Hopping into town

Greetings! I write from just about halfway between the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Today was an unusually tiring travel day for me. I’ve said a number of times that I don’t like to fly and here’s why: it’s the only activity I know of that is exhausting when all you’re doing is sitting down.

On the Albuquerque to Chicago flight, the plane was nearly full but I was fortunate enough to get the only seat on the plane with legroom. The space in front of my seat was the area that had to be kept clear for the emergency exit. It was nice to have while we were in the air, but the landing was so abrupt and the deceleration so heavy that I would have wound up in that space if not for the seatbelt. The lady sitting next to me gave me a slight pat on the shoulder and said, “yes, it’s a very short runway.”

The Chicago-Minneapolis leg was completely full, but it wasn’t until I arrived that I learned I’d gone on a trip with thousands of passengers. I’m not exaggerating. I was in the very back of the plane, so once we’d reached the gate, I still had to sit there nearly ten minutes while everyone else collected their things and left. So I watched the bags being unloaded while I waited. Once the luggage was off, a large number of funny-looking crates were unloaded. How were they funny-looking? Here are a few:

click to enlarge

In case you can’t see, they have several holes in the sides covered with a mesh netting. Through those holes I could see what looked like egg cartons—sans egg. I saw at least a dozen of these crates being unloaded before one passed with a label I could read:

Live Crickets
keep warm
please rush

When I got off the plane, something happened that really endeared the place to me. It seems so small and simple, but really made me feel welcomed. As I entered the bag claim area, an announcement came over the PA, welcoming us to Minneapolis/St. Paul and telling us which carousal our bags would be on. It was about this point that I realized it was probably a real person making the announcement, and that brought a smile. She then gave directions to the various modes of ground transportation, then added “Thanks for coming, and you all have a real good day now.”

Well, like I said, it’s not terribly late, but I’m exhausted, so I’ll pack it in for the day. Tomorrow I’ll visit the Mall of America (because it seems to be expected, somehow) and see where else the muses of the Twin Cities take me, and then the Twins await on Thursday.


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