I’ve been thinking about this and every trip, be it pleasure or business, has a moment that defines the trip. Karaoke in Nagoya, the unexpected hole in the wall barbeque place we were steered towards in Long Beach and so on. Nothing many others have not written about in the past.
Tulsa (and I was only in Tulsa for 36 hours) brought up a number of themes. There was the exceptional (the steak in Mahogany’s), the “we tried, but were ultimately totally incompetent (the hotel) and the “WTF” (security guard). The security guard provided the title, but it was a close run thing.
I’ve not spent much time in the midwest, Oklahoma city, Whichita and a few days in Omaha is about it. The people are always interesting and they know how to cut, age and cook a steak, which neatly brings me too…
As we were leaving the factory yesterday we asked for a recommendation for great steak, we are in the midwest and it seems natural, we were told Mahogany’s is the place. They were right, lets be clear the wagu beef I had in Japan a few years ago will always be number one on the great steak list, but the New York Strip last night is a serious contender for the runners up place. Perfectly prepared (medium rare, I think this may be perfect for me) with no unnecessary sauces or seasonings.
We spent a very happy couple of hours sitting at the bar in the restaurant enjoying great food and stories. And they had TV’s in gents, is this an awesome place or what?
The ME responsible for this partner made the hotel choice, this decision is going to haunt him for some time. In the reservation system at work the hotel was listed as a Radisson and was close to the airport. It not. Apparently under new management and while I do believe the Hotel was trying, they were completely incompetent.
And not just in the details either, it was the big things too. It took almost 30 minutes for the shuttle bus to pick me up from the airport on Tuesday night, yes it was past 11 at night, but I then found out the hotel was less than 200 yards from arrivals. Rather than wait for the bus this morning, I walked to the airport, and judging from the mood of the people waiting for the bus at 5 this morning I was there far quicker.
Then there was breakfast yesterday. We had to be at the partner at 8. We met for breakfast at 7, plenty of time one would think for three rounds of toast and some pancakes. 45 minutes later, after being assured the cook was “working as fast as he can” we gave up and went to work sans breakfast.
Then there was the mildly entertaining. The remote control to my sleep-number bed was missing, apparently taken by maintance to another room and never replaced. In the bathroom I had four bottles of conditioner, one of shampoo and no moisturizer. On the plus side they did have decent free beer available and poured in propper pints too, none of the Embassy Suites tiny glasses. Three pints of Blue Moon before we left for dinner did a lot to make up for the failings.
The hotel was trying, they really were, but ultimatly they fell well short. Yes I sound like a spoilt traveller, and I’ve stayed in far worse (anything with Oakland or Detroit Airport in the title for a start) but I just want to get on with my day, and that was tough to do here.
We are in the midwest and things are different here. Being greeted with “god bless” as we walked into the security office to pick up our badges and wait for our escort into the factory was just the start of a very entertaining, and wonderfully non-politically correct 10 minutes.
While we were waiting the guard waved in a little black Mazda Miata, turned to the three of us and said with a chortle “She is so hot, I had to call her boss last summer and remind him to enforce the dress code.”
He rather wistfully continued “One morning you could see her panties and bra when she arrived. I told him that’s distracting. When she left you could not see them, she certainly took her bra off, and her panties too I think. She is really hot, and knows it. She was only here a couple of months before she netted herself an executive 20 years older than she was.”
“Anyway [our escort] is here, god bless, have a good visit.”
The three of us looked at each other and wandered off shaking out heads to do the production audit.