12 hours after leaving for work, I arrived back home. The only difference today was I traveled about 1100 miles round trip for my work day. A quick visit to a Minneapolis suburb was on the itinerary. 5 hours after arriving I would be back in a cab headed to an airport. Somehow I did manage to get everything done. Well, almost everything.
I was amazed how many people are at an airport at 5:30 in the morning. I am used to some long lines as the business crowd travels out to the coast for their meetings. But today I wasn't going to the D concourse and a trip on Midwest Airlines. I was heading to E and the dreaded Northwest.
I thought the day was going to have a bad start. I walked up to the security checkpoint hoping they would have a couple of electronic kiosks available for me to check in. They did. But there was only one machine. And the people in front of me had never used such a machine before. One by one came up and pecked away. I ended up explaining to one guy what he should be doing. I did get a reward for my efforts though. I did not know I could print out both ends of today's trip at the same time. I quickly checked in for my return flight before leaving. That worked out well.
I was a bit taken back by the boarding process Northwest used. First they allowed all elite flight members to get on the plane. Then it was all gold, platinum, silver and whatever precious metals they want to use. Finally they called up the aluminum members otherwise known as everybody else. Those who are in the back of the plane that they want to cram in. I was surprised that it wasn't a boarding-by-the-back-of-the-plane approach. I had read an article that said that neither way wasn't necessarily quicker than the other. Today it just meant people fighting to get on so they could take up all the overhead space that was available. Bastards!
The flight to Minneapolis was a bit bumpy but arrived on time. I had no problem getting a cab and soon we were on the highway. Wait. Did I say soon? It is never a good thing when you give a cabbie an address and they need to enter it into the navigation system. Fricken' great! Better yet, the system apparently hadn't been updated because it tried to send us over the bridge reconstruction. Looking at the bright side, I did get a nice detour through the University of Minnesota campus. Co-eds didn't look that good when I went to school.
The first 3 hours of work went smoothly. Before I knew it we were walking across a parking lot headed to lunch. I was with 3 women so you knew exactly where we were going to eat. Yep, Olive Garden. Don't mind the place but I think I wimpered when we passed a Khan's Mongolian BBQ to get to the Garden. I would have killed for some Mongolian BBQ. Instead we waited 15 minutes for some ok Italian. Cheese ravioli wasn't anything special.
Just before I left to head back home, I stopped in the restroom at the office. I couldn't help but notice the newspaper in one of the stalls. Every time I go up to Minneapolis for work I see a newspaper in the men's room stall. Is that some kind of Minnesota law? Must leave paper for the next guy on the crapper? Maybe I should start a trend in Milwaukee...
Cab for the trip to the airport shows up early. In a way it was a good thing. A late email had pissed off the person I was visiting and she was about to take it out on me. I had to talk her off the ledge but was also happy to get out. She was visibly agitated so I was happy to pack up and head out. I got a cab that knew where he was going so that was a plus. But I still didn't have time to have a drink at the airport before getting on the plane. I walked past a bar and spotted the bottle of Maker's Mark on the shelf. I heard a cry for me to come over and save him but I didn't have the time. So I made sure I gave some love to the bottle at home. Maker's and ginger is really hitting the spot.