Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Gulf Trip - Tuesday Day 4

Lazy Day at The Grand

Lucy was our waitress this morning for the buffet. She was a friendly, engaging, heavy set lady that's been working at The Grand for 15 years. She has lots of stories to tell but the most interesting was when The Grand did away with tipping. At the time, Marriott owned the hotel, as they do today. So Marriott tagged on a 19% gratuity and told the guests that tipping was unnecessary. What the patrons didn't realize was that the help never saw the "gratuities" since Marriott just pocketed them. The help just made minimum wage.

Anyway, they had a huge buffet with anything you'd want for breakfast. It was all good and for the low, low price of $16. Which was a steal considering what I paid for yesterday's eggs benidict. I had to take out a second mortgage to pay for it.

As we walked through the Hotel we ran across the ladies you see pictured here. (I'll post the picture soon.) These southern girls were all dolled up in Salvation Army second hand clothes (no, really, that's what they told us) singing religious hymns.

On a weekday we saw mostly small groups. Some woman from a local tea group were walking around in impossibly large hats. Some men dressed in business suits checking out the hotel. We heard one say to the other as we passed: "If the embassy calls, tell them I'm on a fact finding mission." Now THAT'S a great line. I'm going to use it the next time I go to a five-star restaurant. I'll announce it loud into my cell phone in some obnoxious tone as I walk through the door.

We went to the Blues Cafe where we got a beer and free access to the Internet. This is the place where I was able to bring the blog up to date. Great place, great hamburgers, and great Internet access.

Blues Cafe in Point Clear Alabama

We were back in Atlanta within five hours but not without first enjoying a great sunset the storm blew in.

No man needs a vacation so much as the person who has just had one.  ~Elbert Hubbard