Okay, so much for actually thinking I can keep up with a blog on a regular basis. And my detailed recap of Southern Comfort 2007? Right...
So let's do what I normally do-recap wildly.
*I like the new hotel; I hate the new hotel. The location, while away from our traditional Downtown/Buckhead area, does have the advantage of a large mall across the road, lots of restaurants in the area, and easy access to the major highways. The lobby is simply gorgeous, with lots of places to sit and talk. The ballrooms are large, and there were fewer problems with the temperature than in the past. The catering was decent, and there was a franchised Starbucks kiosk in the lobby for that morning emergency caffeine charge. The staff was friendly, and professional. And it was nice to not have to pay for parking.
The bad part? The hotel was totally unprepared for us. I had issues with getting my room cleaned. I checked in on Monday, and it was Wednesday before anyone cleaned the room. I had to call for clean towels Tuesday and Wednesday, at which time I went to the desk and politely complained. Which got me a comped night, and a promise to have the room cleaned the next day. Saturday, the toilet nearly overflowed, I called for someone to look after it. Nobody ever came; fortunately, it cleared itself up enough to work, partially, the rest of the stay.
Getting served in the lounge? Don't be in any rush for drinks or food. They were understaffed most of the time; it only got better towards the end of the week when they realized that, gee, we DID spend a lot of money in the hotel...While the food service for the banquets were decent, the wait staff seemed indifferent at times. Oh, and why do upscale hotels STILL charge for broadband?
I guess we'd been spoiled with the Sheraton Colony Square, which is now W Atlanta Midtown. The staff was incredible, the service was great, and the rooms were nice. Moving to a Crowne Plaza, I thought we would have a similar level of service. What I wonder is, did someone with SCC not make it clear what kind of clients we are, or did the Crowne Plaza not believe it? Regardless, we're back there for 2008, and I refuse to cut them any slack.
*Being across from Perimiter Mall was very convenient. Besides having the only MAC store in the city, they also have Sephora and a great selection of shops and places to eat.
*Little Five Points is still a must visit stop for me. Even if it seems like it's losing some of the charm it had when I first went down there. But as long as my favorite jewelery place is still there, and it keeps feeling like Magazine Street, I'll return.
1130 Euclid Ave.
*I found, thanks to my friend Adrya, a great shoe store. Run by a very nice lady, who was very helpful, they had shoes that fit and looked good-and weren't hooker shoes! I will definitely return.
A Step Above
470 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
*I can't say how much I appreciated Sabrina Pandora spending a day with me, and seeing her is always a good thing. She's a friend, and a critic, and I hope she realizes how much I appreciate her.
*Going out to dinner with friends is something that means a lot to me. And it's part of why I like SCC. Getting to spend time with the DC Posse, making new friends, enjoying good food. It's so simple, yet it makes me feel so much more...complete?
*Atlanta is a wonderful city. Even though the traffic is hell-but living in Dallas has taught me a lot about dealing with it. I feel very comfortable going out, the city's Southern charm hasn't been lost, and I look forward to returning.
*I get to see old friends, make new ones. And that's worth the trip.
*There is still nothing like being in a room where you are part of the majority, you don't feel so alien. Even if you are.
*Flying still sucks. I'd rather drive, but 14+ hours straight? Um, no.
*I made a conscious decision to "dress down" a bit this year. Not totally, because I can't do it. But to look more, um, passable? God, I hate that word...
This is me, with Vickie Collins and Vicky Renee-two people I've known since my first SCC. Yes, I need to lose weight. But I think I look pretty good. I avoided doing the gothgirl thing most of the trip, did not wear a corset once, but in case you think I lost it:
Me and the fabulous Mistress Divinyl at Twinkledome. I'd hate her if she wasn't such a great person; she's gorgeous.
I did get compliments on how I looked, including a few from people I did not expect. So, expect more fabulousness!
*Did I mention how much I like seeing people? Good. I also came to realize that some people I need to let go. One particular person, I have tried to be friends with for years, even when he's caused me headaches on the SCCLounge. What finally happened was I realized he was never going to let go of things that happened in the past, and I wasn't willing to sit by and be his audience. I don't feel good about this, but I feel it was necessary.
*I don't feel such a need for "support" as much as I do friendship. I've been trying to get a dinner group going here in Dallas, and our first one went well. But people have shown little interest in a second one, and I feel like I'm back in New Orleans, where nobody wanted to do anything but go to meetings and one place to eat...
*No post-SCC letdown. I managed to keep the feeling going for quite some time. I guess it was worth the sacrifice I made to attend...
And I can't wait for SCC2008.