March 14, 2006: Driving to Pittsburgh

I woke up completely on my own this morning at 3:45! Only two and a half hours of sleep. I hate how this always happens whenever I have to get up early and get moving. Argh! My alarm wasn’t set until 5:15 but I knew that if I fell back asleep it would do me more harm than good so I decided against that course of action although Oreo attempted to convince me otherwise. I got up and got showered and shaved. The extra time let me get the car packed and then to get to work on the server while I waited for Andy to arrive at the house at 6:00. I actually managed to have a very productive morning. The server is continuing to work and should be back into production as early as on Thursday. Boy will that ever be a relief. I didn’t know what I was going to do if I didn’t manage to get that machine back up before going to New Jersey.

Andy got to the house at 6:10. We put his car into the garage (so that the neighbours can’t complain about us stealing all of the visitor parking spaces even though the neighbour who complains may use the most visitor night’s of parking of any single person in the entire complex) and got all of his stuff loaded into the Mazda 6. We were on the road by 6:20 or so. Not too shabby.

It is bitter cold today and the wind is incredible. The drive was just awful. I could barely hold the car on the road the whole way and at times we were approaching white out conditions. I can’t even explain how fatiguing it was and to do that on top of having almost no sleep. Ugh.

We stopped at a McDonalds along the route and got breakfast around 7:30. It is weird to be traveling this early in the day. The trip took a lot longer and used a lot more gas than we had anticipated. Fighting against the wind is really taking a toll on us. I was having trouble staying awake for a lot of the way.

Andy drove for about half an hour on US79 south of Erie, Pennsylvania to help me stay awake. Of course the weather broke during his portion of the drive and when I took back over it was awful again. šŸ™

We arrived in Pittsburgh at noon. We had allowed an hour of buffer time and so we were doing really well. Our meeting is in Oakland at 1:00 so we had plenty of time. Andy has not been back to Pittsburgh, he thinks, since 2001! That is so hard to believe since he lived here longer than I did in 2000. But after all of this time I have come pretty close to having been here, in total, more than he has. I have definitely spent tons more time driving around the city since he didn’t have a car back when he was here.

We hung out in the lobby at the hospital while we waiting for our meeting. That didn’t do much to help us keep ourselves awake. The meeting lasted for a couple of hours and we were both completely exhausted as well as starving by the time that it was over.

After the meeting we ran over to the hotel. We are staying in the Quality Inn University Center which is just down the road from the hospitals. I didn’t realize this when I made the reservation but this hotel is the old Best Western that my parents stayed in the weekend that they came down to help Andy and I move into Pittsburgh in March of 2000. The hotel was old back then and time has not been kind to it. The room was okay but the balcony door was in sad shape and the heater and air conditioning units were a total joke. The was a manual switch on the wall that you had the switch in order to change which unit would get power and that switch was shorted out so that nothing worked reliably. With the hotel change over there is now a Panera Bread in the first floor of the hotel which makes it a more convenient place to stay.

Andy and I drove out to South Side to get some dinner. We ended up settling on a place called PapparaZZi. Andy got a veal meatball burger thing and I got a veggie calzone. It was a ton of food. We didn’t hang out for long because we were so tired. We ate, had a drink and got back to the hotel. It was 5:30 when we both decided to take naps. I slept for about forty five minutes and then took a shower and worked on SGL getting everything caught back up. Andy slept for three hours!

We both went to bed at 8:30 in the hopes of catching up on some sleep and being ready for a long day tomorrow.

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