Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Walking in Memphis

Actually, I was driving in Memphis, thanks to GM sending me down there for a fun filled two days a couple weeks ago to test drive their new Chevy Malibu. And thanks to this lovely blogger who I "know" through DC Moms Blog. It's a $40,000 car for a
mere $19,995, although what do I know from $40,000 cars?

I do know, however, how to enjoy an all expense paid good time. After a fiasco with the airlines, which they took care of toot suite, I was in Memphis only a few hours later than planned. There is something about me and airline travel these days, although fortunately I haven't been paying when these gremlins attack. Once it was a toilet not flushing, WTF? I suspected it was a more serious issue they did not want to divulge for fear of scaring the passengers. That was fixed in about 20 minutes though. This time a window didn't close. Who opens a window in an airplane? The next flight I could get was four hours later, so I ran my little tushie over to the other terminal to hop on another flight, whew!

My personal driver with a rockin' cool car (must get back up video in my next vehicle) whisked me off to the hotel. I checked in, checked my make-up and headed across the street to the Gibson guitar factory, where I was offered a choice of wine and hanging out or meeting up with the tour. Since I have no idea when I might get down there again, I asked to catch up to the tour, and much to my delight was told to get myself a glass of vino to go, aahhh.

After a tour of wicked awesome guitars, we sat though a very cool presentation on the Malibu by the engineer who was clearly in lurve with this automobile. There seemed to be a mix of auto-bloggers and mommy-bloggers, with GM employees a'plenty sprinkled around to help. It was really hard to tell the auto from the mommmy-bloggers - NOT! The auto guys threw out questions about concept cars and air bag deployment, I asked about car seats and locking my keys in the car. I'm so technical and car-savvy. The things that totally appealed to me about the car:

  • Acoustic glass makes it very quiet - although I'm sure even in this car though, if I get in an accident and don't have the door completely sealed it will still make a whooshing sound as I'm cruising down the highway.
  • High strength steel - will appeal to my hubby the metallurgist
  • Power outlet in the car, now that is luxury.

Some of my favorite quotes from the presentation:

"A powerful rear end" - giggle
"Luxury stiffness" - giggle, giggle
"For someone who wants to go green, but doesn't want to go broke." - excellent tagline

And I got to see all these super cool women (who's blog posts will surely top mine). We ate at BB Kings, ordered a round of kamikaze shots at the bar, spilled wine on this guy (ok, that was just me who knocked over her wine), shopped for souvenirs (the harmonica was the biggest hit) and I got a full nights sleep sans kids, aah.

The next day was the actual driving, following a presentation of the marketing and ad strategy. What a difference between consumer and BtoB, which is what I do. No billboards or silly commercials for us. There were plenty of actual car-bloggers there, not to mention mommy-bloggers who more seriously checked out the car, so I won't try to capture the whole driving experience. The reality is I drive an old Subaru (which I love), so I'd be excited about a lot of new cars. I did really enjoy driving this and even got to visit another state, as well as check out the Onstar and XM Radio features that come with the car. The car was roomy and comfortable, felt quite solid and safe - boring mommy requirements I know. But I am actually in the market for a new car, and I swear I am nearly sucked in by the low price on the hybrid. But I have to say the fact that the "mild hybrid" barely gets better mileage than the regular 4 cylinder doesn't have me touting my gas savings.

One of the highlights of this trip was the plane ride home, which suffice to say could not have been worse than getting there. I sat down only to realize my row mate had some serious BO. I pondered how to extricate myself from there without being rude (my last resort was to tell the flight attendant I was pregnant and so was extra sensitive to some smells). Noticing several empty seats, I casually grabbed my stuff and scored an aisle exit row seat, silently praying this was not anyone's seat. I did have the whole row just in case, when someone else asked if I minded if he took the window seat. "I thought I was gonna die back there" were his first words upon sitting and we bonded instantly.

I usually like to take advantage of uninterrupted reading time, but this guy clearly wanted to talk. I am such a total mommy-dork that I pretty much blew him off until he mentioned he was thinking about having kids. Oh how I went on about mine. He was a 23 year old gay guy with a 45 year old partner, and the partner was was concerned my bud over there was too young, was not quite ready for that kind of commitment. This guy seemed pretty mature for 23, but was a total riot. Best company to work for? Victoria Secret, because of all the free stuff (seriously, how much stuff can a guy, even a gay one, use from that place? I didn't want to look naive so didn't even ask). His last birthday party? Lingerie theme. I went to one of those in my dorm when I was 19 and drunk off my ass. Some people thought he was joking and he made them go home and change.

We got to "preach to the choir" so to speak about gay marriage (they actually sent letters to the poor folks who got married in SF and then were promptly unmarried). This guy was Mexican and he said even in Mexico, a macho culture where they don't publicly acknowledge gays exist, gay marriage is legal (turn out it gay civil-unions in Mexico City, very similar to marriage). WTF is wrong with this country? We pretty much blamed Bush for everything and before you know it he was getting a call from the baggage handler who happened to be his uncle and I was enroute to see my sleeping kids.

Thanks GM, I had a blast!

No comments:

Post a Comment