It’s Monday night and I’m writing this from my hotel room in suburban Pittsburgh, where I’m staying here thru Friday on business. Steve (DOS) and I had a fun weekend home in Orlando this past weekend, and as always, it’s good to be home. We had been gone for two weeks on back-to-back work trips for me, with a weekend in Jekyll Island in between.
I needed a couple toiletry/contact lens items for my travels this week, so we went by Target for a quick stop. Or so we thought! We breezed by the Christmas aisles, but further down noticed Halloween items had just been marked to 90% off! And then the cart quickly got filled up with Halloween napkins, straws, wall decorations etc.
When we checked out we felt a bit embarrassed with so many items in the cart, but the cashier thought it was fun, and was amazed we got a whole cart full of Halloween decorations for less than $50! And about half of that amount was for my toiletry and contact items! I ‘saved’ over $234 according to my shopping receipt!
Later we went to Lowe’s and Home Depot for a propane refill, and to ‘browse’ at the Christmas decorations. Lowe’s had several cool Disney items, but they were already sold out of all the big Disney yard items such as these, and didn’t expect to get anymore. I did get the last set of multicolor Disney string lights, with another lady about to grab it out of my hand if I didn’t take it. I found it odd that Lowe’s isn’t planning on restocking Christmas items, as it’s only the beginning of November and Christmas is another month and a half away.
We did better at Home Depot, and while we didn’t get any Disney decorations, we bought this cute ‘blow-up’ Christmas decorated dog, and a large outdoor light up wreathe, and outdoor light up nativity scene.
On Sunday, it was All Saints Day at Church as well as ‘Homecoming’ so there was one combined service at 10:30am. (With the extra hour’s time change from Saturday night, it was nice to sleep in a bit!) While we didn’t stay for the pot-luck barbecue after Church as we had to get to the airport, it had been setup very nicely outdoors.
We headed to Orlando Airport after Church, and checked into the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport where we stayed Sunday night, as we were meeting some friends arriving that afternoon from England. We met our friends Adrienne and Dennis as they exited security. We were going to host them overnight at our house, but as they were heading over to Tampa in the morning, and didn’t like to drive after dark, we recommended we all stay at the Hyatt overnight, which was a wise decision for all, as I was flying out in the morning anyway. Their flight on Virgin Atlantic was 45 minutes early, arriving at 3:10pm, and we were all checked in our rooms by 4pm. We stay at this Hyatt often, and the hotel provided them an identical room to ours, with a 10th floor runway view and balcony, overlooking the Virgin 747 plane they had just flown in on.
We met Adrienne and Dennis later for dinner at 7pm in McCoy’s Restaurant on the 4th floor of the Hyatt. Surprisingly they weren’t real tired after the 8 hour flight, but then again ‘Upper Class’ on Virgin does have nice sleeper seats! I met Adrienne and Dennis in November 2004 aboard the Celebrity Millennium on a two week Trans-Atlantic cruise from Barcelona to Miami, and we’ve stayed in touch since. We were seated at the same table in the dining room, and now 12 years later, we’re still good friends. Little did I know then that I would meet Steve (DOS) a little over a month later, and that would be my last ‘solo’ cruise. I had started to cancel that 2004 cruise, as my home had been seriously damaged in the three hurricanes we had in September/October of that year, and I was living with my neighbors at the time while my home was having major repairs done to it (which would ultimately take over four months, but I digress.) We had a fun dinner and wonderful time catching up with each other. Adrienne and Dennis had taken the World Cruise on the Queen Victoria earlier in the year (from January to April) and had lots of interesting stories to tell. That’s been one of my dream wish trips – a World Cruise of 100 days or more! Maybe one day when I’m retired like they are – I can’t easily do that on my four weeks vacation! LOL!
This morning we were going to meet Adrienne and Dennis for breakfast, but they had already eaten at 7am, up bright and early due to the five hour time change for them. They did wait for us to arrive at 8:15am, and we saw them off before DOS and I had breakfast, promising to visit them next time in the U.K. I was in the U.K. on business two or three years ago and did indeed see them, while they showed me around the historic town of Chester, as seen in a few photos below.
My two flights today went smoothly and were both on time. My first flight was on an Airbus 321 to Charlotte, and I was seated in First Class 4F, window. We had a good view of Charlotte as we descended and I took a couple photos; one with the ‘uptown’ city skyline, and one of a plane flying adjacent to us in a parallel flight approach pattern.
My connecting flight to Pittsburg was aboard a smaller Airbus 320, and while I didn’t get upgraded to First Class (I was number one on the upgrade list) I had a nice exit row seat 10C, with the middle seat going vacant, which rarely happens. My seat mate in 10A was an off-duty Flight Attendant named Andrea, who was just finishing up her three day trip and heading home to Pittsburg. Andrea and I had a delightful chat the whole flight up, discussing flying, travel, family etc. We were also born within a few days of each other, both Leo’s and in 1962! Andrea if you’re reading this it was a pleasure chatting with you today!
After taking the airport tram to baggage claim, I retrieved my bags, and walked across the street to the garage where the rental cars are located. I rented a Ford SUV from National Car Rental and then drove to Greensburg. While the GPS initially said it was an hour away, with rush hour traffic it took close to two hours, but wasn’t too bad. I drove right by downtown with it’s scenic high rises, crossing bridges across the rivers and tunnels thru the hilly landscape.
Now just catching up on emails and the blog in my hotel room before going to bed. Oh, and the title of this post I haven’t even mentioned yet. Yes, the U.S. Presidential election is tomorrow, and I think pretty much everywhere people will be glad when it’s over as it’s been such an embarrassing circus. I’ve already voted in Florida via early voting, and now am just flipping channels, watching the pundits make their predictions and getting the last batch of ugly campaign ads. So tomorrow night at this time 11pm, maybe it will all be over. And then again, maybe it will drag on for days. But at least we’ll quit getting all the campaign flyers in the mail, ads on the TV, and those relentless poll numbers!