Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sikes Conquers Detroit Airport; Builds Confidence for Osaka

I am in Terminal A of Detroit’s amazingly long airport. To fill the minutes before boarding my flight to Osaka, I’ve walked through the whole place and decided that it must be at least a mile from start to finish. During the walk I thought about my hopes that the Cleveland Indians can make their season string out in a similarly lengthy way. I’m not really that into baseball overall, but I love Cleveland’s sports teams and do my best to stay up-to-date. Unfortunately, the Tribe lost last night, 4-3, to the Devil Rays after laboring through 12 offense-less innings. Making matters worse, the DRs are the worst team in the AL at the moment and our ace pitcher – C.C. Sabathia – was on the mound. Still, we remain in possession of first place in the AL Central and 1.5 games ahead of the next closest rival – Detroit. See the irony?

Other excitements of the day so far:
After flying from Greensboro to Detroit, I’m faced with an important decision. I have five hours until I board my next flight to Osaka and in the meantime, I need to figure out whether I complete my 3 mile run
a) outside, despite the pouring monsoon of a rainstorm that has caused massive flooding throughout the Midwest over the last few days
b) inside, navigating the mile-long concourse three times, but also dodging people and ignoring the very legitimate frustration/unhappiness/commotion that accidentally bumping into or colliding against them is likely to cause
c) through a game time alternate option to be determined later

I elect C.

Plan C takes the form of the Fitness Center of the Westin Hotel. This Hotel is within the main airport itself and located directly across from Gate 36: the exact gate from which I’ll be departing in several hours. It’s a perfect set-up – complete with treadmill, showers, and even a small pool. Not big enough to allow any lap-swimming, but perfect for playing and wasting time in before my next flight…

The day rolls on…
I rode for the first time in a two-story plane!!! It amazes me that such an immense and heavy vehicle can get off the runway. There isn’t much to say about the rest of the ride – after my initial excitment over the novelty of flying in a double-decker plane subsided, the reality of a 13-hour plan ride quickly set in. Suffice it to say that very little sleeping and much reading was accomplished. I’m fairly confident that I read the phrase ‘sub-prime mortgage’ at least 50 times.

Osaka – First sight.
The bus ride from the airport to our hotel is one hour. We did not emerge from the city for the entire ride. I thought that the terminals in the Detroit airport seemed impressively strung out – how small they seem in comparison to the way this metropolis goes on and on! I forced my sleep-depreived self to take in the sight of building after apartment complex after skyscraper.

Now I’m in the hotel – about to enjoy my first meal…more on the food later.

Recent Media

Audio Interview with Michelle on RunningTimes.com

Article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer

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