Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hotel: DoubleTree Hotel Anaheim/Orange County

City: Orange, California (Orange County)
Chain: DoubleTree
Property: DoubleTree Hotel Anaheim/Orange County
Address: 100 The City Drive, Orange, CA 92868
Phone Number: (714) 634-4500

Check Out: August 2008

8 stars out of 10

Nice hotel, although proximity to Disneyland makes it cater to tourists more than business. A little noisy in the halls at night, etc.

Right off interstate 5, easy to get to.


  • Safety: 1
  • Dining: 1
  • Bar: 1 (untested)
  • Internet: 1 (not free, available throughout hotel)
  • Wireless in Common Areas: 1
  • Work Space, Power: 1
  • Shower: 0 (came out the wall around 6 foot)
  • Air Conditioning, Bed: 1
  • Common Areas: 1
Total: 8

Directions: Off I-5 south of Disneyland exits (College Drive?)

Last Visit: August 2008 ($150)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hotel: Westin DFW Airport

City: Irving, Texas
Chain: Westin (Starwood)
Property: Westin DFW Airport Hotel
Address: 4545 W. John Carpenter Freeway, Irving, Texas 75063
Phone Number: (972) 929-4500

Check Out: August 2008

8 stars out of 10

Hotel is a very nice business class hotel. Unexpected was the noise level in the hallway for a hotel in this price range in the middle of the week - drunken conversation in the hall around 1 AM, little kids yelling in the hallway around 6 AM.

Room was nice and comfortable. Flat panel television mounted on the wall with an extremely low res signal coming into it (so what's the point) and a remote with dead batteries. Other than that, very clean, nice staff, very comfortable bed, mini-bar in the room, and plenty of plugs for charging batteries.

Wireless Internet signal weak in rooms at the end of the hall - wired Internet did not work.


  • Safety: 1
  • Dining: 1 (several choices, breakfast buffet a little overpriced for what it was but coffee was good)
  • Bar: 1 (untested)
  • Internet: 1 (not free, weak signal)
  • Wireless in Common Areas: 0
  • Work Space, Power: 1
  • Shower: 1
  • Air Conditioning, Bed: 1
  • Common Areas: 1
Total: 8

Directions: Near DFW

Last Visit: August 2008 ($unknown - company paid but I think around $170)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Flight: AirTran 801 DFW-BWI

Departing From: Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW)
Traveling To: Baltimore, MD (BWI)
ETD: 4:08PM August 12, 2008 CST (Actual 4:20 PM)
ETA: 8:38PM August 12, 2008 EST (Actual 8:08 PM)
Est. Duration: 3 h 30 m (Actual 3 h)
Departure Gate: E17
Arrival Gate: 27
Seat: 22D
Equipment: Boeing 717

Exit row seat, so not too bad. Long flight - seat wouldn't stay up. No one in the middle seat, which is especially nice on a long flight. Was able to open the laptop and get work done for a change.

Left a few minutes late, arrived about a half hour early which is especially sweet. A little turbulence, but nothing bad.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Airports: Dayton International Airport (DAY)

Airport Name: Dayton International Airport
Location: Dayton, OH USA
Airport Web Site:

Medium sized airport - 2 main concourses about 22 gates on each. Quite a long walk for an airport this size. Some food services in the center of the two concourses, but once you take the long walk down the concourse there isn't much there.

Free WiFi in concourse C - a rare luxury. Not too bad on the bandwidth either.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Restaurant: Moon Gate

(301) 657-3740
4613 Willow Lane
Bethesda, MD 20815

A sister restaurant to China Gourmet in Kensington, and the former Moonlight Gourmet in Rockville. Moonlight Gourmet was our go-to place for a long time until it closed down a little while ago. We miss it a lot, including the staff there.

Moon Gate is similar in downtown Bethesda. Similar menu with some minor differences. Municipal parking across the street, so easy to park and get to, right off Wisconsin avenue.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel Miami

City: Miami, FL
Chain: Four Seasons
Property: Four Seasons Hotel Miami
Address: 1435 Brickell Avenue, Miami, Florida 33131
Phone Number: (305) 358-3535

Check Out: May 2008

9 stars out of 10

Obviously, as nice as hotels get, and the only reason I was here was because of a convention in the building. The hotel is incredibly nice and stylish, and also in the heart of Miami. The bottom 9 or so floors of the building are office space, so the common areas, dining, pools, etc. are actually about 10 stories up. So, while in the middle of town, its up and away from the noise of the street and overlooking water. A resort in the sky.

