This week I was in the Akron/Cleveland area for business (mid-way between both cities.) While I was busy with my work projects, it was exciting to be there as the Cleveland Cavaliers had just won the NBA Championship against the Golden State Warriors. There were huge celebrations in nearby downtown Cleveland, as well as Akron, home of Lebron James. While I didn’t go to the actual downtown sites with the parades as players, I did watch it (and the HUGE crowds) on TV. It was also fun getting a local flavor of the happy and proud Ohio residents and added a festive flair to the work week everywhere you went.
I flew up Monday on American Airlines into Akron, Ohio (via Charlotte). Once at Akron I rented a car at National Car Rental, and was upgrade to a HUGE Dodge Durango SUV, way more than I needed for myself as it sat seven.
It was such a big vehicle it took a it me a bit of getting to use to, especially parking it, but it had all the bells and whistles, and was quite comfortable. It actually got surprisingly good gas mileage, as I only paid $11 to refill the tank before returning it to the airport on Friday, not that I drove a whole lot, but still very good for such a big ‘tank’.
I stayed once again at the Residence Inn Fairlawn, Ohio, which is a new and excellent property. I liked the quiet location in a corporate office park, which was perfect for taking an evening and scenic power walk. There was a walking/jogging trail part of the way and it meandered past other office buildings, ponds, and a lake. As it was after five when I did my walking, most of the offices were deserted, and the area was quite calm and relaxing. They also had a much better than average exercise room which I went to for a bit 3 nights this week, trying to get back in shape.
I had a nice one bedroom suite at the Residence Inn by Marriott, and I must say, I actually preferred this to many of the comparable Homewood Suites (by Hilton) I usually stay at. I had a first floor room at the end of the hall which was large and had a full size fridge, microwave, large living/dining area, and separate bedroom and bath.
While I didn’t have time to sightsee, I did drive by Lebron’s mansion, which was less than a mile (literally up the road) from where I was staying. While the ‘compound’ is fenced in, I did snap a photo as I slowly drove by, not that you can see much.
The weather in Ohio was quite pleasant this week; warm, but not super hot or humid which made my evening walks quite comfortable. By Thursday, though we had some storms as did much of the mid-west, but fortunately no tornadoes like other parts of the country, or flooding as in West Virginia.
The work week went by fairly quickly, and soon it was Friday and time to go home. I got to the airport early, but my flight to Charlotte was running 35 minutes late due to ‘Crew Rest’, so I went to the complimentary business center at CAK Airport and did a few emails and quick Facebook post.
I flew back on American from Canton (CAK) to Charlotte, again on a CRJ900 in First Class 3F, connecting to an American Airlines 321 in First, seat 4C. Since my Orlando flight was also running a half hour late, I stopped by the Admiral’s Club briefly, and was surprised to see they had a complimentary catered food buffet with free microbrew beer too! Although I skipped the beer, I did have a pork slider which was a nice afternoon snack. I asked one of the front desk concierge’s what the deal was with the free food buffet, and he said it was a promotion for a credit card or something. I didn’t notice anything other than a small sign, which flying weekly you get so hounded on the ground as well as in the air by ads for the American credit card I don’t even notice it anymore. Anyway, it was a nice treat, and no thank you I don’t need another credit card.
Both flights home were quick, and ran about 1/2 hour late each. Fortunately there were no storms in Orlando when I landed, and DOS picked me up at the airport, wearing his new Harley Davidson Waikiki shirt we bought in Hawaii over Memorial Day.
We drove home, and once there had a quick swim to cool off a bit from the HOT Florida weather.
We visited with our neighbors a bit and brought over one of the bottles of red we had bought in Chile a couple years ago, and shared it over crackers and cheese. We caught up a bit on the work week, and they told us about going to the funeral that day for the nephew of my next door neighbors who had been killed in last week’s terrorist attack at Pulse Nightclub. I had wanted to go to that, but was flying back from Ohio this afternoon. The attack was so incredibly senseless, but they said the church had an overall feeling of love and community support that is helping the family at this difficult time. I can’t even begin to imagine what they and the other families are going thru right now.
Walking back across the street from my neighbors by 8:30pm as it was getting ready to storm, we headed home for a nice dinner at home. Among other things, we discussed our packing strategies for our upcoming trip next week to Easter Island. This is a major trip, although we will only be gone for 9 days total, and we’re really looking forward to it.
For now though, Welcome Home!