I was born in Tallahassee, Florida and moved up north when I was a baby. I can only remember being back to the south once since then... so naturally, I don't really remember if "southern hospitality" actually exists. I found out Wednesday, on day one of our trip to Georgia, that this is the real deal.
From the moment we touched down on the Atlanta tarmac Sunday night, southern hospitality was in play.
As Carolyn Holly walked through the airport, she could hear someone behind her trying to get someones attention. After a lengthy walk, the woman yelling down the terminal finally caught up to her. Carolyn was shocked to find out that this woman had actually chased her through the entire airport. Why? She was standing in line behind Carolyn, who was buying a bottle of water. When the woman got to the cash register, she found an earring on the counter. She followed Carolyn all the way to baggage claim to return her earring. Turns out, it wasn't Carolyn's earring. But hey, it's the thought that counts!
The next time we experienced the kindness of the deep south was at the rental car counter. For no reason at all, the man at the counter waived fees, dropped our rate, and boom -- we saved $$$. The rental agent wished us well and sent us on our way before we even realized what had happened.
Next, Carolyn, photographer Paul Boehlke, and I were driving around trying to find the building where the Morris Brown College Band was practicing. The Morris Brown College Band is playing in place of the Boise State band at the pep rally before the game Saturday. After Georgia (our GPS) failed us once, we stopped to ask a dancer for help. This girl apparently knew exactly who we are looking for. As the man was walking to meet us, she waited. And waited. And waited. And waited with us until he arrived about 20 minutes later. Once she knew we were safe in his hands, she went on her merry way.
As we walked into the band room, we were greeted as if the band members and dancers had known us for years. "Welcome to Atlanta" echoed around the room as we made our way to the front.
Now that covers only about the first two hours of our trip. I'm sure we'll experience even more of this amazing hospitality, and trust me, I'll be sure you tell you about it. So far, these southerners are taking their jobs very seriously. And we're grateful for it. We're excited to see what the rest of the trip brings!
12:27 a.m update... I suppose I should add, for those of us who tend to pack a little too lightly, toothbrushes and toothpaste at the hotel are complimentary. Now that, my friends, is southern hospitality.