Whats a Tour Guide to do?

(When last we checked in, I was saying how we are days behind on a web update)….I have a conference call with the web guys followed by several hours of edits.
Afternoon: Wednesday is organization day in my office. And since I woke up feeling a little stressed and frazzled by my lack of food rations at home, I think organization can only help. The month is nearing its end, it is time to update the dominant engine that drives our office: The Big Dry Erase Board.
Evening: A day of dates, details and difficult web edits can be so discouraging and I could use a laugh. And thankfully Rogue Festival starts around town. Tonight seems a splendid night for a little something silly. The lively and lovely Lindsay sells me on the cross promotion of my tours and her comedy shows. My stressful day falls seamlessly to the sidelines. Lindsay and I strike a great deal — suspecting my foodie fans might find Rogue’s comedy an equally delectable feast. rogue

ThursdayColor Me Happy
8:55am: I wake up in panic fearing I will be late to work. It’s five minutes to 9. Then remember I have the day off. and yet each and every Thursday I have the same heart pounding panic attack.
A few hours later: I meet my tour guide, former roommate and friend (that’s all one person) Nancy. Nancy is an excellent tour guide and a talented singer. We’re off to walk and talk on this soggy day. ladies-out-walking-tate-hamilton
7pm: There’s one meeting that I hate to miss: my weekly Weight Watchers meeting. When you do dinners out for work as much as I do, and especially after my year-long binge while designing our newest Food Tour, you need to figure out a way to reign it in. This way works. I love Weight Watchers’ old school approach with its equally modern and relevant ideas. I love walking into a room full of people all seeking a satisfying meal paired with a slender silhouette. I love the old lady who talks about things just seemingly off topic but them reveals some great pearl of age acquired wisdom in the weight department. And I love that this week I am down 1.6 lbs which means… I reached my goal. My Food Tour research pounds are gone and then some. And I stay loyal, week in and week out, to the one “diet” that actually worked after all my crazy juice fast frenzies had failed.

FridayNeed Some Lovin
7:30am: Up and excited to get to work. After a full day off, I suffer slight withdrawal. I miss my foodie friends and could use a hug from a sweet chef or a handsome host. Thankfully Friday is field day for me. I’m out of the office almost all day and off to foster my friendships with each establishment on the tour. I genuinely feel a kinship with these kitchen kings and queens and I love that About Town Taste tours has the ability to share their tasteful talents with our tourists.
9:30am – 12:00pm: I’m off to the famous Frosted Cakery. It’s a great day: Beverly & Megan, mother daughter baking duo, are here in the bakery and they’ve got a few minutes to spare for me. They remind me of my mom a bit – but will a full deck of decadent desserts at her disposal. We catch up for a while. They give me a little piece of chocolate and gently remind me: “Just one.” Frosted Cakery
12pm: Back to the office for lots of emails from customers and private tour requests.
4pm – 8pm: The very best part of my week has arrived. I’m off to visit the owners and managers of all the restaurants on our other food tours around town. I place all my food orders for tomorrow’s tours and use this as a chance to catch up and check on the tours and see how seamlessly they are running. I also love this part of my day because I am in awe of restaurant workers. I love these people — the ones that do this dinner dance in their dimly lit spaces as diners soak up that eternal evening energy.
Later that night: On my way to meet the boss I stop at Pinot Wine Bar to drop off my food orders for tomorrow. Pinot Wine SignEvery week I see the same man, sitting on the same bench, in front of the same shop. I don’t know his name. He speaks little English and wears a hearing aide. Every time I pass by he gives me a nod and a smile as is we have been friends for a lifetime.
Dinnertime: I engage in a regular Friday ritual, dinner with my boss and Erick (our friend, neighbor and colleague at About Town Taste). We dine at the most basic and nondescript spots in an effort to get away from all the fancy food and fine dining. Throughout the planning of our tours, these dinner dates and taste tests revolved around each of the neighborhood tours. It was (and is) a much-loved ritual.

Saturday- Winter Weather Advisory
7:30am: I wake up to winter wind advisory on TV News. Gusts and blowing, icy wind expected. What might be normal non-important small talk for some is make-or-break for our walking tours. A weather warning worries me and I wonder what alternative tour routes I can come up with: Skip the park even though it has loads of art, linger at the Galleria longer since they have multiple eateries in one space for the tastings, do your overview in the sunshine, make sure your tour attendees are warm enough and happy and that no downed trees are in their food-laden path. cold day tour
9:00am: Saturday is our busiest day with several tours all occurring around midday. My job on Saturday is to hang out in front of The Pacific Building (our meeting location and tasting spot on our Urban Taste adventure tour this week) and greet the early arrivals and the latecomers so the tour guides can focus on what they do best.
11:00am: I chat with Nancy about the weather scenario and give her a few tips for which streets are safer to do her tour overview today.
11:30am: I race from one neighborhood to the next to greet the tour attendees on tour. I race back to Fulton to…12:15pm: Greet a gaggle of girls that I set up with one of our Private Food Tours. It’s a bachelorette party but thankfully, a relatively tame one. Moms and Aunts and sisters and friends — all eating their way down Olive Ave with Erick, my guide, at the helm.
4:30pm: Quick visit with a special friend before he starts his evening shift. Then back to my apartment. Rest.

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