On the road

15 12 2009

I’m hanging out in the Minneapolis airport, an hour away from taking off for Missoula, seeing my parents and staring at the ugly ‘M’ above Washington-Grizzly Stadium. My day started at, well, yesterday morning. I haven’t really slept, only catching an hour of interrupted sleep on the flight from Newark.

See, my flight from Newark to Minny departed at 6 a.m., all part of my master plan to always arrive in Montana as early in the day as possible. Yet arriving for the 6 a.m. flight works a lot better when you leave the house and head to the airport late the previous night. But not too late, as I did this morning. (Confused? Me too.) I left my apartment at roughly 2:30 this morning and took  a cab to Port Authority (41st St. and 8th Ave.). The first leg of my master plan was to take the bus that runs from Port Authority to Newark’s airport. Of course, I didn’t account for two things in this wondrous plan. For one, I’m a guy. And that leads to the second unaccounted characteristic — I’m an idiot.

I neglected to check the running times for the bus. I just figured I’d show up and the bus would be there waiting for me in the tunnel-like street on 41st between 8th and 9th Ave. Why wouldn’t a bus just BE there?

So I get to PA at about 2:45 and stand on the corner of 41 and 8 for roughly 35 minutes before getting the wise idea to ask someone working inside if the bus heading to Newark Airport will actually arrive anytime soon. As in soon enough for me to catch a 6 a.m. flight. I’m told inside that the bus won’t arrive until 5, which with the 40-minute or so ride meant that I failed myself on the first leg of my master plan.

I can’t believe what an idiot I am. I was standing on the corner of 41st and 8th at 3 in the morning with two bags just assuming that a bus would arrive to shuttle me to the airport. Such is one’s attitude after being spoiled by NYC’s generally efficient public transportation services. I got so mad at myself I contemplated asking a passerby to rob me just so I could get some sort of decent experience out of the moment.

I ended up walking to Penn Station (34th and 7th), arriving at 3:45 and waiting 15 minutes for NJ Transit to open. Bought a one-way train ticket to the airport, hopped on the Air Transit train to Terminal B, then eventually made my way to the plane. Oh, what an experience that was. First Class was nearly full but I was one of only seven passengers in Coach, which ran 20 rows deep. Time to RELAX!

The flight was smooth, the weather in Minny is chilly (-2 F when we arrived at 8:30 a.m. local time) and the Minny airport hasn’t been terrible. Which is all I really ask for from an airport. So far, I’ve refused to buy breakfast from Maui Tacos or Dairy Queen. I saw something at DQ called Super Hashbrowns, which appeared to be potatos smothered in cheese. Pass. My hips and hamstrings are so sore from football on Sunday that I literally don’t think I could walk to any other part of the airport for breakfast. I’m settling on an energy bar, carrots and almonds I swiped from my cupboard. And I bought the $8/day Internet thing since I was gonna be stuck here for three hours. An excellent move when I analyze it.

For whatever reason, I can’t read books or magazines in airports. I can’t settle. It’s probably my anticipation and restlessness of just wanting to get to my destination. Nevertheless, I find catching up on sports/political news passes the time a hell of a lot better than reading a book/mag, which is odd since I love a good book almost as much as the banging fried chicken I had last week.

Hopefully my plane doesn’t crash from Minny to Missoula. I can’t help but think every time I board a plane about what I’ll do if the plane starts to go down. This is too long; gotta check out more news before the plane leaves.

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