Tuesday, March 17, 2009

In Milwaukee

The weather has been unusually warm in the mid-west for the past few days.

Today's high in Chicago was 72 degrees. That's 25 degrees above normal! I would have enjoyed the weather more, except I was prepared for the opposite and brought warmer clothes for my trip (sweaters, etc.).

I made the drive from Chicago to Milwaukee this afternoon. Here's my latest ride:
2009 Nissan Rouge
I was finally upgraded for once!!! It's a 2009 Nissan Rogue, a new "crossover" model. So far, I am really enjoying this car. It's a dramatic improvement over the Chevy Aveo...but almost any car would be a huge improvement over the Aveo.

Back to the weather - a record high temperature of 75 was set this afternoon in Milwaukee (the previous high was 73 back in '66).

Off to Madison tomorrow...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

In Chicago

I arrived in Chicago on Friday.

My "taxi" made it! It was a long drive - starting out in Pittsburgh, with stops in Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and W. Lafayette (about ~850 miles!).

I'm here until Tuesday morning, when I continue my road trip to Milwaukee and Madison.

I love Chicago - it's one of my favorite cities in the world. Even though I've been to Chicago many, many times before, the city has so many place to see and things to do. This weekend, the city is host to many St. Patty's day events. Yesterday, I went to see the "greening" of the Chicago River and the St. Patty's Day Parade. I'll post some pics soon. Off to explore some new places...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Off to Cleveland!

Can you guess which car is mine? (HINT: which car is not like the others?)
parking lot @ Hampton Inn - Pittsburgh/University Center
If you weren't able to figure it out...here's a closer look:
2009 Chevy Aveo in Summer Yellow
Four more days with this beauty... M and P (thanks for the comments about a taxi service) - I am working on my fee structure and will post it soon.

Off to Cleveland now!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Greetings from Pittsburgh

I just happened to mention the Chevy Aveo in a recent posting and guess which car I get today?

A "Summer Yellow" 2009 Chevy Aveo. (yellow?!?) Oh well, I'm stuck w/ this car until Friday.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Planes, trains, and automobiles

I'm finally home! I've been traveling since Feb. 25th.

In the past 9 days I've:
- taken 1 train ride
- driven 2 rental cars
- taken 3 flights
- stayed in 4 hotels
- and been to 5 cities (Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento)
(how convenient that the numbers above just happened to work out!)

Basically, this is going to be a pit-stop - I'm headed to Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon...just enough time for me to do some laundry and cut my hair before I leave again.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Night and day

Over the past week, I've driven two rental two cars - an '09 Toyota Corolla and an '09 Chevy Cobalt.

Both are mid-entry level compact cars, but it's amazing how different they are. The Corolla is a very decent car. I would be happy driving this car everyday.

The Cobalt is a complete disaster - hard plastics throughout the interior, weak brakes, underpowered engine (constantly wheezing as if it suffers from asthma), poor gas mileage, and a terrible turn radius (like maneuvering a van). It's a tiny step up from a Chevy Aveo (which is also one of the worst cars ever...right up there w/ the PT Cruiser).

It's pretty evident to me why the US automakers are failing. With the exception of a few vehicles, cars in the lower price levels by GM, Ford, and Chrysler are inferior in quality to those offered by European and Asian automakers. The rental car companies are a major purchaser of these (U.S. automaker) vehicles and I'm sure the three automakers would be doomed w/ out this segment. Note - Hertz is owned by Ford. (not any more...so stratch that. Thanks for the reminder Tim!)

Just my opinion!

Is GM almost gone?
General Motors Crash Warning (from Forbes)