I did not fly over Omaha, as I gather might be expected. I landed in Omaha.
Beside me at the hotel check-in was an attractive tall rugged man, in jeans, boots and a gigantic cowboy hat. My heart beat a little faster. I was actually standing beside a real live cowboy. The Marlboro Man himself. I entered the lobby to find six-hundred more Marlboro Men. A rodeo convention, apparently. I met about the same number of ladies lunching the following day, six-hundred lovely ladies came for lunch whilst I spoke at the Antique & Garden show. Afterwards I was given a tour of the incredible Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha’s 100-acre living museum. This was certainly a city of surprises.
Next was Ohio. “We have an hour before the event, let’s take a moment to relax,” said Jeanette, our hardworking head of sales, as we checked into another hotel. Just as I turned on the shower a text pinged in from her “OMG, we went through a time zone. event starting now. need to leave.”
Two events, one time zone and another flight later we landed. Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland were on the schedule. We climbed into a cab that looked more like the Scooby Doo van. We needed to shift it to be at our Cincinnati event on time. “We are in Ohio right?” Jeanette checked with the driver after awhile. “No lady, this is Kentucky.” KENTUCKY? “Yes, we pass through Kentucky to reach Cincinnati.”
Getting downtown was not without its complications. We were now running so late that by the time we reached the hotel we had to split up. Jeanette, and Marzena, our free-spirited Polish videographer, went directly to set up for the event as I ran across town to one of our Get Togethers.
An hour or so later another text pinged in from Jeanette: “where r u? we r at the bar drinking monitors.” I texted back, “monitors? or mojitos?” Either way it sounded dangerous.
By the time I reached them they were still at the bar, and Marzena was persuading Jeanette to cut off all her hair. The “monitors” were clearly taking effect.
A day later we were checked into our Columbus hotel. My door was oddly being re-painted by a handyman as I walked in, a brown sludge color, to match the brown sludge walls and the thick furry brown sludge carpet, which was sticky when you walked on it. There was an antiquated air-conditioner that made loud burping noises and all the wires spilled out. The Wi-Fi was on strike and the bedside lamp was missing a light bulb. Marzena said she heard someone screaming in one of the rooms as she walked down the corridor. Sometimes it’s not so glamorous after all.
Columbus to Cleveland, where we were rescued by dear friends who introduced us to the charming countryside of white picket fences, lush green hills and frisky shiny horses. I spoke at the Hunt Club where my father years ago had spoken before me, and our Get Together was held on a romantic property, reached by crossing a moat, beside a dovecote, in a cobbled stable yard. My collection of accessories, beauty and gifts were laid out on a pool table and the shopping started.
Of course you don’t need to meet me in Omaha, Cincinnati, Cleveland or Columbus, you could shop right from here, with out ever having to brush your hair or find a parking space: indiahicks.com