I was out of hat at the end of the week of June 7th because I had a quick trip to Detroit that Weds night. And then, as they say, hilarity ensued and it proceeded to mess up what little excess time I had the rest of the week.
I went to Detroit to observe the end of the Challenge X competition. (You can see that write up soon on Groovy Green) But this post is about my personal thoughts on the trip.
I was a little scared because I hadn’t heard a lot of good things about Detroit, and I was staying downtown. But it was actually pretty darn nice. I stayed at the Renaissance Center and it was close to a lot of interesting things downtown. Detroit has a nice little rocking downtown area, although all the locals complained about it how lame it was. I guess they should come hang out in Iowa for a while.
I ate dinner Weds night at Sweetwater Tavern. It was fantastic. If you ever get a chance to eat there do it. Especially have the chicken wings. The service left quite a bit to be desired, but when the food is this good I can put up with bad service…And I have no idea what the hummer is that they are world famous for, according to the article. I didn’t see any mention of it on the menu…
Thursday was mostly taken up with Challenge X events but I did get to ride the Monorail around the city a little. It goes in a circle from the Renaissance Center so it’s not really a mass transit thing. But maybe they’ll get it expanded someday. According to the locals the only mass transit they have is a bus service, which is not really much for a city that size.
I did notice a lot of vacant, decaying buildings in the city and along the highways to and from the airport. I guess that’s a result of the slow death of the city from the heydays of American car making. I’ve never seen a more evident example of urban sprawl than Detroit actually. There is so much developable land close to the heart of the city, but it would require a teardown, so developers stack things up on virgin land around the outside of the city. It’s too bad really. By the time people are ready to compress the city I’m not sure we’ll have the capacity to tear these bygone remnants down.
The flight home was murderous. I hate to even talk about it. But with the nasty weather that came through the Midwest that Thursday night I had a hard time getting home. I know better than to take the last flight into a city, especially CR, since it is so small. But I wanted to stay as long as I could in Detroit, so I did it. So I was to fly from Detroit to Minneapolis and then to CR. Only they had Minneapolis mostly shut down because of tornados and such. So I ended up spending most the night in Detroit. (Wish I had known so I could have stayed longer at the nice dinner we were having.) We finally left for Minneapolis at 11:20 (originally 8:20 departure), which was the time I was to be home in CR originally. We got to Minneapolis around 12:20 (we’re on Central now) or so. Northwest did hook me up with a hotel and a shuttle to the hotel. Except the hotel is on the other side of Minneapolis from the airport. So a 30 minute van ride ensued (with 9 other stranded riders cram in the van). We finally got to the hotel at about 2. Of course I was so exhausted I couldn’t sleep so I fell asleep about 3 and I was up at 4:45 to shower and catch a 5:30 shuttle to the airport for my 7:00 flight.
Why don’t airports just have locker rooms like a gym? I would have been happy to stay on a mat at the airport for the little extra sleep and then just shower there. They could have saved a fortune on me by doing that. The only reason I went to the hotel was to get the shower.
I couldn’t see much of Minneapolis, but it looked nice, even I was just along the highway.
Gina–if you read this I waved as I went by on the highway, although I have no idea where you live there.
Northwest did give me a $5 voucher to cover breakfast the next morning, which is nice, but then I had to eat the food at the airport. Ugg. And then I forgot to redeem my voucher for a complimentary item for my trouble. Whatever that item is. Guess I’ll never know.
Then after I got back I went home to change clothes, came to work, worked most of the day, even though it was employee appreciation day, and then participated in events in the afternoon. Signed papers for a refinance, came back to work for dinner, drank a few beers, ate some food and then skipped out to go see Wild Hogs. (Funny movie)
I didn’t have any trouble falling asleep when we got home.
I guess that wasn’t all about Detroit but it made for an interesting end of the week.