Livin’ It Up in Hotlanta

I’m typing this from my room at the W Hotel in downtown Atlanta. The room is gorgeous and filled with swag from Coca-Cola. They’re hosting ~20 mom bloggers for a 2-day conference at their corporate headquarters, teaching us to live positively, giving us advice on branding and marketing ourselves, and possibly harvesting our organs while we sleep.

They’re being very nice to us.

I stayed at the W in Chicago when I was on a panel at Blogher several years ago. I shared a room with my friend Erin and new friend Jenny and, although we loved the room, the bathroom arrangements were a little awkward for a budding friendship.

The W is big on chic-ness, leather divans, employees that wear black, and it’s also big on dance music in the elevator. What it’s not big on is bathroom privacy. In Chicago, the bathroom was separated from the bedroom by some very thin shutters.

In this room, the shower is clear glass with no curtain or door and is located in the middle of the room, right next to the bed. It’s all very lovely and oh-so-not-sharable with women you barely know. Luckily I’m alone here.

The hotel is chic. The dress for tomorrow is supposed to be “casual chic”. My fashion icon friend Emily said that means “wear a scarf.” I shall do so. And I will report back to you about what I learned… about both chic-ness and positivity.

When speaking to marketing people, I always tell them, “If you want to market to mom bloggers, give them an experience.” We want to blog about experiences much more than products. I loved blogging about Nintendo because they set up events where me and my kids could play wii at a nursing home. I loved blogging about Method because they hosted an event that I’d been planning to host anyway and they paid for everything.

Well, I can tell that this is going to be an experience worth blogging about. I’m hoping to meet and network with some great women, get some much-needed relaxation and writing time in this way-too-swanky-for-everyday hotel room, and learn some things to energize my blogging and fiction writing career.

I’m not entirely sure what Coca-Cola is hoping to get out of the arrangement. I hope we all end up happy and with all our kidneys intact.

So far, I’ve spent a great day with Megan, whom I carpooled to the airport and shared a flight and Taxi with. We’re practically neighbors and I’m glad to know her now. I’m sure I made an awesome first impression, taking two wrong turns on the way to the airport, and then inviting her join me for dinner, only to walk two blocks, change my mind and tell her I’d rather eat a sandwich in my room. So many awesome points for me.

When I’m away from home like this, I vacillate between being overjoyed to have some time alone and missing Dan and the bebes desperately, calculating how many days it would take me to walk home to Seattle from Georgia were the Apocalypse to occur in the next two days. (Write YA post-apocalyptic fiction much? Why, yes, I do.)

The best part of the day was getting a text from my brother, whom I never see, who said he was in Seattle on his way to a Border Patrol training. It turned out he was at the Seattle airport on a layover from Montana and had no idea I was traveling today. So he came and found me as I came through the security line and gave me a hug before I headed to my terminal. I love this guy! What a fun surprise!

Notice the scarf in that picture. See? Previously un-chic. Now CHIC with added chic-ness. BAM!

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