Just sitting in the airport waiting for the flight to be called. Had an interesting few days here in Philadelphia at a conference and workshop and also had a short walk around the downtown core. The visit got off to a poor start as first the taxi from the airport delivered me to the wrong Hyatt hotel (right chain – just wrong hotel) which was frustrating as I had given the driver a copy of the address etc.. To add insult to injury I tore my jacket on something as I got out of the car which was a potential problem as Thursday night was supposed to be a jacket and tie dinner at some posh resturant or other. Once I finally did get to the correct hotel I was able to get the jacket repaired and in the end it was not a probem at all.
Initially the name of the hotel didn’t register as being anything special – the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue is a lovely old (old of course is relative in the US – it was built in 1904) grand hotel with lots of marble, wood, stained glass windows, ornate features and trim plus creaky old elevators. It is very well preserved with reasonably priced TMobile wireless WiFi coverage in all the rooms, which are in very good shape and lovingly decorated – over all the place is a delight ! But there was just something about the place that nagged at the back of my mind, and finally yesterday someone sitting beside me let the cat out of the bag ! Its probably the most famous hotel in Philly – formerly called the Bellevue-Strafford and since renamed – where some 300 retired servicemen were infected, of whom 29 actually died in the first recorded instance of Legionnaires Disease back in 1976 !! I’ll be honest and admit that had I known the history, I might have been tempted to stay elsewhere, but you have to assume that after a problem like that it most probably has the cleanest and most sanitary heating and cooling system in the world and so must be perfectly safe.
I’ll be back in soggy Holland tomorrow and other than a slight cough and mild fever I feel fine 🙂