Sunday, April 28, 2013

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Finally home from North Carolina, and after a challenging week at work, our office team traveled by bus to Ithaca for a conference hosted by Cornell University.

Despite being days away from "spring", a massive blizzard was moving through upstate New York, into New England. So, whether we left when we did or later, we'd have been slammed.

Ithaca is a lovely, quaint, and nature-wise stunning town. But, it is really isolated, accessible from smaller state roads. Part of the charm.

But, in a blizzard, not terribly easy. At one point, in the village of Triangle, our bus got stuck on a hill surrounded by gorges. The driver had to back down the hill, with the aid of a utility truck driver.

The volunteer firefighters of Triangle hosted us for an hour or so, they were really nice. 

Many of my colleagues were terrified. One gal clung to the arm of Brett, which probably terrified him.

As you know, I'm really into the concept of my death (I mean, it's going to happen no matter what, right?), so I was pretty gleeful in the face of sliding into a gorge. The rest of the trip was eventful in other ways, but that's another story altogether. Ask me after a few margaritas. Hell, who am I kidding?—ask me after a half a margarita.

Friday, April 19, 2013

One More, Please

The  day I left Winston, a storm was hitting Boston. On the plus side, I didn't have to sit through a snowstorm with a foot of accumulation.

However, I was stick in Philly.

Despite being slammed by hundreds of stranded travelers, I was able to secure a room at the Philly Marriott. But, wow, it was depressing.

The River Grill—the hotel's restaurant—was under renovation, so  a makeshift cafe was set up in the lobby-area. The food was bad, and the waitress who was working the busy dinner crowd solo was grimly chipper. Just go with it.

I couldn't get a flight to Boston for a few days, but fortunately, I was able to fly into Manchester, NH the next morning. This actually worked out better for me since my folks picked me up with my dog, and brought me back to town...saving me a drive to NH. It was very nice of them.

But, altogether, from the warm weather, to the fun cafes in downtown Winston, to the lower hotel rates, I wish I had just stayed the extra night in NC. To say nothing of Michael.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hutch & Harris part 2

I couldn't have written anything sweeter than my interaction with the restaurant manager, Michael.


Welcome to Winston

After I left DC, I was on to the business portion of my trip: a week in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. 

I was warned by my friend Steve that the city had gone through a bit of a revitalization in the past decade, with an artsy cute, downtown with good restaurants.

Check, check, and check.

Not saying I'd like to live there, but indeed, it surpassed expectations.

Criticism time: it's not the type of place that you can buy a postcard of. Which I really love doing. Ok, mostly I like to RECEIVE postcards (and, I have every postcard ever sent to me since I was a teenager. I love cheesy "greetings from—" postcards best of all!) but in order to encourage the receipt of them, I send out many.

The conference I attended was hosted by Wake Forest University. At the campus bookshop, I found postcards of the university, but it seemed like they were printed on the shop's inkjet on barely cardstock. But that's the best I could find, so there we go.

I was in town for the whole business week, so got to sample a good variety of the place. And spent some quality time with people I've known for years, but see just once or twice a year. That's always fun, despite the perma-hang-over.

Definitely enjoyed my time in "Winston," as Michael referred to it.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ooops—sorry, I forgot to post last week! I'll make up for it soon, I promise, you, dear 73 followers.

But, I know not when—may I whine, bitch, and gripe a moment?

Thanks; Amidst my annual business travels (I basically travel for business thrice per year for my day job, each trip in March) I had to terminate an employee. It was difficult and stressful, and not the course of action anyone wanted. But, it had to be done, and it was for the best. End result, last weekend, March's last, I mostly slept. Do you lame me? No, I thought not.

But, I am feeling better now, especially that the bandwagon high season is over...though, very little "March Madness" talk entered my ears.

Back to the sketches: kicking off my travels, I spent a weekend in DC to ketchup with my former-weatherman friend Ryan. We went to the National Portrait Gallery. We think we've been before, together, but we neither could recall any details. He did remember that I called my grandmother from The Mall though. You'll recall from my post about her a few years back, she lived in DC during and just after World War II. That was sweet.

I love portraits of hot men in period clothing. Case in point, Yale's first chemistry professor. I believe he was age appropriate for me when this portrait was painted. He didn't hold up too well, but, I guess no one does. I like Maggie Smith's recent quote about how old people are scarey.