1K Country Day 5 Recap: Fountains, Airplanes, and Ice Cream (Oh my!)

by Country Inns & Suites
Friday, June 11, 2010

Here’s what I love about technology — not only have these brave families been guided COMPLETELY be Smart Phone, GPS, and Twitter, but I’m writing this update from the PLANE, en route to go meet them at the finish.  My destination remains top secret – but only for another day – and I can’t wait to give my new friends a great big hug.  Although sometimes it seems that technology makes it too easy for humans to NOT interact with each other, I think the little virtual community we’ve crafted is a great example of how technology makes the world smaller, and brings us closer together in ways we otherwise wouldn’t experience.

Day 5’s adventures started by experiencing Kansas City’s beautiful fountains.  Fun fact?  Only ROME, ITALY has more fountains than Kansas City.  Pretty cool, huh?   Then they headed off to Lawrence, Kansas for a sweet treat (Unfortunately Sylas & Maddies ice cream wasn’t open early enough for two of our famlies, but at least the Williams kiddos got to enjoy a cone!).  Next up?  The Kansas Aviation Museum, which just looks incredibly cool… that’s where our day wrapped up, and the gang was off to rest their weary heads at the Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, OKlahoma City Airport! 

Sharlene, Kara, and Ross all had great wrap-ups after yesterday’s adventures, and I cannot wait to see what today has in store for them!

It has been so amazing to watch these adventures – and to watch the families get to know each other. If there is one thing I’ve learned over my many years of blogging, it is that friendships can be strong and powerful, even if you’ve never met face to face.  I know that our social media savvy participants had local visitors throughout this journey – people they’ve emailed, blogged, and tweeted with for years, who they finally got to meet face to face.  Having experienced that phenomenon myself over the years, I know the emotional feeling of giving a big warm hug to somebody for the first time that you’ve KNOWN for years. 

Case in point – en route to my (TOP SECRET!) destination tonight, I’ll be stopping off to have dinner with a woman I’ve been emailing with for about 5 years… who I’ve never laid eyes upon.  I “know” her, her husband, her children and her stories as well as if they lived next door, but this is the first time we’ll meet face to face.  I’ve had this experience several times now, and each and every time it feels as natural as spending time with old friends.  I’m confident that as time rolls on, The Earnshaws family, Williams famly, and Sveback family will remain close — both to each other, and to me!  

Something we strive to do at every single one of our hotels is to treat our like family – the familiarity, comfort and warmth that allows you to relax, unwind and be pampered for a while.  I can’t think of any better way to exemplify the feeling of family than by hanging out with these guys all weekend.  After all, there’s nothing that makes this girl happier than walking into a room filled with strangers – and leaving with 5 new best friends.  I said it the other day and I’ll say it again – from all of us at Country Inns & Suites By Carlson,  thank you for sharing your family with ours.

 I love this Country.

 PS: Rumor has it that Sharlene’s blog posts have gotten some pickup on the USA Today’s website!  How cool is THAT!?