Service and staff were as good as they could be, influenced by the culture of Miami. A lot of fun dining on paella and sangria, and also funny teaching a temporary bartender how to make a martini ("just pour gin in the shaker with ice").

Note: this hotel is beyond the expectations of an expense account for business travel.


  • Safety: 1 (never left 10 stories up, don't know about the neighborhood)
  • Dining: 1 (unbelievably good, pricey)
  • Bar: 1 (top notch)
  • Internet: 1 (not free, should be deducted at this price)
  • Wireless in Common Areas: 0
  • Work Space, Power: 1
  • Shower: 1
  • Air Conditioning, Bed: 1
  • Common Areas: 2 (bonus)
Total: 9


Last Visit: May 2008 ($345 through convention)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hotel: Marriott Courtyard Collegeville PA

City: Collegeville, PA
Chain: Marriott
Property: Courtyard by Marriott Collegeville
Address: 600 Campus Drive, Collegeville, PA 19426
Phone Number: (484) 974-2600

Check Out: June 2008
Updated: February 2012
7.5 stars out of 10

Your basic Courtyard experience. The hotel sat on top of a hill with nothing near it for a while, but there is now a large shopping area across the highway with several places to eat including Olive Garden and PF Chiang, a Best Buy, Wegmen's grocery, and many others. 15 min drive to King of Prussia if you need shopping overload.

The lobby was redecorated late 2011, and a sit down bar and dining experience has been added. This is a stronger feeling of the "home away from home" Marriott seems to be trying to create with the Courtyard brand, with a living room type seating area with a fireplace. An improvement of the original hotel, more of a full service experience now.


  • Safety: 1 (in the middle of nowhere)
  • Dining: .5 Breakfast only (didn't try it). Free coffee & tea
  • Bar: 0, beer for sale though
  • Internet: 1 (free)
  • Wireless in Common Areas: 1
  • Work Space, Power: 1
  • Shower: 1
  • Air Conditioning, Bed: 1
  • Common Areas: 1
Total: 7.5


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Last Visit: November 2008 ($109 a night through Orbitz)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Flight: US Air 3088 DCA-IND

Flight: US Air 2043 BOS-DCA

Departing From: Indianapolis, IN (IND)
Traveling To: Washington, DC (DCA
ETD: 4:10PM February 18, 2008
ETA: 6:15PM February 18, 2008
Est. Duration: 1 h 30 m
Departure Gate: D1
Arrival Gate:
Seat: 9D
Equipment: Embraer 135

We had made a pack to avoid US Air, and this reminded us why. Switched to an earlier flight because we got to the airport way earlier, and the flight was delayed back to the time of the original flight. US Air's ability to hit schedules is getting very bad.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Restaurant: Sakura - Olney

(301) 260-7676
18143 Villiage Mart Drive
Olney MD 20832

Combination Japanese steak house and Sushi Bar. In a strip mall.

Restaurant: Cafe Deluxe Bethesda

Elm Street (Bethesda Row)
Bethesda, MD

Same menu as the Tysons Corner location. The small pizzas are great, the salads are great. Seared tuna is a personal fave. This location is just a big square room - noisier than the Tyson's location (which is no quiet joint either), and the crowd is much more families than kids compared to Tysons which is more of an adult gathering place.

Parking is easy behind in the municipal lot. Lots of alternatives in the neighborhood as well.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Restaurant: Carrabba's Italian Grill - Southport

4690 Southport Crossing
Southport, Indiana 46237

Same as others. A little heavy on the fried and cream sauce options, but nice place for business trip dining with others when trying to not spend too much.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Restaurant: The Rusty Pelican

2735 West Coast Highway
Newport Beach, California 92663

Upscale seaside restuarant, next to a marina. Had lunch there, and it was dark inside, bright outside. But, very good food and service.

Not too far from Long Beach airport, 10 miles or so.

US Air flight 3897 on...

US Air flight 3897 on the 9th of January left 8:35 from Washington Reagan Airport to Indianoplis airport seat 3A unremarkable flight. listen

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Flight: US Air #3088 IND-DCA

US Air flight 3088 from Indianapolis to Washington Reagan, sat seat 11A, we got airport early and we were able to catch a flight should've missed or delayed two hours early. Tiny little Embraer 175, about 5 feet of headroom in this little guy.