Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Oh, No I DI-unt

You'll have to read that title out loud for it to make sense.

This week's TWD task, selected by Stefany at Proceed With Caution, is Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters. I opted out of this one. The planets just weren't lined up right -- I was traveling the week before and the thought of baking cookies didn't motivate me out of my "thank God I'm finally home" lethargy.

So instead -- random travel notes!

I landed in Minneapolis on Sunday at a very-respectable 4:00 pm, plenty of time to drive from the airport to my downtown hotel, get checked in, and maybe even take a nap before my 7:00 dinner engagement. I picked up my rental car, programmed the hotel's address into the GPS, and blithely drove toward the tall buildings, following the directions so kindly provided by the lovely woman in the Garmin.

"Exit to the right. Drive three miles." I exited to the right and drove three miles.

"Enter the highway in one point three miles." I entered the highway in one point three miles.

"Exit to the right onto 35W." I exited to the right onto 35W.

"Drive two hundred twenty miles."

Now... I had never been to Minneapolis before. But I was pretty sure that you should be able to get from the airport to downtown without going through Des Moines.

An hour and a half later, I got it all figured out and checked into my hotel.

Minneapolis is a very, very pretty city -- lots of trees in the downtown area. On the way to dinner, I asked my friend a question I ask wherever I go: "What is the local cuisine here?"

She thought about it for a second or two, then said, "Anything on a stick."

After a Monday full of meetings in Minneapolis, I caught a late flight to Detroit. In case you ever wondered what second-string NASCAR drivers do for a living when they can't race anymore -- I'm pretty sure they're driving the Hertz shuttles at 1:30 in the morning at DTW.

Friday afternoon, I was finally able to make my way home. I arrived back at DTW in time to get a late lunch before flying south -- and indulged in some iPhone photography (a neglected art).

I ate at a sushi bar in the Northwest terminal. My expectations for airport sushi were pretty low, granted -- but if your sushi is served within ten minutes of ordering it, be very, very scared.

I learned a valuable lesson about unfiltered sake on this trip. When this bottle arrived, I thought how odd it was that it was clear. I verified that it was, indeed, unfiltered, and drank it. As I got to the bottom of the bottle, the liquid I poured into the little sake cup turned milky. All of the sediment was at the bottom. It was ... something less than pleasant.

I've been spoiled. Every time I've been served unfiltered sake before, the servers have shaken the bottle up before turning it over to me. I didn't know to shake it myself. I felt like George HW Bush trying to use the scanner in the grocery store.

The other amusing thing about my airport sushi experience is that several giggling Japanese tourists stopped to take pictures of each other in front of the restaurant sign. I suspect that the Japanese version may not have been an accurate translation.

There are two things about the Northwest terminal at DTW that fascinate me. One is this really cool fountain they have at the intersection of the concourses. The picture I took sucks, so I won't post it here -- but I found a video on YouTube:

The other thing is the tunnel you have to go through to get to Concourse C. It is wide, with a low ceiling -- and a laser light show to rival anything you've ever seen set to Pink Floyd music.

If I were a stoner, I would be simultaneously thrilled and terrified by this.

(Good thing I'm not a stoner, right, Mom?)

Next week: Denver. (The Denver trip was supposed to be last week, but there was some trouble getting hotel rooms. Some big meeting or another was going on. Probably Shriners.)


MacDuff said...

Ohhhhh snap. Two of my favorite things in life: Detroit and meat on a stick. Although, since moving to Boston, my meat on a stick fetish has been replaced by meat in red plastic baskets. They're not as into sticks here. Can't say the same for the sake, that stuff looks, smells, and presumably tastes like isorophyl rubbing alcohol. With or without floaters.

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Hi Kelly! I know you from TWD and have given you a blog award. See my blog!

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