Monday, September 29, 2008

Yup, I'm amazed!

Posted by Terry McNichols

I wrote this post from the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee, whose website boasts that "you'll be amazed at the nine acres of indoor gardens, cascading waterfalls and an indoor river with its own Delta flatboat. Within this lush landscape, you'll discover fine dining and casual restaurants, unique shopping experiences, and a 20,000-square-foot resort spa and fitness center."

It is really too bad that my stay had to follow the blog post on poverty in the world. I find it more and more difficult in life to feel justified while enjoying the wealth that our country has to offer. Does anyone really need a glass dachshund to sit on a shelf? I didn't buy one. But then, I'm not a dog person. I might have been tempted were it something that interested ME! It just seemed to personify the excess cash that many of us have to throw around.

And yet I was annoyed that for the still-pricey conference rate this is the view out of our window. My husband and I rebelled at the cost of a bottle of water or a cup of coffee. This hotel is primed to charge you for everything you could possibly need. There is nowhere close to buy an inexpensive meal. We resorted to mining our conference exhibition space for free food and drinks. Don't get me wrong. We can afford to pay the exorbitant prices -- if we choose to. But we aren't comfortable doing so, and after 3 nights, we moved to a cheaper place, with free breakfast and free parking.

Addendum: Two nights in the cheaper hotel and we were seriously missing all that luxury! We are so incredibly spoiled! Where do we fit in as people who care about poverty in the world and people who also enjoy the lap of luxury? As children we were told to clean our plates because "people are starving in China." As if we were saving the world, just by eating our vegetables? What is our role in the world as it stands today?

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