Notes From The Road, Charlotte & Atlanta

April 26th, Nashville to Charlotte

  • Nashville is hot. Hot. Sweaty. But it’s snowing at home, so….
  • We’re repacking the second floor of the Mini Cooper so we can have enough room for all our stuff. Two women on the road = a lot of stuff.
  • Another Target stop, this time for Starbucks. Venti half sweet black tea lemonade, please.
  • I’m driving today, and after a few minutes of terror getting onto the Interstate, we’re headed to Charlotte.
  • Well. First we’re stopping to fix the roof bag again. It’s getting loft as we drive, which is only slightly alarming.
  • Youtube video located to help us relearn how to properly thread the ratchet straps. What did women on a road trip do before Youtube?

Roof bag on top of the Mini Cooper

  • Back in the car, and we’re on the road again.
  • This entire trip I’ve been wanting to hear “Talk to Dirty to Me” by Jason Derulo. I spend quite awhile scrolling through the satellite radio stations trying to find it, when Christine remembers she has Spotify.
  • Mostly, this day is just driving. And cursing at semi drivers.
  • Tupelo Honey in Asheville, North CarolinaStopping in Asheville to have dinner with a friend of Christine’s. Tupelo Honey Cafe is delicious and where I eat my first ever fried green tomatoes, which are also delicious.
  • Christine takes over driving to Charlotte. I pass out. I’m pretty sure there’s snoring involved.

April 27th, Charlotte

  • We’re staying at another Holiday Inn Express. Clean, predictable and reliable.
  • Back to the room after breakfast, and we have no hand towels any more. Wait. Why don’t we have hand towels anymore?
  • Christine goes on a towel finding mission. She is told that the towels, all of them, are in the washing machine. Except one lone hand towel on one housekeeping cart, and one lone face cloth on another housekeeping cart. Holiday Inn Express, Gastonia? Buy more towels.
  • We spend a few hours in our room again, reviewing and adjusting our talk notes and me making a mess of the slides.
  • Off we go to the venue for our Charlotte talk, hosted at Split Second Sound. Our hostess is Critsey Rowe, and she’s there getting the wine flowing! We are so very grateful to them for hosting us!
  • Another talk in the books! A great, fun, interactive group, who shared with us all their Things You Should Know, where we discovered everyone hoards something. (Except if you use those things, then you’re a collector.  Or a curator if you wanna get fancy.)

Our talk in Charlotte, North Carolina

Talk attendees in Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Midway through my talk I start to notice a pain in my side. By the time we  finish dinner at 300 East, the stitch in my side is a lot worse. The drive back to our hotel is excruciating.
  • Christine heads to Walgreen’s, while I curl up in bed.
  • No position is comfortable. This bed is awful. I sorta want my mom.
  • Text Christine, and tell her I need an ER.
  • Phone my insurance company. Wait 12 minutes on hold. Get hung up on. Call back. Finally get to talk to a really helpful agent who opens a claim and urges me to choose any ER I want.
  • Except we’re in Gastonia, NC so I don’t think I really get a choice.
  • The map told us to go to the Vet hospital. No.Google Maps gives us a vet hospital an hour and a half away. Google fail.
  • The front desk guy gives me directions, but I’m in enough of a daze that I just sort of repeat vague instructions about a bridge and Cox Road to Christine.
  • This ER is packed. PACKED. Also, my Canadianness is confounding the staff. They don’t know what to do with me and my funny postal code and weird insurance card.
  • We wait. And we wait. And we wait. And as we wait, my pain crests and then subsides. As we suspected, it was a gall bladder attack, and 9 hours later it has passed. Eventually, I start to crave a bed to sleep in, and we leave the ER without ever seeing a doctor.

April 28th, Charlotte to Atlanta

  • Christine brings me breakfast in bed, oatmeal. Which I eat cautiously, while sipping gingerale.
  • Another chit chat with my insurance company. Overall, a pretty good experience, though they are a little confused sometimes.
  • Into the car we go, to make the trip for all those fun things to do in Atlanta happen.
  • Score one extra travel point for driving through South Carolina to get to Georgia.
  • Have I mentioned how pretty everything is? So green and cut through with wide rivers and dotted with adorable houses.
  • A stop for gas and to switch drivers. Soooo sleepy.
  • More snoring. Have I mentioned that if I’m not driving I tend to be unable to stay awake in cars?
  • We’re in Atlanta! We’re staying with a photografriend (Too cheesy?) Julie Anne Neill. Her house, dog, cat and Southern accent all have me completely charmed.
  • The B Loft in AtlantaOur venue tonight, The B Loft, is stunning. White, modern, and clean. We’re being hosted in Atlanta by Trigger Happy, and the lovely and generous Graham and Ashley Scobey, who we met at Inspire in Massachusetts.
  • This job? This job is my calling. I feel it the more we do this talk. The more I see the smiling faces in the audience, and the nodding heads. The more people who come up for a hug afterwards. This is my heartwork.
  • Dinner at Kaleidoscope and then back to Julie’s to collapse into bed. This trip has been awesome and it’s not over yet.

Speaking to the Trigger Happy group in Atlanta

Stephanie Ostermann

I’m the sort of girl who you meet for coffee and end up pouring your entire heart out to. The friend you come to when you need someone to call it straight. No bullshit. No extras. Just truth.

I’m a communicator. That’s a PC way of saying I like to talk, but I also spend a lot of my time listening, and over the years, I’ve developed a sense for subtext – how one or two words can change your entire message, what people are really trying to say and how to weave the varied layers of your story into one cohesive brand message that your clients fall in love with.

When I'm not acting as editor in chief for Vivid & Brave, you can find me geeking out over words here.

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