Where are we going?

My four favorite words in the English language are the title of this post, followed closely by, “Mr. Gatty, you’ve been upgraded” and,  “Of course you can fly business class.”

In this case, I’ve been going around the house this morning shouting:


And answering myself:


I’m afraid I’ve driven Matthew completely insane.  My cat, Mars, is hiding.

But you have to understand:

Often, the answer to that question is “Detroit” or “Sioux Falls”.  Not that there is anything WRONG with those destinations, but to be travelling to the cradle of civilization, well, I’m totally excited.


I’ve been reading a 3,000 page tome called The First Man of Rome,  the history of Gaius Marius before Caesar’s rise — just to prepare.  You see, this is the next installment of my Cradle of Civilizations Tour.  The first was Athens, Greece, followed by Cairo, Egypt, then various Mayan ruins in Mexico.  And now we go to the birthplace of Western Civilization – Rome.

When I get back, business starts in earnest for the year — first with immediate events (practically when I land) in Washington, DC, then from the nation’s capitol to Birmingham for Yamaha and the World Series of Bass Fishing.  Next, I fly to Dallas, to shoot for what is now my oldest client, the Snack Food Association. They’re hosting George W. Bush.  After Dallas I have a small break (as it stands now), and we start Indycar at St. Petes for Honda.

But first, it’s Rome, baby!  Starwood has upgraded our room to a suite, and — apparently — suites at the St. Regis come with an on-demand butler.  Downton Abbey has nothing on this, and I plan on the gong ringing promptly at 7 pm so we know to change into our evening dress for a formal dinner.

Maybe it will be like our trip to Cairo, and we’ll be lucky enough to be upgraded on United to business (I’ve booked Economy Plus in a move to be thrifty).  When we came back from Cairo, I spent my entire time playing with the seat: up to sitting, down flat for napping, up to sitting, down flat for napping.  The Air France dominatrix flight attendant glared at me, clearly regretting their decision to move Matt and I from our seats booked directly next to the bathroom in economy/ put- arms- out- window- and flap- seats.

Matthew said he wants to visit the Vatican on one of the rainy days (weather is forecasted to be questionable), and while I really want to see the world’s smallest country, I do worry I’ll burst immediately into flames upon entering.

Assuming I don’t burn up from spontaneous combustion, I’ll be back in a week or so.  Meanwhile, I’ll post a pic or two from our La Quinta – Rome room.  Perhaps the butler will be kind enough to pose next to the piano.

Wait, that’s not where we are staying.  Where are we staying?


Here’s a pic from the Starwood/ St. Regis website of the suite we’ve been upgraded to (or one similar).  Here’s a pic of my last suite I stayed in at La Quinta / Nashville:
By the way, I’m not being snarky.  The La Quinta suite (and management) were surprisingly nice.  Their butler was out sick, but the footman did do a splendid job.*
*the butler I refer to was the airport shuttle bus driver.  The footman didn’t exist except in my imagination.