I had one other amazing experience during Blissdom that I wanted to share, but decided that it needed its own post.
As I mentioned previously, Blissdom was held at the Gaylord Opryland resort, which I often refer to as a city under a Bio-Dome. But ultimately it is a luxury hotel focused on providing high-quality service and creating a memorable experience for each guest.
I’ve been to Opryland three years in a row now. On my first visit, I remember walking into our hotel room and hearing this lovely music playing. It was similar to what you might hear if you went for a massage at a high-end spa. I looked at our clock radio and discovered it was also a sound machine. And the sound playing at the time was “spa” of course.
After a long drive to Nashville, the gentle wood flute and nature sounds were so soothing that I nearly fell asleep while relaxing on my bed. That entire weekend, I continued to notice how relaxed I felt while that music was softly playing in our room.
Before we left the conference that year, I asked the hotel where I could get one of those clock radios. They didn’t sell them but told me I’d be likely to find them in any store. I copied down the model number, but was never able to find one in stores that had the “spa” sounds. It seems that the model in the hotel room was only made for Gaylord hotels.
The next year, the clock radio in our room was a newer model – replaced after the great flood of Nashville – but the new one still had the soothing spa music. I again asked where I could find one, but nobody had an answer for me. I took down the model number and tried to search for it, but came up empty handed again.
Yes, I know you probably think I’m insane to obsess over a clock radio. And to be honest I’m not as obsessed as I sound. While I’m at Opryland, I enjoy the spa music. Sound can influence our thoughts and feelings, and this particular track soothes my mind, calms my nerves, and lets me sleep deeper than I usually do at home. I occasionally see sound machines at the store and when I do I always check to see if they might have the one I’m looking for. But I don’t spend every day in the quest for this particular clock radio.
So THIS year, I once again arrived at Gaylord Opryland and was pleased to find my little happy machine in the room. I joked with my roommate, Lisa, that I might just need to ask Opryland how much they’d charge me if our clock radio happened to be missing from the room at the end of our stay. I didn’t want to be a thief (bad message to send to the kids, right?), but I’ve been trying to find a product like this for three years now.
I turned to Twitter to ask the hotel for help.
And they responded. (Because they’re cool like that. And smart enough to watch their Twitter feed during a blogging conference.)
And then I responded:
I received no response after that, and I attended the Blissdom closing night party with the subject no longer on my mind. When we came back to the room, I walked over to the nightstand and switched on the music again, then turned and found myself face-to-faceplate with a second clock radio perched on the dresser, and an envelope next to it with my name on it.
There was at least a five second pause as my brain tried to process what my eyes were seeing. I slowly picked up the envelope and opened it, reading the handwritten card: “Christina, Thank you for following us on Twitter. We hope you enjoy these spa sounds at home. If you need anything, please let us know. Sincerely, Elizabeth, Nick & Tori.”
That would be the point where the excited screaming began. Sorry to those of you staying in the Delta who were trying to sleep at 11:30pm.
I would have been happy to pay for one of the clock radios, but the staff at Opryland took notice of just how much I loved this thing and went out of their way to make sure I had the best experience ever. And they also ensured that I wouldn’t have a guilty conscience when returning home to my daughters.
(No, no, really. Stealing is bad, kids.)
So thank you, Gaylord Opryland (Elizabeth, Tori & Nick!), for topping off a wonderful weekend with an unexpected delight. You reaffirmed that there are still companies out there focused on great service, and you’ve made a lifelong fan out of me. And you’re now helping me get some of the best sleep possible, year-round, which any mother will tell you is a feat worthy of high praise.