Breaking Up With Blackberry Farm

Back when newspapers spent money on training, my company sent me to its Leadership Institute, an intense, high-octane, 20-hours-a-day week of immersion learning that 30 executives prepared for for months.

(Thank you again, Scripps. I learned so much. It serves me every day, especially now.)

The retreat was held at Blackberry Farm, in the Smoky Mountain foothills of East Tennessee, 4,200 acres of gentle, rolling hills and impeccable Southern hospitality. Beautiful. Serene. Expensive. An exquisite treat even if you're working at a furious pace indoors the whole time.

That was in March '03.

Six years later, I still get regular elaborate, overproduced advertising mailers love letters from Blackberry Farm. Come to relax. ... Come to rediscover simple pleasures. ... Come spend time with Ashley Judd and our good causes. ... Come for adventures, or for no reason at all. ... Just come, we miss you.

BF, darling, let me go. You must realize by now I'm never coming back. It was amazing, a whirlwind affair, but it's over. Really over. You've followed me across time, space and state lines for far too long. It can't go on. How long can you keep me on your miss-you-mean-it list? I have to be honest: There's no hope. Mustn't pine for the past. No tears, now. I have a beautiful ashtray memory, and I'll remember you always with affection.


  1. Face it, BF, Kelley is..
    Just not into you!

  2. Yeah, it is like that for us with Lithia Springs; there was a period when they were just what the doctor ordered. These days they are, are, well, just not on our radar. But we still get all the invitations (latest is a ribbon-cutting for an expansion that we've actually stayed in for two previous visits). I guess they work slow.

  3. Kelly givin the slap down! But Kelly, internet break-ups are so hard =O

  4. Yeah, yeah. Watch 'em announce that the next BlogHer convention is being held at Blackberry Farms. We'll see if the breakup lasts.

  5. Ditto here with Royal Caribbean (honeymoon cruise: February 2001).

    And to Tim's comment ... Ell. Oh. Ell!