Detroit Trip - January 2016

Introduction: Every beginning of the year, Detroit hosts North American International Auto Show, as know as NAIAS, one of the largest auto show in the world. I decided to check it out for the one last time before I go back to Japan, as well we catching up with my friends.

2016/01/16: Going To Detorit

To the Airport

I woke up at 6:00am, I did not sleep too well so I had less than 3 hours of sleep last night. My body is tired but driving is manageable since I had no alcohol last night. I took shower, packed items in a large carry case for the trip due to  all the winter cloths I needed then left home at 7:30am. The drive to the airport was easy because there aren't much traffic but many cops were watching speeders this morning. Getting off the tollway and arrived at airport parking at 8:10am.

Driving to the airport on Sam Houston Tollway

I parked my car at a garage and got a ride on a shuttle van to the airport terminal. The driver picked up a few more passengers on the way so another 10 minutes before leaving the property. Getting dropped off at 8:25am, and I walked into the terminal building C. The floor was very much empty, saw not many people and no waiting in line for check in at the counter. I was hoping to change flight to direct one but the flight was already full and could not change. I guess I have to stick to the original plan. Passed the security quickly and walked to the gate at 8:50am. The boarding should start in less than one hour so it would be a short wait. I just grabbed water and began working on my website until the time comes.

To Denver: UA2011 IAH 10:17AM(CST) - DEN 12:00PM(MST)

It's cloudy, and overcast. The cloud ceiling is pretty low today. Getting onboard at 9:45am then the door is shut on time and departed. The plane proceeded to runway 9 for departure, and took off to east and circled around near VFR style below cloud before start heading toward the west. I fell sleep and woke up while the plane flying over Lubbock area around 11:50am. The weather is much better than in Housoton and the familiar mistery circle like scenary. Just as I was wondering about the altitude lower than usual, the plane hit rough air and had to lower again. It must be one of those days. The plane was arriving to Denver much faster than anticipated, approaching from the south, head north for the downwind, then making a left turn for the final. Since I was on starboard side, I can see the Rocky Mountains far away as the plane is descending for the landing. Landed on 16R under sunny sky and taxied for a while. At the gate by 11:45am and I got off from the plane in 10minutes. It was supposed to be a very tight connection but now I have a few extra minutes before the next boarding.

UA2011 at IAH

Departing Lubbock Area Snow Field Turning for the final Colorado Rockies

To Detroit: UA310 DEN 12:50PM(MST) - DTW 5:48PM(EST)

Originally it was a rush to make connection with less than 30 minutes, but because the privous flight arrived 15 minutes ahead of time, I can relax and have less concern on the bag go missing. I just walked several gates to the B25 gate, grabbed sandwich on the way, and found a seat nearby to eat while waiting for the boarding process to start. The boardins began around noon and I took seat at 12:20pm. The flight to Detroit departed on time at 12:45pm and taxied to north end of the airport for Runway 8 departure. The air was much smoother on the way to Detroit and while watching the snow covered white ground, I found out that the lady next to me is a fitness instructor at Tolado, OH. It was a nice chat. The plane crossed the Lake Michigan around 3:40pm, and it's only 1 hour to go. The plane approached from the north, turning right for the final as I see Woodward Avenue in sight. The plane landed at 5:10pm, another 30 minutes saving. The plane taxied to the gate then letting us out.

The Famous Terminal Buidling  

Plane at Denver

Departing Snow Field Flying over Madison, WI Lake Michigan

Party with my friends

I began walking toward the baggage claim and waited for a while before the baggage claim conveyor began running. Picked up my bag at 5:40pm, went upstairs to the bridge for rental car shuttle bus. One step outside, I felt the cold air which I defenitely need a pair of gloves. Get on the bus at 5:45pm, and checked myself in at the rental car center. I was given a Nissan Sentra, similar to what I had last year and same color, too. Drove to my friend's house and joined the party until midnight. Drove to the hotel for check in, went to bed.

Nissan Sentra

Hotel Check In

2016/01/17: Morning jog at Kensington Park, Evening at NAIAS

Going to Kensington Park for Morning Jog

I could not fall sleep until 2:30am then finally fall sleep until 7:30am. When I woke up, I still felt tired. Had breakfast from the downstairs and stretched my body.


The outside is around 13F and snow started falling. I stepped out and drove to Kensington Park where I used to spend weekend when I lived in Michigan. I paid $10 at the entrance for a day pass, then parked my car. I began running on the trail under occasional snow and mild breeze from west. It was a familiar course and the lake was frozen. I packed the gear mostly correct except for not having windbreaker and air tight gloves so my hands began to feel numb at about half way, and cold air come through my jacket to the skin underneath when wind blows. I was totally cold when I finish and could not wait for a hot shower.

