4 cities in 24 hours

Last week was CRAZY! I managed to spend time in 4 major cities in a mater of 5 days, but more specifically, between noon on Thursday and noon on Friday, I stepped foot in four US cities in 3 different regions of the country. Here’s my photo diary…

Wednesday – Thursday afternoon: Albany, NY – I spent a couple of days at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute learning about the latest technologies in lighting. For my fellow geeks, check out the LRC where you can read about some of their amazing research. While I wasn’t able to meet her, the president of this top-notch university, Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, is one of the most inspirational Black women alive and I’ve been in awe of her for years. Here are some shots I took in Troy, NY where the campus was located… I was definitely surprised at the town. I loved the tree-lined streets, old fashioned stop lights and boutique style shops and bodegas.

Thursday evening: Detroit, MI – On my way back from Albany I had a 3 hour layover in Detroit, which was a great time to catch up with the grandparents. We headed to one of my favorite restaurants, BD’s Mongolian Barbeque in Dearborn, for a nice meal. I will have to post those pics later because SOMEONE hasn’t sent them yet.

Thursday night – Friday early morning: Minneapolis, MN – By Thursday night I was back in Minneapolis and feeling extra TIRED. But there was barely any time for sleep. I had a 5:30AM flight to Savannah on Friday morning.

Friday morning: Savannah, GA – I was very excited because this was the wedding of my closest friend from grad school and the first trip for myself and the infamous “Bobby” (in orange shirt below), who has been officially upgraded to boyfriend status… ok, so honestly, he upgraded me after months of what felt like hard-core interviewing but either way, we’re claiming each other and its been a hilarious, fun-filled journey. In Savannah we stayed at the luxurious Mansion on Forsyth Park. The location was perfect, close to the park, the shops and a short drive from the ocean. Since the wedding was held at the Mansion, it worked out great when my hair looked like a halfway curled fro halfway through the ceremony. I went right upstairs to the room before the reception to touch up my do, meanwhile “Bobby” was able to catch the latest scores from the football games. Overall, we had a wonderful time and the hotel was beautiful. But we had to be honest when filling out the survey they sent us… The Mansion in summary:

Pros: Location was in walking distance to park and cool hole-in-the-wall restaurants, ambiance was really nice and artistic, the drink lounge was great (although our 2 drinks and 1 shot came to $50!), the employees were VERY nice and helpful, the room set up with the garden tub was nice…

Cons: Room WITH discount was still a whopping $300/night, shower leaked ALL over the floor and we both slipped at some point, $50 hotel breakfast was subpar and they forgot the toast and SILVERWARE, the CD they played in the rooms was a mix of techno and goth – kinda creepy, I asked for “bath salts” and they excitedly brought me 4 bars of soap, the automated wake up call was 5 minutes late, followed by another “human” wake up call 10 minutes after that one…

Overall, it was a great trip and I am excited to go back someday. The historic homes, large green parks, busy sidewalks and trolleys gave the city such a quaint yet bustling feel. It was exciting and yet peaceful. Here are some pics:

 

Ha!!! And you thought I was really gonna show “Bobby”?? Gotta protect the innocent, right? Can’t have random people pointing him out on the street as the guy who got beat by a girl…

Friday afternoon we had lunch at a cool BBQ joint called Sweet Leaf. I hadn’t had sweet tea in so long I thought I would die when I finally drank it! It was sooo good! We ordered the pulled pork with macaroni and baked beans (which were excellent) and a bacon cheeseburger (smoked) with wedge potatoes. It’s good to be in the South again…

 

Friday night we had dinner at the The Olde Pink House. We sat in the underground lodge-type Tavern room and it was very cool with a live pianist, random groups of people and couples of all ages. There was a wood-burning fireplace on each end and a set of steep outdoor steps that provided the main entrance. Here are pics of the pork chops with collard greens and macaroni and cheese and the crispy scored flounder with pecan candied yams and haricot verts. For appetizers we had the “Southern Sushi” (very interesting fried version of sushi with grits instead of rice) and “Goat Cheese Artichoke Fritters”. LOL – Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE goat cheese… Everything was excellent!

 

Then the event of the weekend… the Tif/Wes wedding! It was beautiful! There was so much rain that day, the temperature was climbing and the ceremony was planned for the outdoor courtyard area. Luckily it was tented and once they “zipped” us in, we were just fine. It was good to hang out with the beautiful bride Tif and my cousin Crystal. This is the first time the “Penn State Trio” has been together since 2005. The wedding party was lovely and the reception turned out to be lots of fun. When my invitation arrived in a 6″x8″ box, I knew this was going to be a first class affair – and it truly was!

The item of the day is the ever so cool and stylish Compact Fluorescent Lightbulb.

LOL – yeah, no fashion today – that’s for the next blog. Today is about education! Cut your energy bills, reduce your carbon footprint and learn about one of the latest and greatest technologies available to “regular consumers” like us. The Energy Star website can tell you more so don’t hesitate to research it. You should also check your local electric utility’s website – many offer rebates on purchases of CFL lamps for your home. While I am a true Target shopper for life, I have to admit, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club have some great deals on these lamps as a part of their recently surpassed goal of selling 100 Million CFLs in a year! Be sure to find the right lamp for your intended usage and while each lamp is set to last for decades, should you ever break or need to dispose of your CFL, PLEASE be very careful and read the directions. These aren’t intended to be tossed in the garbage and sent to your local landfill – and some localities may even impose a fine on you if you’re caught!

More info:

Energy Star

CNN – October 2007

MSNBC – May 2007

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