After a wonderful Way-Cation weekend in Miami and LA, I flew up to Newark NJ Monday morning. As I had an 8:30am flight on American Airlines, I took the7am shuttle from the Hilton Miami Airport to the terminal, and quickly checked in for my flight and went thru the TSA Pre-check security lane. As it was Martin Luther King holiday, the travel day was lighter than normal, as were the roads when I got to Newark.
I flew from Miami to Charlotte in First Class on an A321 aircraft, and then connected to Newark on a A320 aircraft. I actually had the same Flight Attendants, with bubbly Renee as the lead Flight Attendant. Renee was really a fun flight attendant, and you could tell she loves her job of 27 years. She’s the type of Attendant you would love on a Trans-Con or international flight. She called me ‘her friend’ as we had already been on one flight together! She was really a hoot, and made the flights go by quickly and fun.
Once I got to Newark, however, the fun stopped and I had a really busy work week in Plainfield New Jersey. Not a bad week; just a very busy one. As I worked late most nights, I had no time for sightseeing, so it was really just a quick business week for me, with nothing exciting to report about.
I checked into a huge Hampton Inn Hotel in South Plainfield, and was concerned at first when I saw two Police Cars out front with lots of people huddled in the lobby by the front door. I walked in the hotel and was told to wait by the door as there was a ‘problem’ they needed to get resolved; not a good start when you’re checking in a hotel! As it turns out, the ‘problem’ was a popcorn machine that had burned some popcorn a little to close to the smoke detectors setting off alarms at the hotel. Whew – relief I’m thinking, and not some horrid crime scene at the hotel. Fortunately the Fire Chief came quickly and allowed the hotel to function again normally, while I got checked in. I had a nice King bedroom with a huge Jacuzzi whirlpool next to the bed. After the cold days in New Jersey of weather in the teens and 20’s, it felt good to relax in the hot tub each night after work.
This Hampton Inn was quite nice, quiet, and the room was comfortably heated, without the typical blowing and noisy heater by the window. It also had a much better than average complimentary breakfast each morning with several hot items, as well as these delicious parfaits with fresh berries.
The work week went by fairly quickly, and by Friday I was ready to get home to Florida. Driving the half hour back to Newark was quite easy after the morning rush hour, and I got to Newark Airport by 11am.The weather of the week was the big news, and I’m writing this from Newark Airport on Friday, hurrying to get out of town before the winter blizzard hits early in the morning. There are so many different forecasts, but all agree on multiple inches/foot or more of snow from DC up thru New York, with snow and icy conditions further south.
I usually connect in Charlotte airport, but a quick glance of the airport monitors shows it more or less shut down with so many flight cancelations. I had a quick lunch in the Newark Admiral’s Club and caught up on my personal emails from the week.
I then flew nonstop from Newark to Miami on an American Airlines 737. Although I didn’t get upgraded on the first flight, at least I had an aisle exit-row seat which was ok, but narrow with the fixed seat armrests. Miami was quite rainy and foggy, so we circled for quite a while before landing around 4pm. After a quick stop in the Miami Admiral’s Club, I headed to the gate for my short flight from Miami to Orlando.
To my surprise, the American Airline’s flight from MIA to MCO was on an internationally-configured 757 with angled-sleeper seats. Also as there was another flight to Orlando only half an hour earlier, the flight wasn’t full and I had both First Class row 4 A and B seats to myself. While only a 38 minute flight it was still nice to enjoy the extra space, if not service on this short flight.
When I landed at 6:20pm, DOS was at the airport waiting for me. I was so glad to get back, as the northeast blizzard was starting to hit. I took a quick look at the flight departures board in Orlando and saw most of the northeast flights were canceled.
Now I can enjoy the quick weekend at home, before heading to North Dakota next week!