Listen, we had plans, big plans, but it started snowing the night before and it snowed all night long and it was still snowing in the morning when our photoshooting was scheduled. First, I met the team in the breakfast dining area—Troy had vouchers though so that was cool—and we had breakfast. Breakfast was very straightforward except that the build-your-own-omelette stall (#rftd) was left unattended by the hotel staff for several minutes, causing seating-related problems as we were all in a booth together and that’s the thing with buffets and booths, nobody eats at the same speed and there are variety of Buffet Techniques; some people like to “pile it high” to an absurd, nearly mountainous degree (aka “sport piling”), others like to make as many visits as possible back to the buffet as if to openly flaunt and overly assert one’s unchecked, unfettered (unstoppable!) entitlement to as much food as possible—whatever the case, without some intention and thought given to the matter, members of your eating party will, invariably, be getting up and down and in and out at all kinds of different times. Which is why, whether it’s conscious or not, friends will attempt to “sync” their eating intervals which is difficult enough without the added timing-related complication of an unattended build-your-own-omelette stall.
Anyway, even after the build-your-own-omelette debacle it was still snowing and nobody wanted to go anywhere regionally nuanced & exceptional because it was cold and the roads looked covered in snow and/or ice, all of which meant no Amana Colonies. Speaking of which, did you know it’s pronounced with a hard A (a-MAN-a) and not a soft a (a-MON-a)?, well it is, and if you insist on pronouncing with a soft A, you know, to class it up a little bit, the locals will insist on you not insisting on doing that. “It’s called AMANa!!!” Anyhooo, no Amana Colony. No Black Jesus or Black Angel or whatever it is that they have at the cemetery. And worst of all, no Hawkeyeing!!!! Manual for Speed was FULLY and COMPLETELY prepared to purchase a round of Black & Gold sweatpants, sweatshirts, beanies and scarves for Team CLIF, #gohawkeyes. But no nothing, we just did the Marriott. Speaking of the Marriott, did you know that Marriott was invented by Mormons and that World Trade Center, as in the World Trade Center, was a Marriott? Yeah, neither did we.