Word that a giant blizzard was about to blast Connecticut meant it was time for the Channel 3 travel agent to plan a trip for the Eyewitness News family to a resort. Disneyland? Nope. Atlantis in the Bahamas? Uh-uh. Cue up the jealousy folks, we went on vacation to Hartford South.
Hartford South is the name the Sheraton has given to its newly acquired hotel in the capital city suburb of Rocky Hill. Glee and anticipation were palpable among our Channel 3 colleagues as we learned whether they would be the lucky ones to be awarded the vacation of a lifetime.
Channel 3’s Kara Sundlun kicked off our extended coverage of Blizzard Charlotte by anchoring our first two hour special Friday afternoon. Her duty done, Kara was disconsolate when she learned her resort wear would go unused and instead she would get to be home with our children, playing games in front of a fire, cooking and riding out the blizzard in the comfort of a warm home.
More than a dozen of us did make the cut, while others had to stay in other spartan hotels which we later learned would offer such amenities as cold and frigid running water, sporadic plowing, and a hunger-triggering dearth of food.
WFSB Promotion Manager Shelly Smith learned her car was useless in the snow
Truth be told, Hartford South had excellent food, and the service was outrageously above the top. The recently renovated hotel featured copious pillows, treatlets, and impromptu entertainment in the form of a stumbling woman who went on a liquor fueled rant about her apparently inconsiderate boyfriend in the parking lot at the height of the snowstorm.
The sudden booking of the trip sent Denise D’Ascenzo into a tizzy. She went on an urgent shopping trip for new swimsuits. “There is no way I am frolicking in the Hartford South pool with the Eyewitness News team in a bathing suit from 2012,” she bristled with indignation.
The main attribute of the Hartford South getaway is its proximity to the WFSB studios, and work took up most of our time, so regretfully there was no time to take advantage of the local tourist attractions. Instead, the highlight of the trip was a fleeting glance of the Eiffel Tower of high tension wires.
Office park snowshoeing is a popular sport that allows people to marvel at the scenic vistas of I-91 and the architecture fitting of a neighborhood adjacent to an expressway, but our free time was limited. Denise was also distraught over not being able to squeeze in leading a water yoga class for her comrades.
Assistant News Director Patience Hettrick trekked across snow covered road to make sure the news went on
On a serious note, Hartford South was great. The food is excellent..gourmet in fact. I cannot say enough good things about the people there. The workers were beyond helpful, with service that was personalized and heartfelt. Maintenance folks helped us dig out our cars, although some vehicles were beyond hope for a while. Many of of the Channel 3 folks had to hoof it to work, because we want to honor our commitment to our viewers to be on the air when we are needed.
It also gives a chance to bond. I had lunch with some colleagues I don’t ordinarily see because of different schedules.
We also learned all-wheel drive or four wheel-drive is not overrated. Our employees with these types of vehicles fared much better than those who do not. Denise’s Buick Enclave saved the day for us as it sliced through the heavy blizzard snow like “buttah.” I have an Enclave, too, but Kara took it home and sailed effortlessly down a snow covered I-91.
Categories: WFSB & WFSB history