Sunday, January 24, 2016

Surviving 24 hours in Pittsburgh through a blizzard

Traveling in general is stressful, but traveling for business and through a snow storm is an absolute nightmare.  Last week I had to fly out to Pittsburgh for a major presentation that I was giving.  Long behold, the morning I had to fly out a nasty snowstorm swept through the Detroit area, along with the normal rush hour commute, I felt like it was nearly impossible to make my flight on time.  Luckily I was able to pass through security and make it to my gate with 10 minutes to spare.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t out of the clear yet…not even close!  We ended up sitting on the tarmac for an additional hour due to high cross winds.  

By the time I finally made it to Pittsburgh, the same storm that struck Michigan, was now affecting the Pittsburgh area.  After about an hour on the highway, I made it to the office safe & sound.  Only problem was I had to push my presentation out an additional hour and half.  Luckily I have a great team and they were very understanding and flexible.  By that time, my attitude was “what else could possibly go wrong?”  Turns out I did great on my presentation and was able to relax.  

After work, I had to walk a few blocks to my hotel, the Courtyard Marriott downtown Pittsburgh.  Rule of thumb when travelling in the winter, always be prepared for anything.  In this scenario I packed snow boots, and good thing I did since the streets of Pittsburgh were snow covered and slushy.  Yes, you may look silly, but trust me you will save your nice pair of heels.

After checking in to my hotel, I decided to grab some dinner at the adjacent Italian restaurant called Sonoma Grille.  The food was good and decently priced.  I ended up having the Bacon-Potato soup and for an entrée, the bronze salmon along with their house pinot.  The food ended up to be pretty good and some dishes were pretty “unique” for my taste.

A few key items that I always like to pack during winter travel are boots, a pair of “nice” jeans, and a sweatshirt (these are in addition to your typical business attire you would normally pack).  I also like to pack a few meal/protein bars in my carry on.  As I mentioned before snow boots are great for winter business travel because you never know what situations you may be faced with while on the road.  If your car gets stuck and you are wearing a pair of heels, this may not be the best scenario for you to start digging out your car. 

 I also like to pack a pair of nice jeans, because if you are stuck on an airplane wearing a skirt, this may not be the most comfortable thing to wear for several hours on end (ladies, I think you know what I mean).  You can always change into your nice dress clothes once you land, this is exactly what I did on this trip since I was in the midst of a snowstorm.  Lastly a sweatshirt is always nice to have in case you get cold on the airplane, or you want to change in to comfortable clothes for the plane ride back, this is always a nice to have.  

I took a few pictures of a nice business outfit that wouldn’t get trashed through the winter elements and also the three types of shoes I usually pack.  Hopefully some of these tips will help you the next time you get stuck travelling through a snow storm.