The long way to Spokane

A 4am wake-up call is rarely a good thing. Perhaps the only thing worse is when that call doesn’t come in and you’re expecting it. Fortunately I had set my alarm, too, so I didn’t miss my train, but it was annoying. On to the light rail from downtown Minneapolis to the airport at 4:07am and then through security in just a few minutes. Total time from my hotel room to the gate was about 50 minutes. Not bad at all, except that the Red Carpet Club wasn’t open yet.

The agent at the club did question my sanity when I mentioned in conversation that I didn’t find it all that strange to go hang out at the airport if not flying that day. Apparently she does. Such is life. The new RCC in Minneapolis is pretty nice. Small, but nice. Plenty of power outlets and both the RCC T*Mobile and the airport Boingo wireless work great there. And then, at 6am, it was time to start flying.

Minneapolis to Chicago. Chicago to New Orleans. New Orleans to Denver. Denver to Spokane. Certainly not the most direct route, but one of the more lucrative routes when it comes to accruing frequent flyer points, and that’s what this trip is all about. Explaining it to the flight attendants always is good for some strange looks but once they hear the value proposition – I’ll pay $500 in airfare now for enough points to get two flights to Europe or South America in the pointy end of the plane – they start to come around. Or they’re just being polite.

IMG00297-20100410-1028The flights were mostly uneventful. I slept through one of them, take-off to touch-down, and the other three saw nothing particularly interesting happen. I still find the United Airlines first class seats strangely uncomfortable. If I’m sitting upright like I have decent posture they just don’t feel right. Great if you want to slouch our slide your butt forward, but not so great to just sit in, at least to me. Friendly enough flight attendants and the food on one of the two meal flights was passable (not the eggs for breakfast). And then I was in Spokane. 

IMG00299-20100411-0539Spokane is pretty much exactly as I remember it. I was last in town almost seven years ago for a wedding and there are only bits that I really remember but just as soon as we pulled off the highway and onto Division Street the memories came flooding back. There was the Perkins where we had the after-after-party from the wedding and the bar just across the way where the after-party was. And there was Frankie Doodle’s, home of the Texas-sized cinnamon roll. Just as large as I remember it and almost as delicious. It was worth waking up 5 minutes earlier than we otherwise would have to camp out in their parking lot and grab one for the flight, even if it did mean a second consecutive 4am alarm and fighting the line to get in when they opened their doors at 5am (yes, there really was a line to get in).

Just another day in air world…

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.