Thursday, October 07, 2010

Philly



[The best macchiato - at the Nook - perfect drink at the time.*]

The Westin Philadelphia – today’s office and home away from home

I’ve got to hand it to myself. I’m getting better at business travel. I can pack in under 15 minutes, and I no longer stress out about leaving the kids and Shana home to fend for themselves. Not that I ever needed to worry – but that’s just me – I worry about things.
This marks my 6th trip since July, and I’ve got one more scheduled for this month.

Back when I traveled 2 or 3 times a year it was fun – a perk of the job. Travel was a chance to see a new city, stay at a fancy hotel, and eat at nice restaurants. I still see new cities, stay at fancy hotels, and eat at nice restaurants – but at some point this business travel thing kind of “jumped the shark”.

The Dude was a bit upset when I packed last night. As he said, it’s not that he doesn’t like spending time with Mom, but I’m traveling “all the time” in his eyes. On the other hand, Maria thinks I’m a “rock star” with all this travel – she thinks it’s quite glamorous.

The only direct way to get here with enough time to make the afternoon appointment was to take the 7:15 flight out – arrives 10:50. That left plenty of time to wander around. After wandering I had lunch at El Fuego – very nice. After lunch I actually napped a bit.

Rather than feeling refreshed when I awoke, I thought my throat felt funny. I haven’t been sick in so long (rats I just jinxed it), but that’s only because I haven’t sat still long enough for the germs to catch up.

I had one meeting late this afternoon, then a nice dinner with a colleague. Now I’m just sitting in the hotel, catching up on email and watching the Twins lose.

Four more meetings with customers tomorrow. It should wrap up around 3 – plenty of time to make the flight home!

*Back story on that macchiato: I had time to kill before my 4:00 pm meeting and had not had any coffee since morning, so I stopped at a Starbucks. The baristas were very chatty and incredibly friendly. That's pleasant I thought - until they screwed up my order - gave me DECAF for pete's sake! I didn't notice it until about 5 minutes into the drink when I turned the cup to see the box next to Decaf was checked. It was too crowded, and I wasn't in the mood to object - so I left in search of another coffee shop. A half block away I discovered the Nook - it was quiet and peaceful. It also had a friendly barista - but not so chatty that he gave me decaf. In fact he fixed the most incredible macchiato I'd had in quite some time.

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