Originally posted on Facebook HERE
We’re home. A great vacation was had by all, including our dog Gizmo. We drove down and back, stayed in four different places along the way, and met many new people. And I’m not sure I have ever seen or experienced Southern hospitality like we did on this trip. Maybe it was just where we were, or we timed things perfectly to meet up with some of the nicest people on the planet, but we certainly were treated pretty well everywhere we went. Life seems to move at a different pace down there – slower. Even going to a supermarket, it’s like everyone talks to each other. We went to Bambi’s Cafe in High Springs, FL for lunch two days in a row, both days at least one person from every single party that came in had a conversation with us. We got to know the names of most of them. I love the accent, too. Just that southern drawl… “How long y’all in town for?”… love it. But everywhere we went, people were friendly, informative and genuinely interested in each other. I think Wisconsin is a pretty friendly place, too – but this was different. From the front desk people to the people in shops and restaurants, it was noticeable. Most of our time was on an island, near a beach – so that maybe enters into it as well… but whatever you want to call it – Southern hospitality, living on island time, the beach life… it’s a great way to live. Looking people right in the eye with sincerity and concern for who they are, what they do, where they’re from, and then helping in any way that you can. I haven’t heard this many “ma’am’s” and “sir’s” in my life as I heard the last two weeks. Not sure I’ll start using those terms, but I know I’ve always found it important to have clients leave my office after an appointment feeling better than they did when they came in, and I do whatever I can to end the meetings on a high note. I guess I never gave enough thought to maybe trying to make every single encounter a positive experience as much as possible during the rest of the day as well. It seemed to come pretty naturally to the folks we met on our trip. The first step is maybe being aware, then making it a part of your way of life – and before you know it… it’s just hospitality, everyone is doing it. And it’s a great way to live.