January’s Adventure: Riding in a Flying Machine to the Exotic Land of Wisconsin

For Rob’s Christmas gift, I got us tickets to see “A Prairie Home Companion” in Madison, WI. We’ve enjoyed listening to this show on the radio for years, and we’ve heard rumor that Garrison Keillor might be retiring this summer. So we definitely needed to go see it!

Wisconsin is just across Lake Michigan from us, so it isn’t a bad drive when the car ferries are running. However, they are not running this time of the year, which would make the drive very annoying.

So we decided to take a flying machine.

Rob flew a lot, as a kid, but I’ve only flown once before. The three of us flew to Florida, when Beanie was 22 months old. Both Beanie and I got stick on pilot’s wings, to comemorate the occasion.

This time, Jelly Bean (still recovering from the flu), stayed with my parents, who dropped us off at the airport. We got there early, to take off our shoes and do the whole TSA bit. It went a LOT faster than the last time we flew–and they were much more relaxed, joking around even. We packed light, with a briefcase for the computers and a small rolly bag, so we could do it all carry-on and save $50. However, they weren’t too excited about us carrying-on Rob’s straight razor…So we checked that bag.

Even with that adventure, we were ready in plenty of time. And our flight was running late.

They had wifi, but it wasn't working...

While we were waiting, I saw on our boarding passes that there was a sushi restaurant at the Detroit airport, where we would have an hour-plus layover. Sounded like dinner to me! Now the plane just had to hurry up.

We ended up boarding 20 minutes late, then the de-icing took forever. This was killing me–we’re talking sushi here! There was more waiting after we arrived in Detroit late, and we ended up getting there (and having to run to the other side of the airport) 10 minutes after the next flight started boarding. We got there right before they were going to close the gate.

So it was Pizza Hut for dinner, in Madison.

We had a nice hotel suite, where we spent most of Saturday, relaxing and catching up. (Those of you with kids know how wonderful it is, to have a conversation without the little one underfoot!).

Our room had a balcony and a nice view.

Yes, he wore his sock garters.
Our show was at 9:00. It was a late show, rather than the actual show that was broadcast, which had sold out before we could get tickets. With this show, all the seats were sold out, except for the balcony seats. So we sat in the nosebleed section. The show was at the Overture Center, which was a very neat place.
When we arrived, we were immediately greeted by a cash bar, selling drinks and plastic “Overture Center” sippy cups. Apparently, if you have a sippy cup, you can bring your drink into the theater! So we enjoyed Martinis during the show.
The show itself was very good–it was music-heavy, because the musicians were having such a great time, and because I think Garrison was getting a bit tired. Robin and Linda Williams, a bluegrass group, were there, which was neat because we have seen them in Mount Pleasant, near our house. Everyone was getting so into the music, that the show ran over by nearly an hour, and I ended up having to slip out and tell the cab company that I would just call when it was over.
I did call, but we never did see our cab. It was absolute chaos downtown, with everyone looking for a ride back, so we ended up finding a cab and making it back to our room by midnight.
We stayed up and talked for awhile, then got a few hours of sleep before heading to the airport in the morning, for our 6:50 flight. There were some neat sights at the Madison airport.

I know a thing or two about those...Our plane?

On the flight back to Detroit–which left on time, thankfully!–we were treated to a wonderful sunrise. There was a break in the clouds, and we saw the sun rise over the shore of Lake Michigan. It was an absolutely awesome sight, and I think we were the only people on the plane who noticed.
Best of all, we got to Detroit early, with plenty of time for a sushi breakfast. It’s good any time of the day, folks! Theirs was all cooked, but it still wasn’t bad.
To get to our next flight, we had to go through the trippy tunnel at the Detroit airport. This tunnel has psychadelic lighting on the walls, and kind of surreal music playing. I’m never sure what to make of it. But this is the first time we haven’t had to run through it (and most people are running through it).
Our seat on the last plane (in the back of coach, of course!), gave us a great view of the bondo-ed up wing. And during our 30 minutes in the air, we were treated to lots of disconcerting noises and lurches.
But we obviously made it back in one piece.
Next month, Rob will become old enough to run for President. I suppose I should get to work, planning an adventure for his present…