It’s a good thing that I don’t harbor any secret aspirations to climb Mount Everest. Firstly, my mother would probably kill me. Secondly, a weekend in Colorado has forced me to admit that high altitudes do not agree with me.
Actually it might be all of the complimentary champagne that doesn’t agree with me. And the wine. And the chocolates. But what was I supposed to do? Say “no” when the nice man from Vail Resorts offered me a glass of champagne to take with me for the second leg of my gondola journey to 12,000 feet? I don’t think so. In fact, I helped myself to a cookie as well and it’s a good thing I did because the cookie came with a napkin and I got my first of several nose bleeds a few minutes later.
Nonetheless, it’s been a fantastic weekend. I’m in love with Denver. And Vail Resorts. And road rallies, especially road rallies in which the winners gets free iPhones.
It all started Friday morning when the nice folks at The Oxford Hotel in downtown Denver drove us over to the Convention Center for the start of the official Travel Blog Exchange Road Rally. Unbeknownst to me, “road rally” was just a fancy way of saying “press trip” but having never been on a press trip before I was completely dumbfounded by the entire experience.
Every twenty minutes, we’d arrive somewhere new: first the Denver Zoo, then Red Rocks, then a buffalo farm, then the Georgetown Loop… and everywhere we went, people would give us stuff: free pens, free flash drives with their company logos emblazoned on top, free cookies, free lunches, free gift bags filled with paraphernalia from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
By the time we boarded the historic train at the Georgetown Loop (only to be presented with free wine and free cheese) one of my teammates finally turned to me and asked, “Have you ever been on a press trip before?”
I had to confess that no, I had not. And seeing as said teammate was none other than Max Hartshorne of GoNOMAD.com, I decided that I’d better stop acting so damn excited about free tote bags if I want anyone in the travel industry to take me seriously.
So if anyone asks, I don’t care that I won an iPhone. And I couldn’t care less about my free Scottevest. And I didn’t spend Saturday evening drooling over the catalogue that the representative from Hartmann luggage gave to me, nor did I spend the morning packing all of my newly acquired tote bags- no matter what the sight of my overstuffed suitcase might suggest.
- Heaven is a Down Pillow- Or Six (fieldworkinstilettos.com)