Have you noticed that the title of this blog is “The Mundane Travel Blog”? Trips like this are why; put in a day at work, drive down from Cortland NY to Exton PA Wednesday night, audit at the client Thursday morning, and drive back Thursday night. Short and sweet.
Wednesday Oct 26th through Thursday Oct 27th, 2016
The Rental Car
Rented a car from National at the Syracuse Hancock Airport, where there isn’t much choice of vehicles, nor is there an Emerald Isle for Exec members. From the options available, I picked a 2016 Chevy Malibu, which is actually a really nice mid-sized car, and well rated by Consumer Reports.
It’s pretty much a straight shot from Cortland NY down Route 81 and Route 476 South through PA to Exton, but it’s a bit of a haul at a little over 4 hours in each direction.
I can’t say I’m wild about the Northeast Extension (Rt. 476) through Pennsylvania. There’s virtually no shoulder along the side of the road, and there’s miles of road construction along the way.
The drive down was uneventful, but heading back Thursday night, the traffic was heavy around Philadelphia, and the weather was terrible; 39-40F, dark and rainy.
$162.42/night including all taxes.
This is a pretty standard Hilton Garden. I was only here overnight, and didn’t get a chance to visit the exercise facility, business center, pool or any of the other amenities.
The hotel is situated right next to Interstate Rt. 76. Be aware that if you have a room on the North-West side of the hotel, you will definitely be able to hear road noise from your room. If you’re a heavy sleeper it won’t be a problem, but if you’re a light sleeper, I’d suggest asking for a room on the South side of the hotel.
The staff at the front desk was friendly at check-in as was the wait staff at breakfast the next morning.
The room was basic with two queen beds, desk, the microwave/Kurig/mini-frig. No issues at all. The only thing that was a little unusual was the use of vinyl tiles over ceramic tiles in the bathroom. From the pictures you can see that they’re a little harder to clean than hard ceramic tiles. The bathroom included the usual conditioner, lotion and shampoo.
The hotel has WiFi throughout, and I was happy to find a RJ45 jack on the wall above the desk…and it worked!! The wireless also seemed to work fine.
Pumpkin Carving Contest:
My stay was a few day before Halloween, and clearly the hotel staff decided to have a little fun with a pumpkin carving contest. Guests could vote for their favorite, although I have no idea what the prize was for winning. I liked #6, the cannibal pumpkin.
I only visited the restaurant for breakfast. Like other Hilton Gardens, it’s a semi-buffet, with continental breakfast available on the buffet, and you can order eggs, omelets, hash brown, etc. $16.23.
One nice amenity the hotel had was for guests driving electric or pulg-in hybrid vehicles. Heading out in the morning I spotted two electric vehicle charging stations.
There was no fine dining on this trip. Breakfast at the hotel, a working lunch at the client’s facility, and dinner at the Allentown rest stop on the Northeast extension (Interstate 476). As with most highway rest stops, there weren’t a lot of options for vegetarians, so it was a slice is veggie pizza from Famous Famiglia.
There wasn’t any time for sightseeing on this trip down. Exton sits about 35 minutes West of Philadelphia, and I can tell you that at 5:00 pm, the traffic to get to Rt. 476 North was pretty bad; too many cars on too little highway.
- Nights from home: 1
- Miles driven: 558 miles
- Flight miles/segments: 0/0
- 2016 nights on the road (so far): 57