50 State Challenge Map

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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Minneapolis arrival

The last 36 hours have been somewhat interesting.  Picking up from last night, my flight to Minneapolis was canceled due to bad weather.  I understand.  It happens.  I was rebooked for a 6 am flight this morning.  Lucky for me my sister lives in Arlington so I stayed at her place to get up and leave early.  Unlucky for me I couldn't fall asleep until 2 am with my alarm set for 4:30.  I'm a bit tired today.

But, I got up and to the airport with time to spare ... or so I thought.  It probably would have been wise for me to look at my new departure gate since I was rebooked.  I - without thinking - went to the security checkpoint from last night.  That's the entry for gates 10-22.  My new gate was 27.  Not good.  I spent 25 minutes getting through security only to realize I had to go back out and through security all over again.  I pleaded with the TSA agent to let me go through security at my gate considering I've already been screened.  Nope.  That wasn't happening.

I should have taken a picture of the line once I arrived at the checkpoint.  I got there at 5 am.  Flight left at 6.  The line had no end in sight.  I was panicking.  If I missed this flight after a. I was luckily rebooked and b. I got to the airport early enough to make it but was lacking focus on my gate instructions ... I was not going to be happy.  The line was moving, but it was moving slow.  I looked at my watch every five minutes and it seemed like we weren't advancing.  By the time it hit 5:40 I was still in line and hadn't reached the TSA agent to flash his light on my driver's license and scribble on my boarding pass.  I did by 5:45.  I tossed my laptop in the basket, threw everything from my pockets out, raised my hands, let TSA "screen" me, and ran to the gate.  I made it.  I then fell asleep until we landed in Chicago.  Then boarded for Minneapolis and fell asleep again.

I finally arrived in Minneapolis at 10:30 am CT.  Expo was open until 7.  More than enough time.  Weather was looking good.  I decided to take the light rail downtown after the cab told me the fare would be roughly $45.  I was cruising.  Yeah, not so fast.

We had to get off the light rail prior to my downtown stop because of construction.  OK - no big deal.  I got on a bus heading downtown and was going to be dropped a few blocks from my hotel.  However, before the bus even drove half a block everyone was jolted forward as the bus came to a screeching stop trying to not hit a car that moved directly in front of it trying to cross four lanes.  Not a smart move.  The bus wrecked the entire right side of this guy's car.  A pic follows after this post.  Seriously, what a dumb move.  I was left thinking what more could happen to try to get in my way.  After an hour of waiting around for another bus to come pick us all up, we were on our way.

After that it was smooth sailing.  I checked into my hotel.  I took a walk over to the Expo to pick up my packet.  It's a beautiful day in Minneapolis today.  Sunny skies and 75.  From there I went to Pizza Luce, considered by many to be the best pizza in the city.  It was quite delicious.

After lunch I got in a cab and basically told him to take me to a lake.  I didn't care which one.  I was in the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" so no way I was going to miss out on some lake shots on such a beautiful day.  I was taken to Lake Calhoun in the Uptown District.  A very fun part of town.  I spent the better part of two hours by the lake taking shots, laying around, and grabbing a beer.  It was nice.

From there I caught a cab and went to the historic Foshay Tower at the W Minneapolis Hotel.  It has an observation deck on which you can see all of the city.  Again, perfect on such a clear, sunny day.  

And now I am back at the hotel ready to relax and order some room service.  My eyes are shutting on me after such a long day.  I'll be in bed early tonight for a 7:30 am start time.  A fun detail about tomorrow's Half that I'm really looking forward is the post race festivities.  After the race there will be live music along the Mississippi River at Bohemian Flats Park, where runners get one FREE Finnegans beer.  It's going to be a fun race day. 

I will update with race pics and details tomorrow.  Until then, good night.

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