Its Sunday and a gorgeous day with 72F and slight cloud cover. We decided to go and see if we could navigate the traffic on Highways 6 & 59 to make it to the Town Centre and beyond. Here’s a map of our little route without the traffic details.
It says it was about 6.3 miles but felt much longer due to the frequent stops to negotiate traffic and crosswalks on the major intersections. We covered urban biking, lovely lakes, a couple of Starbucks, the city Mall (who would think you could bike to Dillard’s!), and finally a triumphant jaunt around our neighborhood lake.
Brilliant fun. Below are a few photos to mark the day.
And so we say goodbye to the English team who, with Italy losing to Costa Rica today, cannot progress beyond the group stages. Early baths all round then.
It’s a shame they have to exit so early but they just did not play well and it’s probably the right result to send them home early. At least the rest of the tournament can be watched with no national interest at stake, other than watching the US team, who are of course still in the race for the latter stages.
Michelle (Chris’ wife) and Stephen are off this evening to watch the US Mens’ Clay Court Championships at the River Oaks Country Club in Houston. Unfortunately for Chris, fortunately for me, Chris has to travel to Oklahoma on business and I had to use his ticket 🙂
Went for a bike ride from our digs down 9 blocks to the beach in Naples for a swim and had some fun observing some of the local beach life! The good deed for the day was rescuing the starfish before he became lunch for the local pelican gang.
What a nice beach!
Poser pelican would have modeled all day long
Pelican gang hanging out on the dock of the bay
As we hit the US last week we experienced three really fascinating customer interactions and different ways of dealing with situations. Two were great and one not so great.
Hotel for one night in Naples
When we checked out of the hotel after one night the receptionist asked the usual rote question as to how we enjoyed our stay. We responded that it was nice but the mattress on the bed needed replaced since it was very soft and non-supportive. Additionally the AC unit was very loud and interrupted our sleep.
Instead of becoming defensive and arguing with us she smiled and said that she was so glad we had mentioned these things and she would bring to the attention of her manager immediately. Wow what a great approach. Instead of feeling shy for bringing these things up we felt very good that we had and that they may act on our suggestions.
Hotel in Ft Lauderdale
As we checked out of our hotel in Ft Lauderdale, again we had the “how was your stay” question. We’d had a lot of issues with the wifi in this hotel and mentioned this to the manager who checked us out. Instead of empathizing with us, she immediately became defensive and started telling us why they could never get the wifi working correctly in this type of hotel, and really it was our fault for wanting to use it!
Different approach and we have a very different view of this hotel as a result.
Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant Naples
We had a light bite in Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant in Naples earlier today, mainly because they have an amazing vegetarian burger which we like to share. We ordered the burger from a very interesting young man who waited on us, who enthused about the quality of the burger and why he was moving more and more towards a meat free diet. Finally some support! Some minutes later he came back to our table and sheepishly told us that the they had run out of avocado and would it be alright if the burger was served with no avocado. Of course we said it would be fine expecting that would be the end of it.
His next statement floored us. Since they had run out of avocado, that wanted to offer us a free desert as compensation! Guess what we remembered about our lunch? Not the lack of the avocado but the delight of getting a free desert.
I always think that the people who first or last interact with customers are amongst the most important in any organization and some outfits are so much better at recognizing the need to train them than others. A lack of focus in this area is always obvious to the customer; why not to the organization?
My daughter Joanne made the heroic effort to drive nearly 400 miles to see us for the weekend and introduce us to Betty her new chihuahua puppy. We had a blast with them but were quite exhausted after they left us on Sunday morning. Betty like most puppies is on the go constantly then sleeps, then is on the go, then eats, then sleeps. And so it went on.
It was amazing to be welcomed by the patter of tiny feet on the floor each morning, her tail wagging so hard you thought it might fall off! And of course it’s always great to see and spend time with Joanne.
We decided to set off and see a bit of central/nearly highland Scotland on the spur of the moment today. Ended up covering about 170 miles and having some amazing views and a lovely snack lunch near Doune–dropped into an antique centre and had veggie risotto for lunch! The food in Scotland really is brilliant and has come a long way since I used to live here. There are many out of the way little restaurants where you can get a decent snack or meal as you like.
As part of our sojourn on the road from Callander to Doune we turned into a place advertising tea/coffee. It turned out to be a “wellness” retreat and quite run down looking. We ate a delicious vegan scone in the company of a child being home schooled by his mum, the proprietor of the place! The story she was reading was really engaging and it was a wrench to leave. Quite a laugh!