I was part of a group of travelers attending the Hamad International Airport Expansion presentation in Doha. Most arrived the day before, but due to a family commitment, I arrived the following day. A driver picked me up at the airport and drove me to the sleek and modern Mondrian Doha, designed by Marcel Wanders of the Netherlands. The 270-room property was the first sbe hotel in the Middle East. My luggage was scanned and put aside for a hand check and the guard removed the little sleep sound device I use to cover city noise when I sleep and travel. “No speakers allowed,” the guard said, but once I explained what the item was he allowed me to take it. From there, check-in was swift, and I received a packet of information about dinner and the week’s agenda.
I flew into Tampa International Airport for a trip to Sarasota as a birthday celebration. Nearly everyone altered travel plans due to COVID; I was supposed to travel to Europe for a Uniworld river cruise, but it’s been delayed until next year. Picking up a car at Tampa is simple. You take the train to the main terminal and switch to an elevated train to the rental car center. Everything is well-marked, but people still get completely confused. I had rented a pickup truck as I planned to do a little work around the house — what else can one do these days? Pick-up was swift, and I ended up with a silver Toyota Tacoma, which fit the bill.