Early morning rise as another trip begins! Daniel was up at 6:00, and by 7:30, I was ready to go. Daniel went to pick up Leslie but the traffic was backed up due to some untimely tree trimming, and he returned a bit late. We ended up leaving the house at 8:00, a bit behind schedule and I was worried we would be late to the airport. Thankfully, despite bad traffic to the airport, we arrived with minutes to spare. First delay was while I was checking my bag, the lady behind the counter inexplicably stopped helping me to handle a complex re-ticketing issue. Next up was at the TSA checkpoint. It became bogged down by some lady who tried to carry a snow globe on board the plane, a clear violation of safety rules. By the time we reached the gate, we were too late for Priority AAcess to the flight, but we managed to get on board and find our seats - Whew!
The flight to Dallas was pretty non-eventful. When we arrived, we came into deluxe Terminal D, and had to depart out of Terminal C and I realized we had two hours to kill. We grabbed a snack at Dunkin' Donuts which turned out to be a bad idea since mine had a mystery filling and both of our donuts were stale. We decided to walk over the breezeway to Terminal C, and realizing that did not take that much time, we decided to ride the Skylink all the way around the airport. Finally at the gate, we kicked back until it was time to board. This time, we got to use my special Gold Status Priority AAcess, and board early. This proved crucial as it was an MD-80 and was very cramped. The stragglers all had to check their bags. This flight was also pretty non-eventful, and we all enjoyed my prepared lunches of sandwiches. Leslie ate her DFW-purchased Pizza Hut which from all looks was good.
Arriving in Philadelphia, I was pleasantly surprised to get my bag fairly quickly. After some confusion finding the rental car bus and observing some fun accents, we hopped on the bus. It took us some time once we arrived at the Hertz office. It seemed my Hotwire reservation was a bit amiss and he had to make some adjustments. We waited for our promised Honda Accord, only to have it swapped out for a Mazda Tribute Crossover. It was something of an upgrade, but it definitely looked like a New York car as indicated by its plates, since it was covered in dings and scratches.
Finally, we were on the road and taking the scenic route to our hotel we ended up doing a few loops around downtown. After a few passes, we arrived at the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia, right across from City Hall. It was a super swanky place, and I think its going to be a great hotel. We tried to celebrate our swankiness by going to the Olive Garden across the street, but it was closed. After a block of walking, we settled on Wendy's. My food was really good (probably because I was hungry), and after the meal, we called it a night. Tomorrow is full day exploring and driving!!