Business travel with Kathy is always an adventure and with each trip, something goes wrong a la “Kathy style”. The team at the Home Resource showroom has come to expect a report on the furniture that we purchased along with the latest “Kathy mishap “. I wanted to share with you some of the more noteworthy adventures that I had the “privilege” to experience with Kathy. Enjoy!
Striking the Ground in NYC, Clop-clop Style
A few years ago, Home Resource was one of only six retailers in the country rewarded with the opportunity to represent Dedon at the retail level. Dedon was the global leader in luxury outdoor furniture, so Kathy and I were thrilled. To kick off this new partnership, Dedon hosted a retreat in NYC for all six retailers where they wined us, dined us, and treated us like royalty. Everything was incredible – well almost- until Kathy’s disaster during the opening night.
As our group made our way from the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District to the restaurant in the West Village, Kathy noticed that her shoes felt different, but she didn’t really bother. About midway through the meal, Kathy got up to go to the ladies room and the waiter noticed that the sole of her shoe had completely separated from the upper part. As a gesture to help, the waiter offered Kathy rubber bands to put around the sole and the upper part to keep everything together. He even gave Kathy two extra rubber bands in case she needed them later. Kathy returned to the table, never mentioned the shoe issue, and continued with her meal. As the group walked back to hotel, the rubber band on Kathy’s shoe broke. The next thing I hear is “clop, clop, clop” as the sole hits the pavement - total embarrassment. Kathy reaches down, puts 2 new rubber bands around the shoe and walks on. Thinking that maybe no one noticed, we continued on with the group towards the hotel. Then it happened again “clop, clop clop”. This time, she had no more rubber bands to save her (and me). With six more blocks to go to the hotel, I held Kathy up on one side and a Dedon rep held Kathy up on the other side as she lifted her knee high enough to raise the droopy sole of the shoe off the ground, stepping forward before finishing with a “clop”. Kathy roared with laughter the remaining way back. While I just kept thinking that our opportunity to represent Dedon had been ruined.
The next morning, we found a letter from Dedon underneath the door of our hotel room. I was thinking that it would read, “After further consideration, we feel that Home Resource is not the right fit to represent Dedon”. To my surprise, it read “Kathy, if you want your shoes repaired, please leave them at the front desk and we will take care of it for you. “
When in Italy, do what the Italians do, create chaos!
Kathy and I were just back from a fantastic (and somewhat eventful) trip to Milan for the annual furniture expo, Salone Del Mobile. Let’s start by saying that from a business trip perspective, the expo was very successful. We had the opportunity to meet some of the world’s most acclaimed furniture designers, discuss upcoming design trends, and see/feel/touch some unique and innovative pieces of furniture. Of course, we found some new furniture lines for our Sarasota and US clients. We also got to visit the new Poltrona Frau showroom in Milano located in the gorgeous 18th-century Palazzo Gallarati Scotti which is totally worth a visit if you take a trip to Milan. We stayed at a nice golf resort located slightly north of Milan and were very lucky to wake up in the morning to the breathtaking sight of the snow-capped Alps- quite a change from our morning view in Sarasota (which we love too). Of course, a trip to Milan wouldn’t be complete without Kathy dragging me to Monte Napoleone, the upscale shopping street in Milano and of course she absolutely had to bring home some Salvatore Ferragamo's shoes!
Now to an experience on our trip, our dining disaster…This one night, we decided to indulge in some fine Italian dining and made reservations at this nice restaurant. We were sipping good Italian wine and just about ready to dig in into those amazing looking dishes beautifully placed on our table – at least for a short period of time… I’m not sure what Kathy did exactly but pepper corns were shooting everywhere- literally everywhere and the completely FULL pepper mill was empty within seconds! (See how empty it is in the picture). She created salad au poivre, fish au poivre, haricots au poivre, and her masterpiece, dining floor au poivre. The owner of the restaurant was sitting at the next table over. She ran over to us from her table. Out of the kitchen, the Hoover arrived to sweep up the floor, another waiter arrived to sweep off our plates and Kathy just sat there totally proud that she created chaos. When in Italy, do what the Italians do, create chaos.
Disappearing Seat Belt over the Atlantic
Kathy and I were on a business trip to Cologne and decided to use our miles to upgrade to first class. The seats were fully reclining beds, so the trip was relaxing and we had a very comfortable night sleep. As the plane was approaching Frankfurt, the announcement was made to return the bed to the normal seat position and fasten the seat belt. Kathy got the seat back in its position but couldn’t find the left side of her seat belt. She gave me the “help me” look but I said “Kathy, your seat belt is there, just recline your seat again and find it”. She went through the process again but couldn’t find her belt. Another “help” look and I told her “Kathy seat belts don’t disappear over the Atlantic, get the flight attendant”. Keep in mind that time is of essence as we are dropping altitude and quickly approaching Frankfurt. The flight attendant arrives, goes through the same process and can’t find the belt. Now we are at that critical point where everyone needs to be seated including flight attendants and all passengers need to have their seat belts tightly secured. Except there’s Kathy... The flight attendant makes a quick call to the cockpit and the plane starts gaining altitude so we can have extra time to figure out the seat belt situation. The flight attendant returns to Kathy’s seat and told us that she has a degree in engineering as she starts taking the seat apart. We now have Kathy and her chair parts standing in the isle. Finally, the attendant was able to get underneath the seat to look for the seat belt. Victory at last, all ends well and another one of Kathy’s adventures in the books.
I will scan my fingerprints for you- it’s all the same!
Kathy and I had applied and qualified for Global Entry, The U.S Customs program that allows for expedited clearance for low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.
We landed in Atlanta upon return from a trip to Germany and headed to Global Entry. Kathy had used it once before, so she was guiding me through the process. At the Global Entry kiosk, I first scanned my passport then needed to do the fingerprint verification. Instead Kathy put her fingers on the scanner to show me how it was done. The scanner read Kathy’s fingerprints and tried to match them to my passport. The kiosk issued a transaction receipt with a big “X’ on it and we assumed we were all clear.
I followed the person in front of me, handed my transaction receipt to the official and kept walking toward baggage claim. All of a sudden, I heard the customs official yell “STOP”. A big “X” doesn’t mean cleared, it means trouble. And this was a whole lot of trouble. I was told by the customs official that no one had ever used their passport and their wife’s fingerprints before- Isn’t that pure common sense… The officer couldn’t let us go until we were cleared by his supervisor. So picture this, the high speed clearance lane of Global Entry at the busiest airport in the world was brought to a complete standstill while the customs official looked for his supervisor. People were livid as we had stopped the expedited clearance line for about 15 minutes.
Finally, the supervisor showed up, took my receipt, wrote his initials and his telephone number, and reminded me that fingerprints are not to be shared by spouses. He warned me that I would bring the line to a standstill again at the customs declaration.