On Wednesday, Wheezley (the significant other) and IÂ left Erie behind and schlepped back down to Pittsburgh (passing many more dead deer along the way). Again, not much to see until we got to Pittsburgh. Seriously, there aren’t even gas stations by the side of the interstate, just deer stands and the occasional barn/farm.
But we reached Pittsburgh soon enough. The first thing I noticedÂ wasÂ the houses — they all seemed to be perched on top of hills right next to each other. I guess building space is tight. After a couple miles of that, we rounded a bend and reached the downtown area where the three rivers converge.
We missed our exit and ended up circling through downtown (which also has lots of construction) and then going back across one of the bridges. The bridges were a little confusing. A cab driver told Wheezley that Pittsburgh has more bridges than any other city in the world. I don’t know about that, but there were a lot of them — and some of them only went one way, which added to our confusion.
But we eventually found the hotel and parked (by which point, Wheezley was growling andÂ demanding a drink and a cigarette). We grabbed our suitcases and lugged them a couple blocks to the hotel.
Ah, the hotel.Â A point of contention for many folks throughout theÂ convention.Â I was disappointed in the hotel. We had to cool our heels in the lobby for an hour and a half until we could check in, at which time I was informed that I wasn’t getting the room with two beds that I’d requested. (WheezleyÂ snores like a lumberjack and tosses and turns like he’s on a ship).
You see, the hotel was undergoing extensive renovations, even though it was going to host an event for 2,000 people for five days. You’d think the hotel would plan around that. But no. Even though I reserved my room a couple days after the convention registration opened last year, I was told I couldn’t have a room with two beds because there weren’t any available. I asked why I was able to reserve the room and was told there was a snafu with the registration system. I also asked a series of other questions about the rooms and why they weren’t available.
“Yeah, that’s not happening” was the overall response I got to most of my questions. I was told I could either go to another hotel or be stuck with what they had left. But hey, they were still going to honor the convention rate for the hotel rooms. Well, thankÂ heavens for small favors.
So I took what they had and managed to get a cot for the room. I had also asked for a room on a low floor and ended up staying on the 24th floor — the highest floor in the hotel. Shaking head.
But hey, I did have a great view of the three rivers, Heinz Field, and the rest of the downtown area, as you can see with the above picture.
Overall, the hotel just seemed too small to host an event the size of RT. Especially the bar area — it was tiny. Anyone who’s been to RT or the annual RWA conference will tell you that a large, roomy, well-stocked bar area is a major key to success. :joecool:
Up next: More RT stuff.