Vann had a training session in Atlanta today and I decided at the last second that I would tag along. I’m trying my best to be a well-rounded person who has a life outside of work, which I have not had much of for the past year, and I figure this is a good way to start. My plans for the day are as follows:
Doesn’t that sound lovely?
I just came back from a very successful continental breakfast in the hotel lobby, the success being my champion waffle-making. I am a serial offender when it comes to making waffles. In fact, if I had a Super Villian name, it might be The Jenninator: Destroyer of Waffles. I have this nasty habit of lifting the press to see if the waffle is done, which usally results in a gooey, inedible mess. The thing is, I know that you can’t ‘check’ on waffles. I get it. Its just that I’m impatient and have this feeling like the waffle is going to burn, so I very cautiously lift the press to take a quick peek and just like Britney Spears, oops, I did it again.
Today, as you have no doubt guessed, my waffle turned out perfectly golden and delicious. The waffle makers at this hotel have a built-in timer that starts as soon as you close the press and counts down the time for you. It sure felt like a loooong time that I was waiting for that waffle, and I was certain that it was going to be of the extra-crispy variety, but I did not lift the lid. Lo and behold, what only felt like half an hour later, I lifted my personal best waffle clean out of the mold, slapped it on my plate and drowned it in syrup. It was deliciously sweet, both with syrup and the taste of victory.
Since I spent so much time waiting on the perfection that was my breakfast, I indulged in a favorite sport of mine; people watching. During this morning’s sport, I had the pleasure of eating with what I can only assume are the Hungriest Children in America. I realize that continental breakfasts have an all-you-can-eat sort of flair, but most people don’t take it seriously. Three boys and one girl all made their way down the line, grabbing one of everything at the bar. One of everything. Per person. Banana, apple, cheese danish, fruit danish, blueberry muffin, banana nut muffin, sausage patty, scrambled eggs, bacon, oatmeal, orange juice, milk, hot chocolate, apple sauce, yogurt, bagel, cream cheese, preserves, butter, margarine, ONE OF EVERYTHING EACH. I cringed in terror as they steadily approached my place at the waffle maker. Would they take my waffle?
They didn’t take my waffle. What they did was stand there silently, a fortress of flesh behind their many plates of food, and mentally weighed the pros and cons of waiting for me to finish and then making four waffles individually. They voted against the wait and proceeded to their tables where they, astonishingly, finished every crumb.
Then their equally well-fed parents came down to visit. They saw their kids sitting with empty plates in front of them and said ‘why don’t y’all get something to eat?’ Obedient angels that they were, they repeated their ‘take one and pass it down’ strategy on the buffet, leaving no carafe unturned. The first three went through the line pretty efficiently this time, but #4 had a little more trouble. You see, not all danishes are created equal. Everyone knows that the danish with the most cheese is the one to get, but most of the time we’re just polite and take the one on top instead of judging each danish on its individual merit. #4 had other ideas.
Ignoring the tongs provided at the display case for our sanitary convenience, he reached his hand inside and pulled out each danish, one by one, judged its character, and put it back in the case. He finally made his choice, selected a danish and moved on to the muffins. Since muffins, by their very nature, are not as yummy as danishes, he thought that he would do a little exchange. Instead of getting one of everything, #4 decided to pass on the muffin and get two danishes, still partaking of the correct number of breakfast items. He transferred the first danish to one hand, licked the fingers of the other one and returned to his quality-control inspection process, handling every single danish available with his saliva-covered fingertips. After making his second selection, crisis set in. You see, there was a third danish that met his high standards, but both of his hands were already occupied. Since it would be a crime to either leave the danish uneaten or to use a plate, he put one danish in his mouth, grabbed the third with his free hand and waddled back to his table looking much like one of those pastry tripod displays you see at old lady luncheons and bridal showers .
When they were finished with second breakfasts, the real fun began. Out of nowhere they pulled out to-go containers with plastic bags and began stuffing them from here to high heaven with everything that remained on the buffet. Each of the six people in that family left with two, count ’em two, full bags of breakfast items, including milk and juice. To be honest, I am surprised that they didn’t take my plate, or me for that matter. The staff stood on either side of the buffet, clearly unsure of what to do. There must be some sort of protocol, but who wants to engage in that sort of confrontation? ‘Drop the donuts, buddy! Unhand that sausage!’
And so, with my appetite sufficiently curbed, I ate about 3/4 of my waffle, got the last to-go cup of coffee and returned to our suite on the third floor. I took the stairs.