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  • I touched down in the land of lakes, the Twin Cities, the city formerly known as Prince’s town, a place several hundred clicks south of Bobby Zimmerman’s back pages (Dylan), a place I love to come – when it isn’t the dead of winter! However, this time, it was so warm, I contemplated packing shorts, flip-flops, tank top and sun-screen. It was a balmy 40 degrees F upon my arrival, and I found myself sweating under my coat.

    It was a long day, as I began it with an early morning meeting, then worked (from home), holding all my weekly touch-base meetings with each of the groups that comprise my organization. I’d decided to Uber either to the airport or the Metro, depending on how much time I left myself to get there, once I wrapped up work. I got to experience how wildly Uber’s prices can fluctuate, based on demand. It’s nutty, I tell you! I initially scheduled a 2:15 pickup, and the cost to Reagan National was estimated at $32.00, while the cost to the Metro was $8. I was leaning towards the Metro route – I am, and have always been, a taxpayer first, and when I travel, I am ever mindful of keeping my travel expenses reasonable.

    Since I wasn’t ready to go yet, by 2:15 I canceled that reservation, then looked at the price for a 2:45 pickup - $72 - $81 to the airport, $18 - $22 to the Metro. Holy Batshit, Robin! I was not expecting that! I definitely went the Metro route. The driver wasn’t very helpful, so I dinged him a star. (I know how to do that, now!)

    On the Metro, to get to the airport from Vienna, you take the Orange Line to Rosslyn, then switch to the Blue Line to the airport. They were saying some shit on the train’s P.A. about the Blue Line being closed, but I was pretty sure they were talking about on the weekend, for track repairs or something. So, I get off at Rosslyn, with my bags and all, go down to the lower level platform, where Metro dudes are telling everyone the Blue Line is not running. Great!
  • Back upstairs I go, where I learn I can take the Orange Line (that I just got off) across the Potomac into D.C., all the way to L’Enfant Plaza (8 stops down the line), switch to the Yellow Line, take that back across the Potomac, 5 stops to the airport.

    That $72 Uber ride was looking better and better. I caught the next train, and rode the rest of the way with a fellow from the State Department. He seemed cool, and we were having a great conversation, until politics entered the discussion. Reared its ugly head. His leanings surprised me, and I quickly changed the subject. I am doing my best not to go there, lately. I have yet to be able to have a reasonable conversation with anyone about it. So, I choose not to.

    I had TSA pre-check, which was great, except, it was one of those times when it didn’t matter. The people in the regular line got through security just as fast as I did. But, I still had a leg up on them. I didn’t have to take my laptop out, my shoes and belt off, so it was still nice to have it. Oh, the things that we hang importance on when we’re traveling! Like it even matters, right? But, it does!

    Upon arrival in lovely Minneapolis, a city I do kind of love, I just decided to make up for that $19 Uber ride to the Metro by taking the Light Rail from the airport to my hotel – a $1.75 ride. It also allowed me to get more steps in, as it was about a 5 block walk from the Light Rail stop to my hotel. I count my steps, and am trying to maintain a 4.5 mile a day average this month. I’m making up for last month’s lighter performance.
  • At the hotel registration, I copped a ‘tude for a sec, when the Elite Check-in desk had 3 registration people manning it, while none were at the regular people’s check-in counter. I let a couple people go ahead of me to the Elite desk, then finally walked over to the regular desk, plopped my bags down, and adopted an attitudinal body language – one of the registrants came over, and asked me to come over to the Elite desk – the computer at the regular one wasn’t working. I had to laugh at myself. I was tired, and grumpy, and couldn’t believe how quickly I copped that ‘tude.

    I got checked in, then checked the little store off the lobby for some water, and milk for my morning coffee. The prices were ridiculous, so once I got to my room and dropped my stuff off, I went out to look for some cheap water and milk. At the store, a few blocks away, I inquire as to a decent place to grab a bite. The dude said across the street. “McCormick and Schick’s? That’s a little more than I’m looking for (it’s a very expensive steak house). Anything more reasonable around?” He referred me to “Hell’s Kitchen”, half a block away.

    That was more like it! That place rocked! They had Tator Tots, for starters – any place with Tator Tots works for me! They also had a “Juicy Lucy”, though they called it “Juicy Lucifer” – whaddya want for Hell’s Kitchen, right? But, here’s the best part. They sat me at a table right in front of a huge projection screen, which was playing the movie, “Jaws”. It was like being at a drive-n theater! And, all I'd done was go out for some affordable milk and water.

    There I was, in Hell’s Kitchen, with my tator tots, juicy lucy, and Jaws. I’d found my own little piece of heaven, down in the dungeons of Hell’s Kitchen. It was a superb meal experience! It’s great to be back in Minneapolis!
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