My daughter “Savannah” and I had the pleasure of trying the Minneapolis Light Rail yesterday as we traveled from the Minneapolis International Airport to Big Lake Rail Station. The price to do so is sweet, only costing $3.00 total for both of us to ride to downtown Minneapolis and beyond, good for 2 1/2 hours!
We traveled to the end of the ”Blue Line” to transfer at Target Station on another Westbound train. As we walked off the train I accidentally brushed against a young man who was peeking out of a small slit between his hat and scarf. He gave me a shove and cursed me for touching him, I just said “Excuse me brother, but I have to get off here!” People get grumpy when it’s cold out.
The bitter cold hit us immediately in the shadows between sky scrapers as the wind howled through. Reality check.. I ask myself “Why am I sending 3 days in Minnesota during the coldest time of the year?” And “Now I remember why I moved away from here!”
We went to the transfer station and behold, the doors were all locked! I had to use the restroom and there were none to be found, upon further inquiry was told the terminal opens at 2:30 pm and the closest restroom was back two stops from whence we came.
Back on the train, we wandered around downtown looking for a lunch spot and bathroom, finally finding a deli that was just about to close their doors. We got in just in time, ordered a couple Ruben’s and looked for a restroom. Found a women’s open on the 4th floor and the men’s was out of service. Had to just hold it and pray awhile…
We got back on the train to Target Terminal to catch our transfer, the door was open and felt so good to get out of the cold. We still had an hour to wait so I left Savannah to watch our gear and jumped on the train back into town to find the elusive restroom.
I found a bar and felt like I was obligated to have a beer so I wouldn’t feel like a heel going in just to use the restroom. The bartender said “Good timing, you get our 2 for one Happy Hour Special!” I thought to myself, “Great! Now I’ll just have to pee again in another half hour!” Had my two ice cold beers and back to the terminal to catch our train.
Finally, we were able to board the train and wait a half hour before departure, thankfully in the toasty warmness of the purring train. They had a great set up, with tables in between the seats and free WiFi! I kicked back and dozed in the warm comfort.
It took another hour by train and they dropped us off at the end of the line Big Lake Station. The wind was noticeable, being around -5 degrees below at the time and probably -20 with the wind chill. I was raised in this kind of weather, but Savannah wasn’t prepared, having flown in to meet me from the warmth of San Diego. We stood out by the ticketing kiosk and called my oldest daughter “Jenny” just to see if she was almost there…
She was a good hour away fighting traffic, much to our dismay as the 2 minutes we stood outside were scary enough to consider the fact we could be in stage 2 hypothermia soon. I noticed a glass box down the way and it looked like some sort of warming house.
After going inside we noticed a small heat lamp about 8 feet up hanging from the ceiling and if you stretched your hand up high as it would go, you could feel a little heat. At least we were out of the wind and still no restrooms to be found anywhere. I chose to use the parking lot.
We stood there and shivered and prayed and cursed, by and by Jenny showed up and we climbed into her warm pickup, safe at last! I would be very careful in weather like this, to have a safety kit in the trunk or vehicle. If you went off the road and nobody sees you, you are in deep freeze doo doo, because your keister will be an icicle within 40 minutes.
Such is the life and common day experiences of the hardy folk born and raised in Minnesnowta. I saw many of them walking around in shorts at the airport. God only knows how we survived our youth and the many parties we had in conditions such as this, not to mention the driving home on ice part. Counting the days to retirement in the tropics!
Good times and Happy Holy Days to all!