Just got back from a deliriously wonderful 4 day vacation with the family plus Grandma and Grandpa. We went up to one of the "up north" resorts, this time going for the multi-bedroom condo slightly off the property but still quite within reach of all of the amenities.
It was 4 days of wonderful wrestling matches with Isaac and Bella, lots of cuddles, and much good food and wine. The weather was a bit cool for too much lake time, but we did hit the beach twice, and both times Bella wound up with soaked clothes, unable to keep from venturing into the water to look for stones and sea glass. Isaac was only soaked the first day, and by the second day we had figured out enough on-shore distractions to keep him from following his sister into the muck.
Fortunately, GrandView has a great indoor pool which Bella visited daily. On the day that Daddo came along, we went down the waterslide no fewer than 20 times together. Daddo's bones realized sometime later that it had been a bit jarring all of this water collision and Daddo had some soreness to account for.
Immediately upon returning on Monday, I had to pack up and head to Philly for meetings on Tues and Wed AM. For my Tuesday meetings, I had recalled my $80 taxi bill for the trip out to, waiting for, and back from the client up in the northern reaches of the city. I decided to try a different tack, and figured out the public transit route up there. The express subway picked me up 1 block from my hotel, and deposited me 3 blocks from the client site, with only 4 stops on the express line in between.
The (potential) client is up in a tough neighborhood, and I thought it good to walk in the shoes of my (potential) consultants to know if the subway is an option. It is, as long as you can make it past 1/2 block of roughness right outside the subway station. In talking to the CIO (who is growing to be a good acquaintance, perhaps 2 meetings away from friend) it's nice to know of this hospital: They do service to their community, and as such have lots of medicaid, medicare, and no-pay clients. But they're growing, and are looking to open another hospital in a "better" part of town with the express purpose of PAYING to keep the old hospital open. I thought that community focus was pretty cool.
I'm getting a feel for this town... I still think it's pretty tough and hardscrabble, but am growing to like it too, especially the more I walk it. Last night, I passed a woman at 10pm waiting for the bus with a little boy asleep on her shoulder - a little Isaac. I had all sorts of thoughts, but most of all, I realized how nice my 4 days with the family had been, and how lucky I am to have people like Isaac and Isabella and Pamela in my life.