And We're Off...

Trip Start Mar 22, 2013
Trip End Mar 30, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Friday, March 22, 2013

We were up early on Friday, March 22, about 4:30 in order to be out the door by 5:30.  I find if we give Kevin a time to do things or have things done, he responds better.  You know, dressed by 5:15, finish eating by 5:20, teeth brushed by 5:25 and out the door by 5:30.  Plan worked well.  We were actually out the door at 5:31 am.

Bryan will be staying at the house while we are gone.  Good for everyone.

We had already packed the day before...three rather large suitcases.  I checked us in on line the night before and paid the $25 per bag for the luggage.  I can't imaging anything we have forgotten, but as Sandy likes to say, "That's what credit cards are for!"

We got our luggage checked, and made it though Security by 6:00 am.  We headed to the snack shop and got water, a Diet Coke and waited for our flight.  Interesting, they had several ISU students doing a survey of travelers at CIRA.  They've done it for several years.  Very helpful for CIRA.  But for some reason, they didn't approach us.  I'm pretty intimidating I guess...right!  

Good flight to Detroit.  Sat next to a Mr. Lootens, retired Principal from Olympia and now at Epiphany.  Wife worked with Sandy in Strategic Resources at SF.  Sandy and Kevin sat in the two seats across from us.  Mr. Lootens and I talked a lot about people we knew.  He used to work at SF Park during the summers.  He knew Danny Umstaddt, John Harris and Mike Claver, all friends of mine.  He was on his way to Philly too to help his son move from Philly to Chicago.  His son works Cat Claims for SF.  

Right on time into DTW.  We were in Concourse B and only had to walk from B-23 to B-3 for out flight to Philly.  The first thing Kevin noticed were the birds flying around inside the DTW terminal.  He wondered how they got in and how they stayed know, what they ate.  We talked about bread crumbs and other things the birds probably ate.  He thought they might help the airport by eating bugs...OK, I'll buy that.  

I was lucky enough to have an empty seat beside me on the flight to Philly.  Right on time into Philly.  Interesting, I got an email from Hertz that my car was a Ford Escape in stall #123 in the Gold Club section.  Good idea.  

We got our luggage and headed outside to catch the Hertz shuttle.  Soon we were on our way to our car and it was exactly as advertised, a Ford Escape in space#123.  Soon we were on our way to our hotel.

I am a fan of IHG hotels.  State Farm has a great contract with them and we stay in them all the time.  I have become either Platinum or (this year) Gold based on the amount of travel we do. They treat us very well.  And I am particularly fond of Crowne Plazas.  Quality hotels.  

We called Laura on the way to the hotel.  She said she'd meet us later in the afternoon after she got off work from AmeriCorps.  We got checked in early, and headed to our room.  

God bless Sandy.  She took Kevin to the pool while Grandpa did what Grandpa does best...took a nap!!!  It had been an early day.      

Laura showed up about 4:30 and we headed to dinner.  We went into the City Center to a place called Pub and Kitchen.  Nice brew pub with a great selection of beers and food.  Laura said it's always written up as one of the top restaurants in Philly.  Very laid back atmosphere.  Laura and I shared some oysters on the half shell, and tried a new (to me) cocktail, called a Pimms #1...very tasty.  Sandy and I shared a steak while Laura and Kevin shared a cheeseburger.  Outstanding food.  A bit pricey, but we are on vacation!

Back to the hotel where Laura took Kevin swimming (again) while Sandy read and I blogged. Tomorrow we start "touristing" in earnest.  Even with a nap, I'll sleep well tonight.  More tomorrow!
Take care my friends!
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Barb Haab on

Had the opportunity to sit by Sandy at last night's concert at Northpoint. It was great to catch up. Happy that I'll be able to follow your latest journey through your blog. Last year we were in DC about this same time and had the most wonderful time! "Mr. Looten's" wife, was (maybe still is) an SR employee; so many inner-connections! Enjoy!

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