Its been a long week already. On Wednesday morning, after downing two tasty waffles doctored with love by my wonderful wife (my farewell breakfast by special request), I hopped into my loaded pickup and began the long drive north. Arriving at the Garfield Hotel in Cincinnati for the night, I felt that counting the receptionist as one of my new names for the week would be out of line, I think I should consider name tags to be an instant dis-qualifier.
They did give me free upgrade to a jacuzzi suite- the place was bigger than the apartment in which I live. It was a lot of hotel room for the money as well, boasting a full kitchen with fridge, dishwasher, & stove; living room, balcony, large bedroom with a hot-tub and huge flatscreen, and a separate full bath. I really didn't need all that. Having all of that extra space to myself, with my wife back home in Arkansas praying that one of the four tornadoes that touched down that evening wouldn't be what saved her from the killer hailstorm that struck the region, felt sort of weird.
The great attitude and eagerness to please displayed by the people that work there are almost enough to make me want to go back. Almost. The building is really old, the elevators are super-slow, parking is a pain, and- judging by the smell of it- my gi-normous unit had been smoked in for years despite the sign threatening puff-daddies with a $200 fine.
This morning I hit the road again, finally making it to Elmira, NY around 6:30 this evening (Eastern time). I wasn't sure what to expect in regard to the "extended stay" booked by my company. Turns out it's a really nice (and big) old house, the 2nd floor of which has been converted into two 1-bedroom apartments. The kitchen consists of a sink, microwave and a mini-fridge. It was on my tour of the house that I met my acquaintance of the week- my neighbor staying in the other upstairs apartment, Jeff.
Jeff was a friendly fellow, an engineer who works for a helicopter company. After returning from a trip to the local grocery store to attain a few staples for the week, I took Jeff up on his offer, joining him for a brewsky. Little did I know what a treat that would be- my neighbor brews his own, and I have to say he's pretty darn good at it!
We were sitting on the back porch, talking about work and life in this part of the world, when his wife got back from rugby practice (yes, I said rugby practice.) That's when I met Kate- a wonderfully friendly architect, who didn't seem the least bit shocked to see her husband sipping suds out back with a total stranger. She's working on drawing up this old house's original plans so that the owners can restore it to it's original floorplan. Originally designed by a renowned architect from this area, that has some historic significance.
Seeing as I'm in a new state now, I may meet more new people this week to write about, it can't hurt to exceed my quota!