This summer, I learned that a lady sometimes lets a man climb it for her.
Last week, Georgia's Department of Tourism whisked me and seven other travel writers through the mountains of North Georgia.The whirlwind trip took us to the sites and treated us to the food and beverages and brought us to the sounds and let us meet the people unique to that region of the state. Every stop ensured a new discovery.
While eating lunch at Toccoa Riverside Restaurant,
At Blue Ridge Olive Oil Company, I learned that olive oil and balsamic vinegar aren't just for lettuce and bread anymore.
They're delicious on ice cream!
I considered the trip so far. What I had seen. The people I'd met. How much farther we had to go. What I would tell others about it. The stories I might write.
I could hear Dave and Robert, the two men who'd set up camp in the seats in the rear of the bus, huffing and puffing behind me. When they could grab enough air in their lungs to force out words, they questioned whether they were obligated to participate in this type of torture on a media FAM tour. The strain of breathing through the debate abbreviated it, and they resorted to plodding forward. I should have let them read "How to Climb a Mountain" before we set out. It may have helped them.
But they weren't helpless. Dave and Robert were just two guys thrown in with six women, six well-traveled, independent women.They were challenged to find their place in the group, whether they realized it or not.
At first, I thought it odd their behavior. Certainly they knew we could all wrestle our own luggage, we could all step off the bus without assistance, we cared not if we were first or last or under the radar all together. But this wasn't for show, as their kindnesses continued from Tuesday to Sunday. And it wasn't because they believed us to be frail, feinting flowers. They were interested in our careers and our travels and our ideas, and they were happy to let us exert ourselves on the more strenuous legs of the excursion.
I came down from those waterfalls with renewed intent to mind my manners. A lady can adventure all around the world, but she must always remember that being a lady is as important, if not more so, as being an adventurer. And a lady ALWAYS allows a man to be a gentleman.