I spent a few days in Minneapolis recently for work. I had flown through there before, but had never properly set foot in the town. I flew into the airport (as you tend to do) and was happy to see that everything is designed to keep you warm – including the nice little area where you wait for a cab. All cozy and friendly. One note about the hotel: I stayed in the Hotel Minneapolis which was an old bank that was converted to a hotel. It's owned by Marriott (via their 'Autograph' collection) and is nice because you get boutique-esque hotels *and* Marriott points. See, I'm a dork who chases points and miles now.
Speaking of Airports
The airline for this trip was Sun Country Airlines. Since I'm part of the generation who spent a bit too much time drinking crap-ass wine coolers, this was a fun (for the youngsters, there used to be a brand of wine coolers called "Sun Country Coolers" – I'm hungover just thinking about that now). Sun Country is based in Minneapolis and flies primarily to warmer climates (there's a joke there somewhere) and is staffed by nice folks who you would imagine would work for an airline based in Minneapolis.
For the lunch service in the main cabin, you had the choice of a personal pan pizza or a hamburger.
Also, my one-way ticket cost me $100.
Also, I upgraded to First Class for $80.
Also, there were empty seats in First Class as I suppose other people thought $80 was too much for an upgrade?
In fancy first class, we were served the following…
- Drinks a plenty. But oddly everyone was ordering orange juice at first. No mixed drinks (on other airlines, I've sat next to people ordering Jack & Cokes at 9am).
- A cheese plate and saltines
- A ham and cheese sandwich along with a small 'salad' of tomatoes and mozzarella
- One chocolate chip cookie the size of my face
So, maybe there is an issue with moderation and portion control, but it was fine lunch. I had a glass of red wine to combat all the cheese and cholestorel.
The first day I had nothing planned and went out to the Walker Arts Center and looked at some art which infuriated me to no end as art normally does. But, that is a rant for another day. The rant will be called, "Former Art Major Hates Art".
They did have a huge (literally) Cindy Sherman retrospective that was interesting and/or horrifying (clowns!) and/or frustrating. Were there focus issues with some of the photographs? Was that intentional?
Here's a fun topic to discuss in the future: why do objects in the gift shop seem more relevant and artistic and meaningful than the art in the museum?
For real: Who likes clowns?
No one likes clowns!
No more clowns! They so scary!
Then there was walking
I spent the next couple of hours walking. Looking at a map, the museum was only 1.2 miles from my hotel. That's nothing. I probably walk that every day to & from work. It was a sunny day so I walked back. The only issue of course is that it's (a) January and (b) Minneapolis and soon the wind picked up and I regretted this decision. Luckily I ran into an entrance for the Skyway.
But you take the skyway
It don't move at all like a subway
It's got bums when it's cold like any other place
It's warm up inside
Sittin' down and waitin' for a ride
Beneath the skyway
The Skyway is a great idea. Eric(W) described it best as 'hamster tubes' running between each building and this is kind of what it is. The second floors of each building will have little bridges running across to their neighboring building allowing you to walk almost anywhere downtown without going outside.
Here are the issues:
- Each building kind of controls their own part of the Skyway, so there are not uniform opening or closing times
- Since each building is different, there isn't a set route through each building
- Not every building has connections on every side
- Signage seems to be lacking
After the art museum, I decided to go out for dinner and found a restaurant I wanted to go to. I looked at my SkyWay map and thought, "eh, this should be easy - I'm somewhat smart".
Now, when I had walked back from the museum and did the SkyWay, it went really well. Very easy, but it was also a straight shot. When I went out for dinner, it wasn't a straight shot.
I walked and walked. Hit a dead-end and turned around. Walked and walked. Tried using the GPS on the phone which kind of worked. The point I realized that I was lost was when I strolled into this one lobby/mall for the third time. Apparently I had gotten stuck in some sort of loop.
I was hungry and tired of walking and lost and if I had run into this same lobby a fourth time I suspect I would have broken down in tears.
Mrs. Robot asked, "Why didn't you just ask someone? They are all super friendly there."
Yea, I don't know why I didn't ask.
As I sat there staring at the crappy map the hotel gave me and my phone, I whispered a prayer to the almighty that went something like this:
All mighty robot, if you will guide me back to my hotel room tonight, I promise to eat dinner at the hotel and not leave the premises until tomorrow
I made it back to my hotel. I had a suspiciously good piece of salmon for dinner and retired to my room.
The crappy map is not the same one that is above. That is the one I found on the intertubes and then threw out the crappy hotel one.
I wrote this while I had the flu.
Wash your hands after reading.