July 1, 2018: Youngstown

Sunday. I got up this morning in Louisville, Kentucky at the Tru by Hilton. I got to sleep in as I have not far at all to drive today.

I managed to book a Doubletree Hotel in Youngstown, Ohio, which is very near my meeting for tomorrow. I have never actually been to Youngstown before, even though I have been close to it so many times over the decades.

Today’s drive was just a few hours, and I made great time. There were other cars making a good pace through southern Ohio so I was able to drive with them and it seemed like a barely did a thing today.

I arrived in Youngstown in the late afternoon. I commented to dad (via text) that it looked just like Binghamton, New York. Same age, style, era, and run down in the same way.

I found the hotel and it turns out that it is one that has just been totally refurbished after decades of being closed, and is newly purchased by the Hilton brand. It is a classic property, an anchor of downtown Youngstown, and really critical that it has reopened. You can tell instantly that having it reopen is going to do wonders for this dead city. It’s position downtown could not be more perfect.

I got some time to talk to the general manager and learned that I was right, Youngstown is so much like Binghamton that they, in fact, sent everyone at the hotel to Binghamton for training before opening this one. I showed him my message that I had sent to dad saying how similar the two were just fifteen minutes earlier. We talked and since I was so interested, I was upgraded to the best room in the hotel! Top floor, high ceilings, great view. Best hotel that I’ve stayed in in a long time, and a great rate as I was one of the very first customers. Worked out perfectly.

I called Monica, but she had plans tonight and could not come and hang out. I have a lot of free time this evening.

I went down and had a nice dinner at the restaurant in the hotel. I sat outside on the “square”. It was a great restaurant with wonderful food. And quite busy. The hotel is newer than the restaurant and it was clearly a destination restaurant in town. I had a cocktail with dinner.

After dinner, it was just an early bed for me. Showered, talked to Jenn Jones for a while, have not heard from her for a few years, not since 2013 when we moved out of Dallas the last time. Then sleep. Tomorrow is going to be very busy. I have to travel in the morning, a meeting for a few hours, then a lot more driving up to dad’s.