Sunday, April 30, 2006


I put photos in my blog...this is huge!

Room Karma

Just back from a trip to Sandestin, Florida. Good conference, I learned lots. The most exciting thing that happened is that I finally have better room karma than my colleague, Dan. Each time we travel to a meeting or conference, he gets upgraded to a lovely room or suite or whatever the hotel has available. I usually get a nice room but not like the great rooms he usually gets.

But that seems to be in the process of changing. It started in March at a meeting in DC when I got a room with a balcony that overlooked the White House lawn and the Washington Monument was only a direct shot from the balcony. The room had just been remodeled and was very, very nice.

Then as we checked into the Bayside Inn, Dan as assigned to a room in that facility and they told me that I had been upgraded to a room a short distance from that hotel for the same price. I got on the shuttle bus (they came as soon as you called and I never waited more than 2 minutes) and went to a set of condo units. My room was a 2 bedroom, 2 bath fully equipped condo. It was beautifully decorated with 2 balconies overlooking a lagoon and golf course. AND, sitting on the granite countertop was a cute little insulated beverage holder filled with individual sized snacks. It also had a note on it addressed to “Ms. Becky Lever.” I immediately called the front office and told them there had been some mistake…although that name is close to my name it was just enough different to make me nervous. The office assured me that I was in the correct room/luxury condo so I unpacked and settled in for the stay. It was great! It would have been better with either family or friends there to enjoy it with me.

So, I am hoping that the room karma is now in my corner. Sorry, Dan.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

More Diners

Last night was the Country Kitchen in Kensett. We usually eat breakfast there but last night we tried out their supper menu. Gene liked the cheeseburger and I had a good chef's salad. The chocolate pie was frozen...not homemade.

We had a chance to eat lunch today at the new KJ's place just outside Judsonia. Very, very nice atmosphere, not at all like a diner. Since Gene believes he can best judge a diner by the cheeseburger he had another one. It was very, very good. I tried the "meat and two" offering for the day (chicken and dressing, steamed veggies and mashed potatos) and it was nice. According to Gene, the chocolate pie was good but probably not homemade (he was not fond of the crust). A small cup of soft serve ice cream came with my meal and we sampled the chocolate. It was wonderful...very, very creamy and very mouse-like. I'd go back for the ice cream alone.

I think it might be time to return to a local favorite, Main Street Cafe (actually no longer located on Main Street but why change a good name!).

Monday, April 03, 2006


Lately Gene and I have been on a quest to discover all the fun and off-the-beaten path diners in our geographic area. We have found a couple of really good one and tonight we found a really bad one. I will not post the name of this eating establishment here but if you email me I will tell you the name. Let me describe the experience. There were two dining areas one that was smoking and one that was smoking. No, there is not a typo. Both were smoking but one did have a sign that said "No Smoking on Sunday." It was not Sunday. We selected a table in the smoking section. After a short viewing of the menu I selected the grilled chicken salad and was told that would take about 25 minutes because first they had to defrost the chicken, then grill it. They did have some chicken strips already fried up so would that work for me. Yes, I could accept that. Gene ordered an open faced hot beef sandwich. About one minute later the waitress returned to say to Gene that the cook had taken the beef out of the freezer and she did not like the way it smelled and could he please order something else BUT the owner had not yet arrived with the new grill so anything had to been cooked on the stove top or deep fryer. We came close to leaving but he decided to try the BLT. My salad was actually not bad and how can anyone mess up a BLT, so we ate in ease until Gene noticed that the kitchen ceiling (his chair was directly facing the open kitchen door) had a couple of ceiling tiles missing and hanging down into the kitchen was ceiling insulation!! We will not be returning to that eating establishment. We will and have returned to both the Country Kitchen in Kensett and to Bubba's in Judsonia. Both have good breakfast offerings and tasty burgers and salads.

All this thinking about small town diners and the observations of the patrons of said diners make me come to the conclusion that diners are the U.S. equivalent of the British Public House (pub). I wonder if any of the U.S. diners will be offering their patrons egg nog on the Fourth of July...but that is a story for another blog.