2012 North American International Auto Show (last updated on 2012/01/29)

2012/01/21 Going to Detroit for the Auto Show

To Airport

Up at 4:00am I could not sleep well over the night because the temperature was at 70F. Thank you for being too warm, Houston. Took a quick shower and stretched my body. I ate Poptarts for the breakfast. Finished washer and put everything on the drier and finished packing. Left my apartment at 5:15am, after quick stretch, shower and breakfast. Drive toward I-10 and get on east bound. Then took a toll road toward the airport. I got off on the way once to stop by at the office to pick up a computer file which I was working on for the Japanese association I am serving. Got back on the toll road again and continued headed to the airport, it was still dark and had very less traffic but occasional misty rain caused me to pay extra attention. Getting off from the freeway to JFK Blvd and entered at parking at 6:15am, parked my car and hopped on a shuttle bus to the airport with my bags in hands. Picked up another person before heading to the terminals. I guess they are under a cash crunch, there were very few staffs on duty and the shuttle was full. The bus ran under misty rain and dark. Soon it arrived to the terminal C.

Driving toward the airport

Walked up to a check in counter at 6:30am, gave my bag to the attendant and received the ticket. Lined up behind a line of people for screening. Passed the security at 6:45am and walked up to the platform for terminal link which was arriving just as I was getting off from an escalator. The ride took only a couple of minutes from Terminal C to Terminal B. I got off from the train at 6:50am.

To Detroit CO4346 IAH 7:15AM(CST)- DTW 11:03AM(EST)

After a short walk toward the Gate 79A, I reached the gate at 6:55am. The boarding already started and I was very last person to get in. Entered the EMB-145 bound to Detroit and took my seat at 7:00am. The plane departed from the gate on time at 7:15am but it did not move for a while after push backed. Soon, we get an announcement that the plane has a hydraulic trouble and has to come back to the gate to have a mechanic check it out. Back at the gate at 7:30am as they began trying to fix the issue but no success. We were told to deplane and wait at the lobby until further notice 15 minutes later and everybody stepped outside. I got an email notification that plane arrival is now changed to 2:30pm from 11:00am but soon they were able to get another plane so we all back in the cabin at 8:05am. The plane did check ups and closed the door. The plane was pushed back at 8:30am then started the engines. Move to a runway and took off at 8:45am toward south without wait at taxiway. It may have been rainy on the ground, it reached above clouds in five minutes. Once we are airborne, everything was smooth. I pulled out my Netbook and revised the document as the plane cruised toward Detroit, at 35,000ft. Unfortunately there are low cloud all over the place so I could not see anything on the ground. The plane slowed down at 10:30am, it was about the time I see break in cloud and started to see snow covered ground. It was a surprised for me since when I check the weather yesterday it was supposed to be 34F as daily low. The plane approached from the south and landed on a runway west side of the terminal at 12:09pm. Taxied for a while to the south end of the terminal for the gate. Getting off from the place around 12:15pm.

Cloud covered Now it's snow covered

Plane arrived to Detroit, temperature in teens.

To Cobo Center for Auto Show

Called my friend at 12:30pm to let her know my arrival after picking up my bag and walking toward the ground transportation station. Looks like we are going to have total of 7 people and some kids. I get on a Hertz shuttle bus and arrived to the rental car site. I was given a Nissan Versa for the trip. Not so bad. One bad thing was that the lady at reception was not sure if it reads "307" or "309", so I had to check both lots. The car still had some snow on it but I thought it was okay by looking at. Drove out from the property, seeing a familiar surroundings and surprising $3.89 and get on I-94 toward downtown Detroit. There is no snow left on the pavement but still splashes make the car window dirty. I tried to use the washer but the right side was blocked by the snow chunk I did not remove when I get on the car. My bad... The folks in Detroit drives very fast, at least 10mph above the speed limit so for a guy who usually keeps +5mph, it was hard to navigate. I switched to I-96 then to I-75, finally getting off from freeway to get to Cobo Roof. I had to be stuck in traffic toward the parking.

