Crazy Travel

Lately I have been put on this pretty insane travel schedule for work. I’m not exactly pleased with it but its what I have to do to keep the money flowing into the ole bank account. Right now I’m doing alternate weeks for travel. Under normal circumstances that would mean one week at home and one week at my client. This is a bit different. I have to travel Sunday through Thursday and Monday through Friday the other week. Needless to say that really cuts into family time since I’m not doing the regular Monday through Thursday.

This is the second week that I’m doing this schedule. It’s weekend I was really only home for a day and 12 hours before I had to go to the airport and catch a flight to New Jersey. In reality I’m catching a flight to JFK so that I can spend as much time at home as possible. I’m actually writing this blog post while I’m in the air to JFK which will get me into the NY Metro area at around midnight. After that, it’s a nice long drive to New Jersey and then an early morning wake up to walk to work. Needless to say things could be better but I just have to roll with this until the holidays. I also have a good amount of PTO scheduled so that I can spend some time at home instead of being at my client.

I’m just trying to stay awake long enough to get my free drink so that I can pass out for an hour or two before I have to wake up and deplane. Hurry up already flight attendants, I’m thirsty!

Finally I can eat Malaysian every week!

After some long years of suffering without Malaysian food in South Florida, my client work has taken me to lovely New Jersey (insert sarcasm) until the beginning of July. One of my co-workers was able to suggest a Malaysian restaurant fairly close to work. It’s not close enough to go there for lunch but it is close enough for us to go there for dinner which is pretty awesome. It’s technically only two stops away on the light rail from Jersey City to Hoboken and then about 2-3 blocks away from the station which isn’t bad at all.

The name of the place is called Satay and I would have missed it if someone didn’t point it out to me since the place is so small. I’m fine with hole in the wall places personally as long as the food is good. I have to say that this place is on par with the other Malaysian restaurants I’ve frequented over the years in the NY area. I was actually intending to go to Nonya in Little Italy last week in order to get my Malaysian food fix but now I don’t have to go all that way and burn so much money taking the subway and PATH trains just to get to Manhatten.

I think I’ll go there tonight or tomorrow to get my Malaysian fix before I head off to the Hawaiian islands for a week. I know there is no way I’m NOT getting my fix before the week is out.

Heading back to the Garden State

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Late last year I predicted that I wouldn’t be traveling to New Jersey for the rest of 2011and on that prediction I was pretty spot on. Oh how the travel and consulting gods love to tease me, it would appear that I will be spending a significant amount of time in New Jersey starting next week. Doing work for my client is fine but I really don’t like the location. I’ve spent a great deal of effort trying to avoid Jersey due to the numerous flight delays I’ve experienced in the past, the crazy traffic that always seems to meet my taxi when I need to get to the airport, or the general unpleasantness of the air quality because there seems to be a cloud of pestilence in the air near the airport at all times.

My travel schedule for the next month is going to be quite crazy due to the availability and cost of flights into Newark. In this month alone I have to fly United, American, and Delta. In addition to flying to Newark, for one week I have to fly out of LGA because there were no flights available into Newark. Due to my lack of travel last year, I’ve lost all status on all the airlines so you can bet that I’m going to be traveling in crappy seats and will most likely have to gate check something which will add even more travel time than I want. I have managed to find a Hilton property fairly close to my coworkers who all like to stay at Starwood and I registered for a challenge with Hilton so I can at least get back my Gold status with them in only 4 stays or 9 nights. Until I make Gold, no free Internet or breakfast for me.

I’m hoping it’s not all bad. I am fairly close to the path train that leads into Manhattan so I figure every once in a while I should be able to make it into the city for a meal or something. There are a few places that I want to go back to where I’ve eaten before just to try some new dish. I’ll also cruise food network to see if there is any place that I really need to try out. Maybe I can bring some food home for the family on the weekend. After all, my hotel room has a fridge and a microwave and it’s only a 3 hour ride back to lovely South Florida.

I don’t know how long I’ll be in Jersey, right now it’s slated for about 3 months which isn’t bad but it could go as far as 12. I’ll have to be careful not to pick up a weird accent, a spray on tan, or some gelled up hair during my time there. I know my wife’s friend is going to enjoy making fun of me because of all those times I teased her about constantly working in Jersey and she’s a proud New Yorker. I should probably try and invest in a rebreather mask to filter out the airborne pestilence that will consume me the moment I step foot off my plane in Newark……

I still hate the Garden State

I have been staffed to a project in New Jersey for the past few weeks and I can’t say that being in New Jersey for a longer length of time (more than a day trip to see family or go to Ikea) has changed my opinion of this place.  It might be because I’m stuck in the middle of nowhere with no ability to go out and eat and stuff since I share a car with my co-workers but I think its because this place is just so damn miserable all the time.  There are limited eating options which hurts (I’m getting really sick of Subway sandwiches all the time or hole in the wall bagel shops that don’t take credit cards) or the fact that whenever we try and get anywhere you need to go in a few hundred loops to actually get there because some fool decided that cars can only turn right and not left on a given road.

I’d say that NJ still holds the crown on the most hated state list that I keep.  I thought Virginia was going to take the crown but after being here for a bit, it still holds the title!  The one shining aspect which is really surprising is Newark Airport.  Granted its a really really small glimmer because only Crumbs (an awesome cup cake store) is the best place to get food.  There is a Jamba Juice somewhere but other than that, all the other places are crap.  I actually went to a pub with a co-worker for wings and they microwaved them and charged us like $10.  So not worth it!  Big silver lining is that I’m not coming back here for work for the rest of 2011.  I got to stay home this week to do my training and then I’m off to San Francisco for a different client which needs my expertise.  The only downer is that I have to leave on Sunday both weeks which is a big BOOO in my book

Goodbye Jersey!  Can’t say that this was fun in any way shape or form.