Keeping A Promise to Myself Regarding Downton Abbey

Habits are hard to break.  Did your family teach you as a child?  My mom encouraged us to work on making our bed and getting dressed and ready for the day before leaving for downstairs where breakfast awaited. We were encouraged to do what we could do, to learn what could be learned, and to value working to improve yourself and your situation.

I was not taught how to relax and enjoy the rewards of my work. I love my work, but I am learning to also enjoy the fruits it brings our family.

Small town doctors rarely go “off duty”.  My father understood the value of play and he restored old cars, worked on learning formally, such as the Great Courses for entertainment. However we rarely left town or took a formal vacation, for he preferred to simply have time off during most of my childhood.

Vacations didn’t happen unless there was a medical meeting and we  might go for a day, maybe two. In those days there was often a good bit of “swag” for the doctors and their wives (or husbands) as they visited the vendors, this was fascinating for a little girl from a small town. Pens of every color and size were given to me that would fill my year at school with fascinating branding that from time to time might be finally read and realize the slogans said something like “for a Bm in the AM, take a RM in the PM”  oops, such things happened more than once in my childhood classrooms.

Just having a non yellow pencil was enough to delight me as a child. I’m one of the easy to please folks in the world.

This last year I saw that New York would be hosting the Downton Abbey Exhibit. I knew I’d want to return to my very favorite Roger Smith Hotel, a boutique hotel that is simply my cup of tea. It’s charming, the best experience at any price for me, for I love french provincial decor, amazing hospitality and lovely spaces.  I’ve been going there for over ten years for business trips…and I consider it my home away from home in New York.

The balcony at the Roger Smith is simply magical. An evening experience, its simply a lovely place to catch up with friends.

The Downton Abbey experience was as delightful as I imagined. From holograms to a welcoming staff. Three delicious floors of scenes, details and behind the scenes learnings happened. I loved it all.

I love period costumes and I particularly loved the PBS Downton Abbey series. For many weeks that turned into years, our family watched it together and enjoyed its story lines, the beautiful scenery, and the costumes.

I am particularly fond of 1910’s era of clothing. The chance to see the PBS series exhibition excited me and I planned for a trip when it opened.  However life happens to us all and it was simply not possible with my work dates…and so I extended the goal time and made sure not to cancel on myself. Canceling takes many forms for me…on a previous trip to the area, I ended up in a hotel room while my travel friend had a wonderful tour of a garden because I didn’t hold the boundary of not allowing clients to interrupt a planned vacation.  It was a sad lesson to learn.

This weekend I was delighted to have the opportunity to take a three day break to New  York with the focus of enjoying the city.  I love visually engaging experiences, so the exhibition, sight seeing, and great restaurants were on the agenda for me.  I personally love staying in Manhattan or the Theatre District, both of which have their charms. A country mouse who has seen little of the world so far, New York is ever the adventure each time I do business there.

The cuisine at Davios was simply delightful. Our waiter Tim and Olivia, the hostess were so kind to us and shared many perspectives of what might be fun to try and they were on point. What a dining experience we had and what a wonderful way to end the evening.


Davios dining rooms are elegant and relaxing. An under the city experience, you find complete peace and lovely experiences there.

A trip to New York is  not complete to me without a trip to Grand Central Station’s Market, and this trip did not disappoint. I love macaroons and I loved this pistachio one as well as a meringue, however it didn’t stay long enough to have a portrait taken, some things are to be savored, others are simply about enjoying in the moment.

Whether I’m there for publishers, an author, or the joy of a start up or larger scale event, it’s simply a place that never fails to excite me. The colors, the architecture, and the people watching alone is incredible.


Did you know that when a business doesn’t use union labor protesters bring this big rat outside their restaurants to protest taking advantage of workers and forcing lower wages and poor benefits? It was my first time to see such a protest.

The food in New York is amazing. When you stop to think about how many people are present and must be fed each day, and yet food is everywhere. Every convenience store has fresh fruit, and healthy choices for eating. Much more so than even in farm communities where I travel often. I love breakfast and brunch best and this trip did not disappoint.

The weekend was wonderful, my friend came with me and did a fantastic job keeping us on time and where we wanted to be. I had dreamed of this trip for so long as a reward for doing a different level of success in my business.  I have found that if I do not actualize what delights my heart, whether it be setting a pretty table or enjoying a lovely experience, eventually I really stop dreaming and that stops everything I work for…so this weekend was important.  It’s not always about trips and spending on extravagances, but it sometimes is…after all, this was the reward for work accomplished.

What a delight to be reminded that life is not all work, or appointments, but time to enjoy relaxing, soaking up beautiful days and fun.

Later this fall I’ll be taking another trip to New York to do a November or December weekend to see a Broadway Play. We call these excursions, workshops and fun “Gathering the Girls”…and it’s always a hoot to gather and do something together.  It’s always a small group, and I look forward to the next excursion.

This trip was so rewarding, for I knew I had dreamed of it, savored the planning of it, and then enjoyed every minute of it….I learned some things about myself and look forward to going again one day.


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