This isn't as easy as it was before 9/11, since only ticketed passengers can now get inside the secure area. Before, he could have met me inside, we'd have had a choice of a couple dozen quick eateries, and I wouldn't have had to worry about getting back in through security. In those conditions, even a one-hour layover would be enough.
I actually found out afterwards that there was another option outside the secure area, but Tony's suggestion of the Airport Marriott hotel's restaurant worked fine. The Riverbend Lounge was a cross between a bar and a restaurant, and had a very nice menu with a wide variety of food, some with local flavour and some just with local names. I suspect the Lancaster Turkey Club I had was just named for a local town, but it was delicious, served on great walnut bread, and with terra chips instead of potato chips. Good iced tea, too.
I think it's the first time in years that Tony and I have sat down and had a real conversation with no one else around, and it was great. We got to talk about his workplace, his dad, Annie, and his efforts prepping some teams to head to the gulf coast, among other things.
Getting back in through security was much quicker than I expected and allowed time for, but better safe than sorry. It was worth the trip outside, though, to see Tony and to have a fresh sandwich instead of the usual airport junk!
Speaking of Philly, on the way back yesterday, we did a really odd spiral climb-out after take-off from PHL, which meant I got to enjoy a breathtaking, crystal-clear nighttime view of the city for quite a while. We must've gotten most of the way to cruising altitude without leaving the metro area. Maybe they needed to slow down our approach to Ithaca, since we were going to be so ahead of schedule. The folks at ITH seemed almost disappointed we were so early; one of the ground crew there who I know (or at least, she knows my name, though I never remember hers) commented that they were getting paid double-time, so it's a shame they were going to get to go home so soon!