fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Moody in Minneapolis

I made a quick trip to Minneapolis this weekend. I was not in the best of moods, largely out of continued sleep deprivation. That moodiness is my excuse for this being a sort of whiny and boring entry. But the trip was a success as it let me complete a life list item.

Because of schedules and fares, I flew Delta. It's weird flying an airline I have no status on, but it was tolerable. (I put the miles on my Alaska Air account. Delta has a reputation for poor redemption rates and Alaska Air has better partners for my purposes.) The leg room sucked and I had a screaming child behind me who kept kicking my seat. (His father did stop the kicking, but not the screaming. Kids nowadays are not taught the concept of an indoor voice, apparently.) At least I had an empty seat next to me. On the plus side, they still have snacks, of sorts, on a 2 1/2 hour flight. They gave out pretzels, peanuts, and biscotti.

One of my gripes about airports is poor signage and MSP qualified in that regard. I did eventually find the area for hotel shuttles and waited and waited for the Hilton shuttle. After 20 minutes I called them. It took 42 rings for the front desk to answer and tell me the shuttle was on the way. (I know how many rings it was because it sends you back to the "choose your extension" prompt after every 12.) It turns out that they run the shuttle every half hour, which might have been useful information to put on the hotel website. When I did (finally!) get to the hotel, it was fine and they gave me a nice upgraded room.

In the morning, I took the bus to Saint Paul to do the capital volksmarch there. (I'm now up to 24 capitals, should someone care.) The walk started in the Crocus Hill neighborhood (interesting shops and restaurants) and continued along Summit Avenue, with its upscale historic homes, including some associated with F. Scott Fitzgerald. That was definitely the highlight of the walk, which continued past the Cathedral and on to downtown St. Paul, which is fairly deserted on the weekend. Even the Capitol had fairly few people around. I also checked out part of the Minnesota History Center, which is typical of its genre. The local touch showed up best in a gallery devoted to how Minnesotans deal with weather.

Then I took a bus to connect to the light rail and it was off to Target Field for the real reason for the trip. I have now been to a game at every major league ballpark! Target Field is okay and a notable improvement over the Metrodome, but really nothing special. It did have the shortest walk from transit stop to entrance gate that I've ever experienced. My seat was not wonderful - outfield, along the 3rd base line, with an obstructed view of the scoreboard. I could see the field fine, though, which is what really matters. The game was a reasonably good one and the fans were decently enthusiastic. It was also a pretty short game - about 2 hours and 20 minutes for the Twins to beat the A's. Minnesota has a reputation for high social capital and that was reflected in almost everybody singing along to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

It started to rain while I was waiting in line for the light rail back. A canopy over the platform would have been helpful, especially as the rain got pretty heavy just before the train came. I'll note also that the Hilton was a longer walk from the American Boulevard station than I'd realized and either the Embassy Suites or the Holiday Inn Express would have been a better choice in that respect.

The flight back did highlight one of the good things on Delta - at least on a 737. Namely, that plane had their interactive entertainment system. Which let me play their trivia game. It goes a bit slowly, but it still amused me to compete against other passengers. The metro was decently efficient and I got home a little after noon. After a few errands, I squandered much of the day napping.
Tags: baseball, life list, travel, volksmarch

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