myself even if I was stranded…but he followed it up by saying, “Just don’t buy a hat!.” He has to help me storethem in the top of closets and under beds. Well, I took the attached picture and emailed him….”I didn’t buy a hat, I bought 12!” It was the minimum order. Dee bought two of the 12 so I only have to store 10! They are verrrrrrrrrry cool hats.

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IMG_1450.jpgIMG_1454.JPG We were whipped after this outing but steady enough to venture on to the train and out to the Lennox mall where we did just a bit of looking and had the best pizzas at the California Pizza Kitchen. We flipped for Apparel MKT badge.jpg the pear and gorgonzola with caramelized onions. Ok, by then we were really exhausted so we went on back to the Marriot, wet and cold and ready to come home. We were on the shuttle to the airport at 7:20…we expected a mad house but it was really very efficient and quick and we made it home to sunshine by noon.

My cats were glad enough to see me and grateful for the sunshine too. Kristi said they had cabin fever which probably means they were naughty and distractive in my absence. After a nice 5 mile walk I went over to see Katie and Colllin’s new house, right here in Salado. I love that little gal. Tomorrow the opera with Jackie.

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