Now that I have taken a shower, let me review the trip thus far:
The flight from SFO – CLE was fine and on time, though I was ignored when drinks were passed around, so I had to make do with a partial bottle of water filled up at the gate in the San Francisco Airport. If you’ve ever tried to fill a water bottle from a fountain, you know you can rarely fill it, as the water pressure is too low to get a high angle of entry into the mouth of the bottle. I saw an edited version of “Next” with Nicolas Cage and Julianne Moore. The movie and most of everything else was bad, though Moore can convincingly play a hardcase (maybe the darker hair color helped).
So I filled the bottle in Cleveland, whose airport water tasted terrible. I didn’t want to drink it any more, except in an emergency. I knew there would be no drink and beverage service on this flight, which would be a 50-minute propeller plane ride into Pittsburgh. In addition to the plane boarding 10 minutes after the original scheduled departure, we even got to walk onto the tarmac to board the plane, where we were told to just take any seat, because the one attendant told people to fill the back first, no matter the seat designation, as she told us that the gate crew told her there would only be 19 people, rather than the 50+ full flight that occurred. So I didn’t even get my chosen seat.
The rental car went easy, and since I was driving, mom didn’t have a detailed map, nor could she work the GPS device we brought. I consider myself a superior navigator when it comes to maps and driving (I can even find excellent parking spaces in a short period of time), and I really dislike the act of driving, so it seems I am perfect to give directions and not drive. Of course here, we have the opposite and the worst possible combination.
I find the hotel eventually, after driving under the speed limits, and we are allowed to check in. Then we head back out to find food. It is nearly 11am EDT, so I have been up for 24 hours by now, and Monday has essentially just begun. There is a Boston Market, but I’d rather not have a full meal right now, so I drive past it. Across the street is Einstein Bros. Bagels, a bistro-ish place that looks decent. We drive farther to see what is around, but it quickly becomes rural again, so we turn around, this time we are on the Einstein Bros side of the street, so we stay on that side. I have a Steak & Eggs Ranchero breakfast panini, mom selects the Veggie panini. It’s not steak at all, but a few slices of roast beef (it does say so on the menu, so it it expected). Mom can only finish half of the panini, so I wonder how could she have handled a full lunch from Boston Market.
While eating, she realizes he forgot some prescription medication (and she also remembered she left the mobile phone at home when we were on the bus to the airport). So it’s my phone to the rescue, finding the phone number to her doctor, a local Walgreens, and directions, which are useless because of the numerous detours and construction blocking streets. However, with my superior skills, I still find the Walgreens (The Bourne Identity car chase was inspired by me). A call to the doctor’s office at home, who quickly calls the Crafton Walgreens, and mom has an emergency week supply.
Back at the hotel, literally following every turn-by-turn direction from the GPS (a cheap Mio device), we bring up the luggage and I take a shower. I had considered going swimming instead, but with the 100% humidit, I’ll wait until later in the day.
How is the hotel room? There is no free wireless, in fact, there is no wireless at all – neither my computer nor phone can find an available network, secured or open. At least the wired ethernet access is free (I always carry a cable, and I might even pack a phone cord as well next time and sign up for free NetZero, since 10 free hours of dialup is better than nothing). The toilet is powerful, as is the shower water pressure. But the sink basin is pulling away from the counter top, the shower chamber is small, and the towels, while plentiful, are also on the small side. There is no refrigerator and the deadbolt lock is misaligned. The A/C is loud and the channel lineup is paltry. At least I can get my Slingplayer from home.