I was booked on the Tampa to Minneapolis Delta flight which was scheduled to depart at 12:15 PM. Accordingly I gave myself an hour and 15 minutes for the drive which normally takes a bit over an hour. But leaving at 9:55 AM was decidedly non-rush hour. Considering that I’d have to park, check a bag, then pass through security, I figured I’d have lots of time.
No problems with the drive. I had my GPS doing its thing even though I knew the way. Certain things are invaluable like when the instructions say something like – In one and a quarter miles take the ramp for I-275 on the right, or something similar.
So I get to the airport and find the entrance to the Long Term Parking and head up the ramp. Level 3: Lot is Full – Closed. Ditto for Level 4 and level 5. That meant no covered parking for me. I had the rooftop lot. Only that lot was nearly filled. I ended up cruising around the lot for more than 15 minutes before finding a spot.
So the GPS went into the suitcase (I’d need it big time in Minneapolis as I’d never been there) and off I went. From Level 6 Lindberg Brown Parking you take an elevator down, then an escalator to the Departures Area. See you in Minneapolis I thought and hoped as I handed over my suitcase.
Next came security. No TSR pre-approved this time for me. It is always nice to get that but it seems so random. However, there was no line to speak of, so it went fast. I had to go through the standard security line – shoes off, laptop out, nothing in your pockets. Somehow I earned a pat down but there was nothing to find.
But because of the difficulty in finding a parking space, by the time I got to the gate, boarding commenced in only one minute. We pulled away from the terminal on time, and after a long (in distance) taxi to the runway – there was no wait. We took off immediately.
Left on time, and 2 hours 48 minutes later we touched down. Actually the pilot informed us that we had arrived 31 minutes early. Follow the signs to Baggage Claim and the Rental Cars. It involved a ride on the airport tram just one stop.
No lines at the car rental counter and soon I’m out the door with my computer bag over one shoulder, my wheeled duffel trailing behind and the car keys in hand. Only I couldn’t find the right cars. I had a choice of cars in parking slots 8, 6 and 11 – I thought. What she had really said was aisles 806 to 811. Not finding the cars, or the parking slots – I went back to the counter and got the necessary clarification. Doh.
Turns out that these parking slots were the absolutely furthest distance from the rental counters. Okay I get the car – a day later I still don’t know the make. I’m really too big for a compact car – but I’d be in cramped quarters not all that long. However, it would be of great help if I had the GPS which was still slumbering in the suitcase.
After dealing with that I set the GPS for the Showplace Icon Theater at The Shops At West End (1621 West End Blvd, St. Louis Park, Mn) – which was the TCFF venue. So, with the air travel concluded, I set out. Interstate 494 to Minnesota 100 to Park Place Blvd and you’re just about there. 19.4 miles 25 minutes without traffic. Only there was huge delays on Minnesota 100 – two separate accidents.
Any way I found the venue and there was free indoor parking. I got lucky and got a space about 30 yards from a direct access to the lobby. I found the Twin Cities Film Festival office with no issues.
Reserved seating and you pick your own seats depending on availability. I was able to secure a seat for all of the films I intended to see. Naomi would hold the tickets and I’d have to pick them up each day. Since they were Comps (Complimentary) if I hadn’t picked them up by 20 minutes before the time of the film screening, the tickets would be released and made available to some one else. No problem I said.
I thanked them, and headed back to the car. Fortunately the hotel was only 3.5 miles from the theater on Wayzata Blvd. A really quick drive. Zip-zip, I checked in with no issues. Later I had dinner, the did some quick shopping. I got back to the hotel just in time for the Mets & Cubs on the TV. Sleep beckoned and so about 1030 Minneapolis time – I shut down for the night.
Wednesday the 21st –
Festival begins tonight. First film, A New High starts at 530. I will meet Ruth from Flixchatteer.net at about 400 PM for dinner before the show. Then I’ve got a second film at 800 PM called Rooms.
Check Back for the rest of today and the film reviews.