Background

On my last trip to Seattle, the weather was considerably more overcast. Thus, I did not have a fantastic view of Mt. Rainier until I was on the airplane headed home. This trip, I relocated to the Hilton next to the airport the night before my flight. I figured I would save a little money on the rental car and be a short ten minute walk to the terminal the next morning. It was a beautiful sunny day in October, which I hear is rare, and I have to say, Mt. Rainier sure knows how to put on a show.

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Grateful

When I found out that I would be returning to Seattle a little over a month after attending my best friend’s wedding it almost felt like an imposition. It’s a four hour flight each direction, there were terrible options for hotels, and by going it effectively took away the only break in my travel schedule this fall. 

But then I got here. 

It turns out that travel is always worth it. No matter the destination, no matter how exhausted I am (I was in bed by 10 p.m. last night), and no matter where I go, I always find happiness visiting the places others call home. 

UPS

After taking another flight to Seattle a little over a month from the last, today I headed from the airport to Tacoma to visit the University of Puget Sound’s campus. My best friend attended there, so I had been on campus once before, several years ago. It’s a gorgeous campus, rain or shine. Everyone was walking around bundled up for the 50 degree weather, so I’m sure they found it strange to see this half-Texan walking around business casual without a jacket, or even a cardigan. It’s okay; I’m warm-blooded, and after hot Texas summers a little cold weather feels absolutely perfect. 

A Short Break

It turns out that the road trip I took this past week made it difficult for me to want to do anything more than sleep or relax with local beers wherever I was. I saw plenty of new places along the way, and made my first visit to Northwestern University. While I had applied there for graduate school, I never made a trip to campus. It turns out to have a gorgeous view of Chicago, and hopefully I will be making a return trip next year! Now it’s time to pack again: tomorrow is back to Seattle, and three weeks of travel left this fall.IMG_2360

Brickell, Miami

I might not be going to St. Louis this year, but I couldn’t stay away from the Arch! The Conrad Miami is located inside the Brickell Arch building, and has become my absolute favorite hotel (and I’ve stayed in a lot of hotels). The Brickell area itself is fantastic; there are plenty of restaurants within walking distance and there are always people out and about. That being said, I did spend a lot of time just enjoying the hotel. I’m hoping to stay in the Conrad Chicago next May and can’t wait for the experience, because this hotel is definitely an experience. 

I’m flying home this evening, and my next stop is Chicago! I always love visiting my hometown, in spite of the hours I will spend crawling on the highways. 

Remote Access

Working from the road today after an early morning flight. If this was the view from my office I think I would be much more productive and relaxed! Not to mention, the Wine Room access is a nice touch to a long day. I could get used to this. 

But where am I?

Hotel Blues

In Atlanta, I always stay in the Galleria area as it is most convenient to where I have to work. I’ve ended up at the same hotel three years running, the first time recounted here. I decided to try this hotel again last year because I knew the renovations would be complete, and that the jackhammers from hell were probably being used to keep some other unfortunate soul from napping. Renovations aside, I don’t spend a lot of time in hotel rooms anyway and now that everything had been upgraded, it was a pleasant place to sleep.

Fast forward to today and imagine my surprise when I pull up to park and am met with orange cones in front of every space. I always try to stay in places with minimal to no parking charges, but sometime between last year and today, the lot had been converted to valet-only parking. Valet-Only. For the entire parking lot. No spot is farther than 500 steps from the front door.

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My room looks out over the hotel entrance and one of those cars is my rental.

I must have looked dumbfounded when the person working the valet told me there was no self-parking option. As he was explaining how to request my car, I asked if I could just get the keys from him and walk to my car when I needed to leave. Honestly, that would be faster.

 

The explanation I received for the ridculous parking situation was that with the new Atlanta Braves stadium down the street, they had to keep fans from parking at the hotel. I could think of a few other ways to do that, but I guess I can’t really complain with a price of $12 per night; hotel valet parking typically costs at least $30, or even more if you’re in Chicago. But, it is entirely possible that I will request my keys to walk to my car anyway, just to see if they let me.