I have mixed feelings about work travels. Work travels allow me to see new US cities and have the opportunity to enjoy new culture and experiences. I also get to stay at luxurious five star hotels with my meals paid for. A lot of times when being hosted by another organization I get spoiled with nice dinners. My work trips are all fully paid for including flights, transportation, hotel stays and meals, and sometimes some nice perks. I feel truly blessed to have a job that takes me places. As fun as they sound, work travels are that — work. And they involve hard work of preparations that start way before, even months before, the actual trips.
Despite the stress, I always have fun. I get to visit museums, historic places, restaurants on my foodie list…. At the very least, I get to enjoy staying in my hotel room to rest and read. (And reading at airports and on the plane which I do not have a lot of time for in my everyday life, sadly.)
My most recent trip in October to Pasadena, CA was different, though. It was an overnight trip only. I literally went from the airport to my hotel room, slept, walked to the worksite the next morning, walked back to the hotel to retrieve my luggage, Lyfted it back to the airport and flew back home!
My work trips are often work-sponsored trips, or I get invited by other organizations. This trip, though, I was a private paid contractor. My flight and hotel were paid for, and I received fees for my services. Usually I would arrange to stay for an extra day to see the city but I did not on this one because of my role as a contractor, and honestly, I also just wanted to go home as this was in the middle of the work week.
Despite living on hotel and airport foods for a couple of days and despite the stress, I enjoyed the moments of solitude that solo travel brings. I always arrive at the airport 2 1/2 hours early and use that time to eat, drink coffee and read until my flight, and more reading on the plane.
This trip to Pasadena, CA (which is Southern California) was only a little an hour long from San Francisco (but I was still at the airport 2/12 hours early). When I got to my hotel room at the Sheraton Hotel, I was disappointed that the bathroom had a tub that looked like a regular house tub (not the fancy luxurious ones) so I skipped the tub and just enjoyed the shower instead. The room was small although the decoration was classy. I only got to sleep there anyway. I arrived there at dusk so I decided to not explore the city at night. The view from my room was beautiful, though.
I ordered room service and really enjoyed the VEGAN RAVIOLI with sautéed mushrooms, red pepper coulis and fried crispy onions, It was actually memorably delicious. I also enjoyed reading for an hour or so before I finally went to bed and braced myself for my presentation early the following morning.
THOUGHTS ABOUT MY STAY AT SHERATON PASADENA:
Would I stay at the Sheraton Pasadena again? Honestly, I have my reservations (no pun intended). The rate at the time of my stay was $359 before tax for a small bedroom with 2 queen size beds because there was no longer a single king or queen-size bed available. (Lucky that I did not have to pay for it!) I was also not impressed with the small bedroom and bathroom. For a much cheaper rate, I might stay here again. The lobby was opulent and the grounds were beautiful. The hotel has a shuttle that will take you to city’s landmarks but not hotel airport shuttle. (Cab fare from Burbank airport to the hotel was $60 one way. I took Lyft which was only $20 each way.)
I did not get to see any of City of Pasadena during the trip except the views from Burbank airport straight to my hotel and back to the airport. I got to enjoy the view of Pasadena’s majestic mountains from my Lyft ride, though. However, if I ever get a chance to go back to this city in the future, I want to see the following:
- Huntington Library Art Collections And Botanical Gardens — Check out Ayla Boswell’s lovely photos of Huntington Library on her blog.
- Eaton Canyon Natural Area Park and Nature Center
- Old Pasadena
- Rose Bowl Parade — Although seeing this parade is not on my list, the world-famous Rose Bowl Parade is held in Pasadena every New Year.