I am back in England and am missing Metropolis in a big way. The Superman Celebration was a fantastic week for me and not just because of the four day festival which honoured my hero. I am missing locals. The residents of Metropolis who made me, and thousands of others, feel welcome while we visited their beautiful city.
In this article I will be writing about some of the wonderful people and businesses I was lucky enough to visit while I was there and why the world would be a better place if we were all a bit more like the people who call Metropolis home.
Chad-my own personal hero.
I have mentioned Chad Lewis in previous posts and articles but this man needs as much thanks and recognition as possible. I love planning trips. The more information I have about an “adventure”, the more it calms me and prepares me. Many months ago, when I first bit the bullet and decided to visit the Superman Celebration (something I regret not doing sooner), I reached out to the Hotel I where I would be staying for some answers to the many questions I had.
Chad (who is in charge of Pubic Relations for Harrah’s) replied to me and from there put me at ease as he answered many, MANY questions. Soon we began talking on social media and we exchanged numbers and our relationship went from a customer service relationship to a friendship, even before we met in real life.
We talked about what was available to do in town and where was good to eat (which was everywhere!) and we planned my arrival. When I travelled from England to Metropolis I had a short stopover in Chicago before my next flight to Paducah, which is just outside my new favourite city. Sadly, I missed my connecting flight and had to wait about 8 hours in Chicago’s huge airport. I had time to shop and eat and shop and eat! While I was there I had constant communication from Chad and he explained that I was in safe hands and that I wasn’t missing anything. He kept asking for updates and when my next flight would be. Eventually my time had come to make my way to Paducah and I had visited every store in my terminal so it was perfect timing!
Even though I would be landing late at night, Chad insisted that he would travel to the airport to collect me and drop me off safely at the hotel. Now, my mother always told me not to get in cars with strangers, but Chad was no longer a stranger, he was a friend.
After we finally met in person Chad gave me a personal tour of Metropolis at night and he really turned a long and stressful day around by making me feel welcome as I approached my final destination. Before dropping me off he even showed the iconic Superman Statue which was lit up in the dark and it was as if I was being introduced to the reason why I had travelled all that way.
All the time I was at the Celebration Chad would contact me and make sure I was doing ok and if I needed anything. Sometimes I would even see him around town and he offered me a lift to wherever I was going. On one occasion he gave me another tour of Metropolis and showed me where he grew up and his local neighbourhood.
Chad is extremely proud of his hometown and his sense of community spirit is amazing. While we drove around he mentioned that he had a phone call from someone saying that the welcoming sign to Metropolis had a bush next to it which was starting to cover the sign. The first thing Chad did was get his garden shears and cleaned up the sign right away. Chad Lewis, the man that can! I joked that if he was ever to run for Mayor of Metropolis I would move there and become his campaign manager!
I owe a lot to this fine citizen of Metropolis and I am sure that his hometown and employer are proud of him. I have passed on to my thanks personally and to his company and I hope he sees this as well.
If you are ever lucky enough to visit Metropolis, ask for Chad. Everybody knows him and when you meet him you will find out why. A true hero without a cape.
Harrah’s Metropolis Hotel And Casino.
When I was planning this magical trip I needed to book a hotel, although I would have happily have camped out in front of the statue! There were lots of hotels in the area and they all looked very nice but only one of them helped sponsoring the event. Harrah’s Metropolis Hotel And Casino was the place for me and I don’t regret it one bit! Mainly because the size of the bed was as big as my Fortress Of Solitude back home and magical to sleep on.
The hotel was about a ten minute walk from the Superman Celebration and Museum and there were lots of restaurants and a few convenience stores and when you walked back to hotel after a long day you could feel the luxurious air con hit you in the face as soon as you stepped off the car park!
Once I was in the hotel there was more than enough to keep me entertained. There was a big gift shop in the lobby and as I was travelling from England I saw lot’s of snacks to try! There was a also a huge Casino located just next door. Now, I am not a huge gambler but had a lot fun trying to figure out the machines where you could bet 1¢! At the weekend they had live music and the place was really fun. They also had a chilled out bar section where you could buy Kryptonite drinks. I wasn’t brave enough to try them, just in case!
Now, let’s get down to the most important thing that a hotel can offer you. The food! I was spoiled for choice! There was a restaurant, a diner in the casino (which had the best milkshakes I have ever had!), and there was also an enormous buffet which was open through weekends. I stayed at Harrah’s for 9 days and I don’t think I had the same meal twice and they were all very affordable. One memorable day I bumped into Aaron Smolinski (Baby Superman) who was also staying at the hotel and he mentioned how delicious the food was and also the pricing as well. If the hotel is good enough for someone from the Superman movies than it’s good enough for me!
I am glad I made Harrah’s my home away from home for the week as every single member of staff their made me feel welcome and special. The restaurant crews, the front desk and even the casino security were kind and welcoming. Now, I know you are not supposed to have favourites but if you ever visit The Bridges restaurant and you are lucky enough to have Belinda serve you, you are in for a treat! When I return next year for the Superman Celebration I hope she will still be there as every day I saw her she made the sunny day even brighter.
Metropolis Chamber Of Commerce.
While I was in Metropolis I learned very quickly which buildings had air conditioning. This Brit soon got used to the heat of the city but I still needed escape routes if it got too hot! One of the best places for this was the Metropolis Chamber Of Commerce. Not only did they have air con they also had a fantastic gift shop and whole gang of ladies who were as lovely as Ma Kent and as sassy as Lois Lane. They ran a tight ship but they did it with a smile.
I first came here to collect my sponsorship package and after I was given a goody bag I had some lovely chats with some of the ladies. It was nice to get to talk to them all before the celebration got too busy as by the time the weekend came these ladies were moving as fast as Superheroes!
I also found out that a lot of the staff were volunteers. Another reason why I feel that Metropolis has such a wonderful sense of community spirit. Also, this building was filled with wonderful artwork and signed photos of all the celebrities which had attended in previous years. It really made me wish that I had visited sooner.
Sissy’s – A Sweet Shoppe.
Now, I am a creature of habit and on most of day’s off you can normally find me in my local coffee shop writing to pen-pals or planning my blog. As I was going to be in Metropolis for a few days I was going to need a place to get my morning coffee and it didn’t take me long to find it.
Sissy’s began as a place for me to get my morning caffeine fix but it didn’t take long for it to become more than just a coffee shop. It become a place to relax, sit down, chat and refuel with delicious drinks and snacks. It soon became my local coffee shop, each time I entered I got a big “HELLO!” an felt instantly welcome.
All the staff, including Sissy, were fantastic and the cookies and cakes were even sweeter! While I was there I think I tried most of the coffee and every single iced lemonade which were the perfect way to defeat the heat!
The quaintly decorated shop was cool and welcoming and the customer service was just as pleasing. One of the colleagues was even dressed as Wonder Woman while the celebration was in full swing. I didn’t want to distract her as she was busy taking photos with adoring children and also selling delicious ice cream! They even had Superman ice cream!
When I return next year Sissy’s will be one of the first places on my list to visit!
Oh yeah, they also have Wi-Fi! Magic words.
Every store and person I met while I was on my adventure really made my time spent there memorable. I didn’t have one bad moment while I made many happy memories. Everybody I met was happy to see me, asked how I was and wanted to know how I was enjoying my stay. I have worked in customer services for over 15 years and this little piece of heaven has taught me so much.
From the hotel staff to the charming Mayor Billy, everyone was a credit to the city and to Superman himself. I feel I left a piece of my heart in Metropolis when I left and I can’t wait to retrieve it when I return next year.