It was hot and at times quite humid during the week. I didn't sleep well at all in Baltimore. I think my hotel must have been either close to a fire station or a police station as all night I kept getting woken up by one siren after another. From Baltimore I traveled to New York for some meetings on Friday (I actually got off in Stamford CT as it was more convenient for my friend who met me at the station). I traveled by train for the first time in a while in the US as it was both cheaper and more convenient than flying for that particular leg of my trip. I have to say it was a very pleasant experience. I took the new Acela Express service that Amtrak runs between Washington DC and Boston. I would definitely take this train again. It was very comfortable, with plenty of space to work and even had AC power that I could plug my laptop into. I got the impression that a lot of people were taking the train for the first time to avoid the travel delays being reported by many of the airports in the North Eastern United States. The train was full. I stayed with my friends and his family in Connecticut on Thursday night and I slept really well (no sirens - or any other loud noises for that matter). It was great to not have to check-in to yet another hotel and spend the night with some good friends that I don't see as often as I would like. I'm very grateful to them for putting me up for the night.
I got home about 1:30am Saturday morning after getting delayed in both New York and Chicago by a mixture of bad weather and an Instrument Landing System (ILS) failure on one of the runways at Chicago O'Hare airport. The weather in New York was bright and sunny but we could not leave on time due to the problems at O'Hare. Meanwhile, we're in the middle of a really bad drought in Central Texas. I wish some of the heavy rain I had to deal with in Chicago would find its way here. We have been over 100 degrees Fahrenheit every day for the past several weeks.