Sunday, December 5, 2010

home is where the rump rests

I have never been more excited to leave 75 degree weather to go back to below freezing temperatures. Regardless of the warmth, this trip to Miami has been the most trying work trip I’ve ever been on…and it’s been the longest two and a half days of my life. Even though it’s been a week/weekend full of  stress, I’ve learned one very important thing... Cleveland is my home.

I got to Miami with the intention of getting off the airplane, grabbing my luggage, renting a car, driving the 15 minutes to downtown Miami and going right to bed as soon as I checked in. Well, as Brandon often says, “You can plan a plan, but you can never plan the results”

The hotel is circa 1 month old, which absolutely confused the GPS from the get go. So, I plug in the address that’s on my confirmation email and it takes me to some random gas station, which I later realized was about 15 minutes south of downtown Miami. The GPS was pretty vague in it’s directions to begin with and doesn’t really tell you until the very last minute what exit to take. It also had me merge onto a highway on the left side, only to make me merge onto a different highway, 500 feet later, on the right side. I called to ask what address to put in, which eventually got me to the vicinity (only AFTER two toll booths that I didn’t have any cash for) which turned out to be a shopping area next door to the American Airlines Arena. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named a.k.a. a former Cavs player who now resides in Miami, had his face plastered ALL OVER the arena.

What a slap in the face…PLUS I STILL HAD NO CLUE WHERE THE HOTEL WAS. Finally, I called again and had the woman stay on the phone with me (even though I was on the last leg of my battery) until I made it to the hotel…2 hours later than I had anticipated.

The JW Marriot Marquis.

Definitely the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed in, in my life. The staff absolutely made up for the miserable time it took getting there. I had a TV in the mirror in the bathroom, a tub AND a shower,  a 60” flat screen TV and when you call the front desk for help they answer the phone “Hello, Ms. DiLiberto, what can I do for you today?”

I had a run on Friday morning which was probably the best part of the whole trip, since it was gorgeously warm out and I ran along the water. Well, except for running past the basketball arena again and getting reminded that the Cavs got killed by the Heat the previous night.

Then it was just work…setup our booth, talk to docs, listen to lectures, work on a Saturday (boo) and FINALLY try to get back to the airport to get home. Although, Saturday morning, I got up early and meandered down to the fitness FLOOR and found a yoga studio to have a short practice in. 

The ride back to the airport was just as bad as the way in…it got me into the vicinity of the aiport and then I had to find my way around construction cones and one way streets until I found the rental car  return. All that to hurry up and wait; in concourse E, I made a shopping list for today’s Chrismukkah Cookie Baking Fiesta (more on that later), in concourse D, I played around with some new PLB header designs. Finally, after 7 hours of waiting, I was home.

That was a long winded way of saying that I have never truly appreciated Cleveland until now. It’s tough to leave Maui for colder weather and then it was tough to leave all my college friends to move somewhere that I didn’t know a soul. Now, I’m finally feeling comfortable enough to really call it home…and to really want  to come home!

I am home J

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