Running at Kensington Park

Lunch at Matsu Chan Ramen

Drove back to the hotel under snow in cloudy condition. People here drive a lot faster than the speed limit, so I was being passed many times. Come back to the hotel room and took a hot shower, I felt good. I get refreshed and get ready to go out again. This time I drove south on I-275 to Ford Rd. under snowy condition then head west until hitting Sheldon Rd. Arrived at Matsu Chan Restaurant around 12:30pm, and ordered a lunch set. I used to come here a few times while I was working for a company in this area. At the seat I took by the window, I can feel the cold is coming through the glass. No wonder why people in the restaurant still wearing jackets and I remeber that's how I used to be. Enjoyed the meal and drove back to the hotel. The bed was already made and I got sleepy, so I took nap from 2:00pm until 4:00pm.


NAIAS in the evening


GM Tower

NAIAS (More Pictures)

It's about the time to go to the auto show, so I geared up for the sigle digit temperature which I expected by the time when I leave Cobo Center tonight. I left the hotel around 4:30pm. Because I am so used to Houston traffic, the road condition here is surprisingly smooth. People use their brains, too. I have travelled this road many, many times so reaching the destination was very easy. Cobo roof parking was available for $10. Going up the spiral slope and parked my car. I walked out from the building first to grab dinner before going into the show. It was around 13F so pulling out my cell phone from pocket was a risky move. Ate sandwich at Jimmy Johns, walked passed by the Rennasonce Tower and back in at Cobo Center. I bought a ticket and checked my jacket.

The auto show was much in brighter mood than the last year. I get to check out new cars, and took pictures. Stayed until 9:50pm, picked up my jacket and headed upstairs to the parking. Started the engine and slowly leaving the parking at 10:00pm. Driving on I-96 to I-275 with very a few traffic. It was dark but the road was dry so it does not matter whether the temperature was freezing or not. Getting off at 8 mile Rd., I was a little hungry again, so I stopped at McDonald's before coming back at the hotel at 10:40pm. Going to bed after 1:00am, tomorrow I will be back in my real world...

2016/01/18: Coming back to Houston

Woke up at 7:30am, the outside is 8F but sunny. I went to downstairs with sleepy eyes to grab breakfast. Stretched my body and took a shower, I packed belongings and prepared for returning to Houston. Checked out from the hotel at 9:00am and drove out.


To the Airport

Today is MLK Jr. day and many businesses are closed, the traffic was a lot less than I expected and so smooth to go to the airport, except for seeing cops on the freeway, a lot. Getting off by the airport and fill up the gas before returning the car at rental car center at 9:40am. I was the only one on the shuttle to the north terminal. Checked in at the counter, I feel people here is not as nice as people in Texas. Passing security at 10:30am after a long line, there is no priority lane except Pre-check, which I do not qualify. I finally began walking toward the gate at south end. It was a quiet walk and sun light coming from the outside was beautiful.

People waiting at Terminal

To Houston: UA4030 DTW 11:39AM(EST) - IAH 1:55PM(CST)

I waited for the time to pass by, editing some contents on the webpage. The boarding began from 11:20am, and I took a seat at first class cabin because of the free upgrade. It was cold while the other passengers coming in, and finally the door is shut. The plane was pushed back at 11:40am, and taxied to north for 22L departure. The plane took off to south at 11:50am, kept climing up smoothly, giving me a view of snow covered Michigan. The flight was pretty much straight forward but the cabin was getting extremely warm, because of air-recirculation unit is not working well according to a flight attendant. I get the free onboard meal, which was a sandwich. Soon the snow cover on the ground is gone, telling me that it is getting warmer there. Took nap after the meal so I don't have to feel too tired when I work tonight. Slowing down about 20 miles out from the airport at 12:50pm, I guess we will be arriving a lot sooner. The air gets a little turbulent as the plane lowered altitude but not to the level I need to concern. The plane approached from the east side, I could see KLM plane ahead of us for a different runway, the plane landed to west at 1:16pm.

Taking seat Flying out of Detroit No more snow Getting near Houston

Lunch on board

Back in Houston

To Home

The plane taxied for a while to a gate at Terminal B this time since it was a regional jet. getting off from the plane and walked to retrieve my bag, hopped on a van to get my car at the parking. The road was not that congested which was just great. Back home at 2:40pm and get some rest until 4:00pm, drove to work and began my week.


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Copyright 2016 - Kosuke Ishikawa / Unauthorized copying of contents, partial or whole, is not permitted.