I do not normally love business travel. I love the frequent flyer miles and hotel points, but in general? I prefer it when Mark is the one earning them. Business travel for me is generally kind of awkward. I'm usually flying to the middle of nowhere to audit a drug or medical device manufacturer that has no idea what it is doing, and leaving terrified to ever require any kind of medical intervention. (Haaaa, how that ship has sailed.) Best case scenario, I'm traveling alone and the companies I see aren't going to kill anyone; less rosy scenario, I'm traveling with our outside consultant to utter shitholes of which the owners are inordinately proud. I spend my day breaking the spirits of our clients (well, actually, Bob, it's not just FDA being difficult; quality systems ARE that important...), then head back to the finest Comfort Inn or Courtyard that exists in whichever cornfield/industrial park I'm in, praying that there is some sort of food establishment nearby that serves potable wine. It ain't glamorous, is what I'm saying. 

However, once a year, it seems my luck might be looking up. My company hosts a big annual meeting for all of the various defense attorneys we use, and in order to get people to attend, it's generally pretty swanky. This year's meeting was last week and it was gloooorious (please please please let this not have been the peak!). I had been dreading it, being a hater of meetings and awkward social functions and all, but it ended up being pretty damn amazing. I flew to California last week and found myself at a truly spectacular golf and spa resort. My room had a lovely private patio looking out on the cypress and jacaranda trees, with a little walkway down to one of the gorgeous pools. The furnishings were insane -- giant marble bathroom with a super deep soaking tub, marble shower, tv in the bathroom, giant king bed with Oprah's Italian linens, a ridiculous gilt frame for the bedroom tv. 

The meetings started with a cocktail reception the night I arrived, after which I grabbed an extra glass of wine on my way out and headed to my giant, fluffy bed. We had breakfast on Thursday morning, then a full day of presentations. Oh -- and by full day, I mean we started at 8, were done by 2 and I was at the pool by 2:30. 

The pool was spectacular as well. I grabbed a towel and headed for a chair, only to hear one of the pool boys chasing me down. "Madam! Madam! Please, let me get for you a chair cover!" Seriously, they have little towels with hoods on them that fit snugly over the top of the chair cushion so you never have falling-down-towel issues. By the time I was settled, he was back with a glass of ice water and some frozen grapes. A little while later, just as I was starting to feel a little warm, he reappeared to ask if he might bring me another beverage. Why, yes, kind sir! I asked for something fruity with rum and minutes later he was back with a caipirinha. I (heart) him.  

Thursday night was our conference dinner, which again started with cocktails and was followed with a very tasty buffet. My coworker and I escaped by 8:15, again nabbing some wine to go, and I headed back to my giant, fluffy bed. Friday was even better -- we started at 9 and were done before noon. I had a lovely room service lunch on my patio, then headed down to the spa, as one of the firms was treating us to spa services. I had an outstanding facial, then soaked in the relaxation whirlpool. 

I headed back to the pool for a bit, promptly destroying my lovely facial with sunscreen and loving every second. I had a lovely night in my amazing room, sipping chardonnay on my patio, then soaking in a bath with rose petals and enjoying another room service special (big fan o' room service here and Mark haaaaates it, so I take advantage when I can). The only down side was that I had to go home the next day (after room service breakfast on the patio, of course). Siiiigh...

OH -- my very favorite things? Housekeeping was ON TOP of all electrical cords. Hair dryer, chargers, computer cable -- didn't matter. If there was a loose cord during one of their twice daily visits, it got wound up and tied with a gold ribbon. For real, every time. It was ADORABLE. They also left either chocolate covered Oreos or little boxes of truffles as the turn down chocolates. HEAVEN. 

Anyway, my husband is a wonderful guy, but he is super not into luxury hotels, and I love love them. The rarity has kind of made me appreciate them more, so I soaked it up while I could. And even better -- on someone else's dime! Ohhh, if only all business trips were like this...


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