A good friend of mine from Wichita State University years got hold of me again on Facebook. Since I have not been to the state capital of Minnesota, I decided to make a visit.
I woke up at 5:30am but stayed in the bed until 5:50am. Stretched my body, had breakfast, and took shower before head out at 6:50am. Driving under 60F condition while looking at the clear and orange colored sky on the horizon. Arrived at the parking at 7:20am, hopped on a ride to the terminal. I was dropped off at the terminal B, used one of carry on bag only terminal to print the pass.
Driving to the airport in the morning
The gate to my weekend getaway
Passed the security at 7:40am and walked to a lobby near the gate which is integrated to serve 10 gates per station. An announcement for the boarding to start was made so I proceeded to the gate at 8:35am. People lined up in two lines and waited, but the boarding did not begin even after the scheduled time had passed. Many passengers were getting frustrated for the every minute. Finally we get boarded at 9:00am, which is 20 minutes late. My seat was taken somehow so I had to play music chair and I have a bulkhead seat with a window. Everybody was set and the plane departure with 25 minutes behind at 9:20am. The plane took off to south at 9:35am then turned left to change heading to the north. The plane kept the heading and flew over Sulpher Springs at 10:09am, passed by Kansas City International Airport at 11:09am, and at 11:50am, the plane made a turn and began slowing down. The plane approached from the south of the airport, I get to see some green fields, bodies of waters, and wooded areas. It's little different from the nature I see in Houston area. Landed at 12:13pm, and I let my friend know that I arrived on the FB.
Finally get to board the plane
|Departing from Houston|
|Landing at MSP|
The plane taxied for a while then arrived at the gate at 12:20pm. I got out from the plane 5 minutes later then walked down the hallway to locate the exit. I took a tram to the terminal 1's ground transportation and followed signs to the outside. The first bus I could take was leaving at 12:52pm, so I called my friend to ask which bus stop to get off. There is still time for the bus to come, and outside was nearly freezing so I had to take shelter inside the building. Once get on it, I tracked my current location on my iPhone so I won't miss it.
Met with my friend just as I get off from the bus. It was nice seeing him again. We walked to his home and get the place shown around for a while. I dropped off my bag then we headed to a bar nearby for the lunch. Doing some catch up while we eat.
After coming back home, relaxed for a while and took a bus to the downtown to watch a Prairie Home Companion show at Fitzgerald Theater. We had to walk but it was a bit cold for me. The show starts from 4:45pm, and we made it just in time. For today, The Gibson Brothers and Ellis are the performers. Other than that, I really enjoyed the show including my favorites like "Guy Noir" and "The Lives of the Cowboys". I get to see how they record the show I listen on the radio every weekend, and the sound effect guy makes noises, too. The fun 2 hours show ended, and it's time for us to go back and have dinner.
A Prairie Home Companion
We walked out from the plane little after 7:00pm. The sun was still there and we began to walk. There is a stadium nearby also having a show. Walking back under dark sky, it's fun chatting as we walk. It was getting cold so we hopped on a bus to a restaurant and ate dinner at MiMickey'siner. Walked back home after the dinner and we watched the movie until midnight.diner. Walked back home after the dinner and we watched the movie until midnight.
Mickey's Diner, ironic diner at St. Paul, featured in the movie, "Prairie Home Companion"
Schmidt's was a brewery which was shutdown long time ago, and now a residential property.
Woke up at 6:30am with 35F at outside. Took shower to get myself refreshed, and saw visitor coming. We had tea in the morning. Get ready for the day and left around 8:00am, Walking up a path along a river toward the downtown area. He showed me many places on the way, million dollar housings, a former jail, and light rail stop and others. The first thing we did was to stop at the capital, which was having a marathon in the morning. While watching the people finishing the race, Walked to the Cathedral of St Paul, where I get to see the inside because they are holding a Sunday service. Walked back to the center of the city, the plaza for to take pictures of the Peanut characters. Took a bus back to the house and Had lunch with my friend.
Apartment along the river, all are expensive
Bridge, and View of Mississippi River
A building by Mear Park, Former Jail build against rock cliff (so the only way in and out is from the top), Eagle Street Grille and Bar, a fancy brick building by Xcel Energy Center
Light Rail (Green Line connecting between St. Paul and Minneapolis), State Capital of Minnesota.
The Cathedral of St. Paul
(The exterior, and Sunday service)
The Peanut Characters
Getting on a bus
Left at 1:30pm and my friend took me to the bus stop. I used the one day pass I bought and rode on the bus heading to the Mall of America. The bus arrived there around 2:00pm and I walked around the place for the next two hours. The mall had an amusement park at the center of the complex, hotels, large department stores like Sears. The building had four levels and I could see the majority of known franchise stores are there. They had a food court you can enjoy all kinds of food and drinks. Walked entire hallways but then realized that I have nothing to do and not buying a stuff made this place so boring but seeing so many people. It's time to go. So walked to the downstairs to catch a light rail leaving around 3:15pm and it took me back to the airport.
Getting on light rail to the airport.
Arrived at the airport around 3:30pm, used a carry on bag only terminal to get my boarding ticket, which saves a lot of time. As I was walking toward the security, I got an email about the delay. I have no choice so I had a beer and light meal while waiting for the plane to arrive. Walked to the gate at 4:30pm, reading a book for a while. The plane arrived at 4:50pm but no ground crew available. So the plane needed to wait for them before pulling up to the gate. The plane was quickly turned around and passengers began getting on the plane at 5:00pm, and soon it was fully packed. Push back began at 5:26pm, nearly 40 minutes late. Once the engine start, the plane taxied to a runway for take off. The plane left the ground at 5:40om, flew down south over cloud covered sky. The color of the sky turned from blue to orange, purple then grayish blue. Flying over Dallas at 7:20pm, I could see the lights of the city in the hazy air. The plane kept going and descending started at 7:30pm, the plane made several turns before they are on the final approach. Landed at 7:54pm, then taxied for a while, arriving at the gate at terminal C at 8:02pm. There are some delays in the flights today, I guess.
Waiting for the plane to arrive
Let's go home
Departing from MSP, the Mall of America in far
Moon shining over east sky, very much dark upon arriving at Houston
Getting out from the plane at 8:07pm while thanking the flight crews for making it the delay short at terminal C this time. Walked to the ground transportation and hopped on a fully packed shuttle 8:12pm. The outside was already dark. I was dropped off at 8:28pm and began driving home. A smooth ride on the tollway, stopped by at Kroger for groceries before coming home at 10:00pm.
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