Hertz shuttle bus Nissan Versa

When my car reached to the entrance, I could see the gate is closed and staffs were redirecting people so I almost gave up, but several cars came down the slope so they let me and some other cars in. Paid $10 and parked my car at 2:30pm. I went inside the building but I was hungry so I walked out from Cobo Center to buy sandwich at nearby Subway. Walked back and bought a ticket for $12. Walked into the show.

BMW i8, See Pictures of the Cars

Meeting with friends

Looking at Detroit downtown from Cobo roof Check in at a Hotel

Left the parking at 4:00pm and headed to the hotel I made reservation at 6 miles and I-275. I stopped by at Koyama Shoten for groceries and checked in at the hotel. I used to stay at this place many times, get myself refreshed a bit then called my friend at 5:00pm. Bought a bottle of fruits juice and headed to my friend's house. I met with my former coworker and colleague who I have not seen for more than 10 years. We had good meal, including Korean BBQ. Came back to the hotel room around 11:30pm, wrote cards to my grandma and dad, uploaded some pictures on Facebook, send a file to JAGH members before going to bed after midnight.

2012/01/22 At Auto Show, coming back to Houston

To Cobo Center for Auto Show

Town Place Hotel, I stayed here many times, including the time when I had an interview Driving toward downtown...

Woke up at 6:00am, at 24F outside. Stretched my body and took a shower to get ready for the day. Since I drive straight back to the airport, I repacked items into a bag and left the hotel at 7:30am. Drove to a nearby gas stop to buy Poptarts, a bottle of orange juice and water, then headed toward Cobo Center while eating my breakfast. The sky was cloudy and it almost like starts raining or snowing. It was a smooth drive so I arrived at roof top of Cobo Center at 8:20am. Came down to the lobby area and found out that the show is not open until 9:00am today. I have about 30 more minutes to kill. So, I walked outside to check out places.

GM Renaissance Center Transcending Winsor, Ontario, Canada

When I came back to the building, there were many people in lines waiting for the opening. I lined up and patiently waited. The line started to move and I was able to check out cars again but in less crowded condition.

 BMW i8 concept, See Pictures of the Cars

To Airport

Leaving the show at 11:20am, driving out from the parking under cloudy weather. Took I-75 to I-96 then switched to I-94 bound for the airport. Getting off at Middlebelt and gas the car at  11:50am before returning the car at 11:55am. Get on a shuttle bus and waited for a while before it starts moving toward the terminal. Getting off from the bus and tried to go to the check in. The escalator was broken so everybody had to take an elevator, which was a little crowded so I had to miss the first one. Checked my bag and received my ticket. I proceeded to the security screening then stopped by at a place called Cheese Burger Cheese Burger for lunch. It was not that good and felt it was very expensive. Walked to the gate after that.

Check in counters Cheese Burger and Japanese

To Houston UA5184 DTW 2:26PM(EST) - IAH 4:38PM(CST)

Getting on board at 2:00pm, I got the last row seat so the reclining was not available but there is no one sitting next to me despite of near full flight. Patiently waiting inside the CRJ700 for the completion of boarding, browsing internet, checking emails and setting up appointment for the dinner with my friend by iPhone. The door was shut at 2:25pm. The plane left the gate in 5 minutes but taxied to a nearby spot and went for standby. It has to be decide but the truck did not come until 3:00pm. Taking a short nap while I wait. Done in 5 min then moved the a runway. The plane took off to south at 3:10pm. Reached to 34,000 ft in 30 minutes and kept climbing to 38,000ft. Same weather as inbound flight, cloudy below all the way. After passing the middle of the route, the air got bumpy a little. The plane reduced the power at 3:26pm and entered initial descend at 4:15pm. The plane approached from the east side of the airport and landed at 4:48pm. Taxied to the gate and arrived at 5:52pm. I walked out from the plane and proceeded to the baggage claims.

To Home

Picked up my bag at 5:10pm, walking out from the building but I went out in opposite direction from where the shuttle buses picking up people. I walked toward the stops waited for a while for the bus to the parking. I received a text from my friend so we decided to eat at a Mexican restaurant. Get on a shuttle and arrived to the parking. Got on my car and drove off. Took off and made it to the Mexican restaurant on time. Had good time and good food with my friends. Drove back home around 9:30pm, went to bed around 11:00pm.


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