Friday, May 26, 2006

Travel is hell

Travel is hell, at least when you’re tall and fly coach. Seeing that I didn’t win the lottery at birth and was born of working-class folk, I imagine that I’ll always end up subjected to having my knees pressed into the back of the seat in front of me, whenever I have to fly.

We left Logan at noon and flew two hours to Detroit. After a three hour layover at Detroit Metro , the rudeness (to go along with murder) capital of the U.S., our second leg of the journey to Green Bay was short and sweet—47 minutes.

The Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay is small, similar in size to the Portland Jetport. What you notice immediately when you touch down in the Midwest, is both the flatness of the terrain and the genuine friendliness of the airport staff. Unlike Detroit, where I think airport staff are trained to exhibit rudeness, regardless of what kiosk you stop at, the folks at Austin Straubel ask about your trip, where you are headed, is this your first time here, etc.

The drive from Green Bay to Appleton is about 30 miles and couldn’t have been easier to navigate. Much of the drive took place via U.S. 41 where we passed mile after mile of farms and pastures. In fact, flying into Green Bay revealed that this area is still farming country, as the grid work of farms flanking the metro area was especially evident from the air.

Once we checked in at the hotel, where we freshened up and unpacked our luggage, we then headed next door to the Texas Roadhouse, for dinner. After a piece of dry toast for breakfast, a lousy burrito at the Detroit airport and some stale pretzels on the plane, I was ready for a few beers and some Texas barbeque.

When you are on the road, you are always at the mercy of recommendations, whims and a few online recommendations, or the word of locals about eating establishments. We were not disappointed with our dinner. Not only was the food wonderful, but our waitress, Sam, went out of her way to be accommodating and added to the enjoyment of our ample portions of great-tasting, stick-to-your-ribs type of fare. After a couple of beers and a great meal, we made the short walk back to the hotel where we made it an early night.

Today is the beginning of the tournament and we’ll be headed out to Fox Cities Stadium to catch the Wheaton/North Carolina Wesleyan game.

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