- Introduction & Austin to Philly
- Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel Philadelphia
- Palomar Hotel Philadelphia
- Dinner at Marigold Restaurant
- Dinner & Lunch at Morimoto
- Exploring Philadelphia
- Philadelphia to Austin on American Airlines
Except for one cross country mileage run, I was grounded for the last month or so. Work was hectic with a project deadline fast approaching (12-15 hour days and working weekends aren't fun!) and Lydia was finishing up her last semester of her law degree that she was taking remotely.
By the time we decided that Memorial weekend was a good time to get away, ticket prices to places we wanted to visit like Chicago and New Orleans were absurdly expensive. We had enough miles to hop over to Europe but we couldn't justify using the miles for just a short weekend. We finally decided on Philadelphia since there were some interesting tourist attractions like Independence Hall and the Rocky steps but more importantly, the plane tickets were reasonably priced at ~$350 a person. Not cheap or mileage run worthy but we couldn't complain considering we booked it a couple of days before. The outbound would be on United and the return would be on American.
Finding a hotel was also somewhat challenging. We initially couldn't find a downtown hotel for the first night and had to settle for an airport hotel but thankfully a Club Carlson redemption at the
Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel for 44,000 points opened up later. The hotel was asking for $350 a night so the 44,000 points was well worth the redemption. With the recent Hilton devaluation, I was done being loyal and wanted to try other chains. After reading rave reviews, I had status matched to Kimpton Inner Circle and decided to stay the final two nights at their Palomar Hotel.
I was disappointed that there was no earlier flight to do a free same day change to so we only left evening late on Saturday evening. After working out in the morning and finishing up some last minute work later that day, we were at the United club winding down the busy month with some beers while catching the end of the Champions league game between to Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
Only my upgrade had cleared for the short Austin to Houston flight. Lydia was the next person on the upgrade list but the cabin had already checked-in full. I guess someone didn't show up as the gate attendant came up the plane and upgraded Lydia to the seat next to mine right as before the doors were closed.
With both our upgrades already cleared for the Houston to Philadelphia flight, we skipped getting dinner at the airport and just headed to the nearest United Club thinking we would have dinner on the next flight. This turned out to be a big mistake as our 7.15pm flight was a snack service instead of dinner. The only food on offer on the 3 hour flight was a small serving of cold Mediterranean snack plate consisting of some cos-cous, pita chips, cold cuts and cheeses. The food was definitely disappointing considering we were drinking since we got to the airport at 4pm and needed some real food.
I did manage to stay awake for most of the flight watching Pi before nodding off to right before landing. We arrived on time a bit before mid-night when by now we were hungry and just wanted to get to our hotel and hoped there were still places open where we would grab a late bite.