Friday, September 30, 2011

Great Customer service

And you thought the wedding talk was that we have been married for 2 1/2 years....wrong-o!

Just wanted to share a little experience of great customer service. We got married that the (new at the time) Westin in Edina, Minnesota. From the start we were floored by the amazing customer service that the Westin provided. When we booked our wedding, we started working with one wedding coordinator, who was fantastic, and really drew us to the Westin. However, shortly after booking our date, she left for a different job. We were heartbroken, but were confident they would find a suitable replacement. (For those of you who have not planned a wedding, the reception site coordinator is a critical player in the planning, especially if you don't hire a wedding planner. Which I did not.)

Anyways, the Westin hired a new Director of Catering, and again, we fell in love. Which is no small feat, because I am critical. Unnecessarily critical. She was amazing. In ways I cannot even explain. This woman went above and beyond what would ever be expected of anyone, to make our day perfect. She did practice runs with our vendors, confirmed and re-confirmed every detail with every vendor, she put the finishing touches on every piece, and helped and encouraged us to step outside of the box on a number of occasions. In short, this woman was a total dream to work with. And I am not an easy customer.

And on to the part of this blog post which has a purpose. 

Yesterday was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. A big day in the Jewish religion. 2.5 years after our wedding, we received an email from her:

Hi Kara and Jeremy,

Best wishes for a blessed new year for you and your family.


(And this woman is not even Jewish) 

What a simple note to let someone know you are thinking about them. Not on their birthday...when everyone and their mother writes on your Facebook wall, or sends a note. But on a different, and equally important, or even unimportant occasion. Just drop someone a note to say you are thinking about them.

In my opinion, the absolute highest form of customer service. And friendship too for that matter.  

So one more pitch for the Westin, Edina. Go there. Use them for their event services. They are amazing. 

And if you are still reading this...and want a really amazing High Holidays recipe...or even if you're not Jewish...try this Apple Cake recipe. It's amazing.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cavalia Update

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, there is this massive Cirque de Soliel show in town. Approximately 1 mile from our house. And when I say Cirque show, I mean 47 massive white tents set up to look like they are trying to contact aliens in space.

And so...we had to go, and see what was inside of these monstrous tents.

And so we went.

And were amazed. There are 6 horses in a row, doing the grapevine. You know the Pommel Horse in gymnastics? Well  turns out, you can do the Pommel Horse, on a real horse. Well maybe not you. But people can do it. No offense. You're pretty great. But not Pommel horse on a horse, great.

I, Kara, the person with the least patience in the entire world, sat there, amazed and without motion, for 2+ hours. That, in itself, should be a testament to the amazing-ness of Cavalia.

Now, there are some strange things about this show, like the fact that apparently your hair has to be 3 feet long to be in the show. Male or Female. It is also not recommended that you shower if you are a show performer. And finally, I still don't understand what occurs in all of those dang tents. My friend Rachel tried convincing me that one was a 'mess hall' of sorts where they ate, and another was for makeup...etc...  I don't believe it. I think they may still be contacting space in some of those tents.

Throughout the entire show, I had many questions relating to the horse maintenance, health and welfare. I was also curious as to weather they would allow me to go backstage and play with the horses. I mean, they totally should let me do that, right???  Well my questions fell on deaf ears, but as the show ended, they announced that if you had the 'Horse Lover level ticket' you were welcome backstage for the 'Horse Experience'.

I was saddened and dismayed that we did not have these tickets, and asked my husband if we could perhaps sneak backstage. He simply turned his head and pretended that I had not asked that question. Needless to say, we did not play with the horses.  To my great sadness.

But we did take some photos with the posters. Which is not at all like playing with the horses. But the husband tried convincing me that it was just as great.

Go see it. It's amazing. And do me a favor, sneak into the tents and let me know what is inside.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Favorite Season day #3

So today is really the first day of Fall. And what an appropriate day to end my ode to fall week.

The last item, and this one is really going to make the guys hit that little red X button in the corner...decor.

As has been mentioned about 10,000 times on this blog, Jeremy and I moved into our new house last Thanksgiving. Prior to that, we lived in a condo, and never got that into 'homemaking' shall we call it, because it was a fairly generic condo. But now that we have our house, I'm fairly obsessed with decor. In an unhealthy way.

Last Saturday, Jeremy asked me what I wanted to do, and I replied, "Shop for Fall decor". He looked at me, like aliens had run off with my brain. I informed him that we were going to find some things to Fall-ize our house.

And, being the pretty awesome husband that he is, off we went to shop for Fall decor. We hit up Home Goods, the greatest store ever, to find some accessories.

I was really pulling for the Pilgrim statutes, and the warty gourds...
Jeremy was more into the sticks and pumpkins.

Regardless, it's all pretty fantastic.  We ended up compromising and purchasing a warty gourd, pumpkin-head sculpture thing, fall-ish vase and stick bundle thing.

You have to remember, we don't celebrate Christmas. So this whole decorating for a themed occasion thing, is pretty foreign to us. I grew up in a family that called, re-using old shelving from a family business, decorating. (sorry Mom...I outed you on your choice of shelving)   Yes, we did pull out the blow up skeleton and Halloween window clings once per year, but that was the extent of our theme decor.

And so, we must embrace and love the decorations associated with Fall in our home.

And, to complete the Fall decorating bonanza...I have now informed Jeremy that I want to take the logs that are currently adoring our fireplace, out, and replace them with a ton of pumpkins. He does not argue with me on these ideas, but rather thinks in his head about how the heck he is going to carry the 100 logs out of the fireplace. Because he knows that after moving 2 logs, I'll be calling for help.

All in the name of season related decorating.