Finally after a grueling year and a half of endless ads, news spin, debates, mud-slinging, and Saturday Night Live skits, I watched the election unfold and ultimately decided from a suburb of Pittsburgh where I was working this week. And what a political week it was! I was only up until 1:45am election night, so I woke up to the news Donald Trump will be our next (and 45th) President of the United States. Without sounding too political, I think everyone can agree they are glad the election is finally over, and I now hope and pray we can come together as a nation and move forward by ‘Making America great again’ regardless of ones political beliefs.
I was a bit tired towards the end of the week from being up late for the election, and starting work a bit earlier than normal, so by Thursday evening I was ready to wrap things up for the week. I switched to the Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh Airport for Thursday night as I had an early flight home on Friday, and with Pittsburgh’s traffic I didn’t want to take any chances. The Hyatt is connected to the terminal by a skybridge, so I dropped my car off Thursday evening, and simply walked to the terminal on Friday morning.
Pittsburgh is a fascinating city in design, arts, education, and infrastructure, with multiple bridge spans connecting the city and suburbs. The main drawback to the bridges (and tunnels) however is the traffic, which can be quite heavy navigating around the city. I didn’t work in the downtown city itself, although to get anywhere, you more or less have to drive around the city via the bridges and tunnels, however the view of the scenic skyline of the city, is outstanding.
Back at the Hyatt Hotel, I was offered a nice amenity at checkin as I’m a Hyatt Diamond member, which was promptly delivered to my room. I had an Ahi tuna appetizer, which came with a couple brewskis. I was expecting a tiny portion of Ahi, but it was enough for two, and the same option on the dinner menu was $12, quite a nice perk, with the two brewskis.
I did go down to have some dinner at the lobby lounge, however as I had the large Ahi appetizer, I skipped having an entree, and just had a chicken quesadilla and a brewski to round off my Pittsburgh week.
In the morning I had breakfast in the hotel restaurant, again a nice complimentary ($19.95) breakfast courtesy of Hyatt Diamond, and headed over to the airport. I flew from Pittsburgh to Charlotte on a Airbus 319, which American has recently reconfigured with nice leather seats, but only two rows in First Class. I had row two, which was much more comfortable and spacious than the old US Airways configuration.
In Charlotte I had a two and a half hour layover, which I used to catch up on my work week of paperwork, expenses etc. Although at first it seemed like a long layover, in the end I didn’t even have time for lunch as I got caught up on quite a few things. And this leads to another of Steve’s travel pet peeves as well as Steve’s travel tips: When in an airline club, lounge, or pretty much any public place, use a ‘gentle’; i.e. quiet voice when talking on the phone. I kid you not, this lady in the club did not stop talking for over two hours – almost the entire time I was in the club! She was several rows away from me, but I could here every word of her corporate babble to a co-worker, not only annoying, but spewing confidential company information for anyone to hear. I’ve often said this is why Americans get a bad reputation as the ‘ugly American’, because they are so loud in public, which I’ve noticed many times overseas, on trains, planes, in hotels etc. Kindly take your loud conversation to a more private place, and in more confined places such as planes, limit your conversation to a quick call. I’ve heard plenty of ‘private conversations’ on planes I didn’t care to hear, and especially ‘curse’ words are never welcome. Ok, sorry rant over!
My flight to Orlando was on an Airbus 321, and I had 4D, which was the last row in First Class on this older model (former) US Airways jet. American has recently changed their snack offerings in First, so I had the almond packet and a french-fry crisp selection. DOS met me at the airport when I landed, and we headed home to start the weekend.
Another work week has ended; this one with a new President elect. And an upcoming full weekend at home! Welcome back!