It’s 8:45pm as I write this and I’m sitting in the lobby lounge at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis Airport having a quick brewski and waiting on a turkey croissant. This week has really gone by fast; it’s funny how Monday when I flew up to Minnesota seems like such a distant memory now, as much as Friday seemed like a long time to go on arrival here Monday afternoon. Time flies when you’re working out of town!
Tomorrow I have a long travel day and an early morning, so I’ll be heading to bed shortly after I eat. I have a 6:30am flight on American to Charlotte and then a couple hours layover back to Orlando, arriving at MCO around 2:40pm (hopefully!). DOS is meeting me at the airport, as we are flying to Sao Paulo tomorrow night. We leave from MCO at 5:50pm, connecting in Miami, and then our overnight flight to GRU leaves at 10pm.
I checked out of the Redwood Lodge this morning in Redwood Falls, Minnesota, and had a full day of work in town. I was hoping to get finished earlier, but ending up having a lot to do so left with my co-worker around 5pm for the two hour drive back to Minneapolis. The weather this week has been super and mild – no mid-winter blizzards which I was fearing might cause travel havoc, especially for tomorrow when I have to get back to Orlando to catch my flight to Brazil. I had a good week and managed to have a fun time in this rural area of western Minnesota, even though I didn’t get to see the actual Redwood Falls. Instead my entertainment consisted of amusing myself at the fast food lunch places of McDonald’s and Burger King.
For dinner, my co-worker and I went to a couple different restaurants while in town. The first night was Chumly’s Burger and Brew which was right across the street, and memorable only for the lack of service and the sole server/bartender in the place, who had ‘red’ hands and didn’t know what an IPA or Pale Ale was when we ordered. They had neither brewski nor anything ‘normal’ such as a Bud, Bud light, Michelob Ultra, etc, just this local horrible brew on tap and a couple others, plus bottles of Coors, Miller, Miller Light and others I don’t drink. The red hands on the waitress it turns out were her attempt at dying her hair red – it was black, but apparently didn’t seal the bag properly when self applying the dye. Perhaps she was truly a blonde with black hair? Just kidding, no offense to blondes everywhere, but this waitress/bartender was not the brightest star in the sky.
We found a much better restaurant on Tuesday (Valentine’s Day) at Duffy’s Riverside Saloon, just up the road from our hotel in Redwood Falls. Duffy’s was like the local version of an Applebee’s or Chili’s, but had a distinct and rustic Mid-Western prairie feel to it with its decor. Duffy’s has a great staff and food which helped make evenings after work something to look forward to! Thanks to the two Michelle’s and other staff who served us – you made our dinners so enjoyable and fun!
The drive back to the airport was easy with the mostly good roads and our white rental car Cadillac. While I usually get an SUV, my co-worker Rick from Syracuse volunteered to get the car due to his experience driving in snow, and managed to schmooze a nice upgrade. Of course driving thru a muddy parking lot while making a U-turn didn’t keep this sparkling white car white for very long – quite a few mud spots were visible!
I checked in the Hyatt Regency MSP Airport and then gave DOS a call. I let DOS know we weren’t able to check in for our flight tomorrow night; probably as American Airlines wants to see your passport and Brazilian visa before boarding an international flight. DOS called American to verify our passport/visa info was correct, and also check on our upgrades as Expert Flyer now showed availability for Business to First Class using system wide upgrades we had requested a while back. To both our surprises, the upgrades had cleared not only for tomorrow night’s flight, but also for Monday night’s flight as well! We had paid for Business Class tickets, but had hoped for the First Class upgrades if we could use them, as that is really good value for the upgrades, not to mention the added comfort and service. As there are only eight seats in First on the Boeing 777W 300, we chose row 2 A and J. While not together as in the center section, these seats seem a bit more private, and at least in the evening for takeoff and morning for landing we will both have window views. So excited we’re finally going to Brazil (were going to go last year to Rio during the year of the Olympics, but it did’t work out), and we’re going First Class too!
So I had my food here in the Hyatt lounge, and after finishing up my brewski and chips will be heading to bed. Hopefully I can sleep as I have an early flight and am so excited!
Buenas Noches from Minneapolis!