Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Visiting The OC

The Huntington Beach, CA Shopping District

Folks have fun on the beach

I know this picture is dark, but here's Vernon Jordan addressing a large crowd of attendees

Jordan signs books of the attendees. I was upset that I left Vernon Can Read at home!

Well hello there good people!

Lucky for me and my colleagues, the weather was really pleasant in the OC – although our folks were awfully hard to find.

In between business meetings and the usual ‘rubbing of elbows,’ I did have an opportunity to head to Huntington Beach, CA for bit with a few pals. Cruising through the highways of California is a shiny convertible Chrysler Sebring is really my idea of a good time. We walked the beach and dined a bit before heading back to our meeting location.

While I was in Cali, I had a chance to hear the incomparable Vernon Jordan speak. He is an extraordinarily commanding presence in person and his speech was awesome. The audience was spellbound as he told his life story.

Jordan will have a new book coming out soon and I plan to check it out. One of my idols, Diahann Carroll was also in Cali promoting her new memoirs, but alas your girl had to head back home to the East.

Truthfully, I was glad to get back home too.

A week away from home working is tough for me. I don't like leaving behind my feline daughter (yes, my cat!) and Special Friend.

Plus, air travel really stinks.

There was a time in the not so distant past that there was almost an – how shall I say thiselegance to air travel. The aura and attire of the air crew along with the customer service experience made you feel like a valued customer. Everyone who worked for the airlines dressed professionally. Meals and beverages were included in the cost of the ticket, and business travelers were afforded certain amenities including quiet spaces to conduct meetings and conference calls.

Now, air travel feels like mass transit with a little dose of luggage molestation from TSA.

Sometimes I want to yell - having large hair curlers does not make me a terrorism suspect and please keep your gloves on while admiring my Chanel sandals!!

Yes, this is a true story. I guess since I don't look like a rapper or R&B singer, some of the young Sista agents in TSA are fascinated with Black working women who have designer shoes. I politely give the young-uns the name of this blog so that they can see successful Black people (who are not entertainers or athletes) and keep it moving.

People are packed onto flights like sardines (even on the weekdays!) after being confronted by cranky customer service reps with coffee stains on their shirts (isn't it their job to assist customers?)

The uniforms of flight crews look cheap and cheesy. Many crew members appear to be overworked. Travelers are nickeled and dimed at every turn – as there are costs associated to everything including meals on four hour flights and sometimes beverages.

I get it that the price of gas is driving many industries to make hard decisions. But the travel industry needs to have a summit like yesterday before we start to witness the collapse of urban area infrastructures due to lack of revenue generated from tourism. It is really a bit too much.

OK , enough of my vent.

Overall the summer has been fun beside the air travel. I know some of you are eager to see my pics from my Delaware beach vacation and The Commissioners Summer Formal – so hang on. They will be posted this week.

I'm not sure if I will make it up to Martha’s Vineyard again this summer but we shall see. After traveling to Central New Jersey (social), California (work), Delaware (social), Maryland (social and work), and Atlantic City (social) within the past few months, I may decide to keep it local.

Less wear and tear on the body and the pocketbook (grins).

However, my grand diva Sister Link Mamas may threaten to club me again with their Jimmy Choos if I don't make the annual Vineyard appearance (sigh).

What can I say?

In the meanwhile, happy July!