Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Give me Cookies or give me... well.. umm... er.....

This is my trip report
I started out bright and early, went by my bank and got some cash, and got my bags checked and my boarding pass. I was going to use my android phone as e-boarding pass, but nooo. The check-in machines spat some paper boarding passes
John Wayne has joint use gates, so there was some other airline parked in Gate 14:
From 2011-04-09
after a bit, my 757 pulled into the Gate:

It was bit delayed, but we all got on the plane. And waited. And waited.
From 2011-04-09
The cause: horrible weather at O'Hare airport in Chicago. They did let us off the plane, and 11:00 we all got back on the plane, taxied out and you guessed it: waited some more.
Finally, 4 hours late we took off (I thought about calling it off, but I couldn't retrieve my checked bag). This was about the time we should have been landing in O'hare.
I heard about how exciting the take-offs were at John Wayne, but I didn't see that much different. Maybe If we hadn't sat for 4 hours:
From 2011-04-09
From 2011-04-09
We got a taste of the weather on the descent, as we were above the clouds when the pilots lowered the landing gear, and about 200 off the ground when we broke out. I got there just as my plane was supposed to be landing in Fort Wayne. Most of the plane was abuzz about what connections they could make. I got off the plane and called AA. I was back on the 11:30 flight with a boarding pass, which meant I had 4 hours to kill at ORD(short for ORDeal?)
So, here's a tour
Mr Abe:

The Children's Museum. I found it ironic that the "plane" is painted in what appears to southwest colors, as they only fly to Midway:

Lt Butch O'Hare's Wildcat:

Finally, at 10:00, we boarded the Embraer 145:

And 30 minutes later I was ready for my cookie! I had my camera out and was ready to expose megapixels. There was only problem: We were the first flight in to Fort Wayne all day (according to the Rental car agent) , so they cookie man went home and I went to the Best Western on an empty stomach.
The Bw was fine (sorry, I forgot to take pics). It had a free breakfast and Mike/ fridge combo, which saved me some money.
My wheels were a 2010 Ford Focus:

which was sort of a deja vu experience, considering I owned a 2003 Focus ("Honey, they cheapened the car")It seem to have the world loudest tires, as I got out to check if they were low or bald a couple of times (no, just loud)
Coming back was better, The weather was perfect:
From 4-12-2011
The cookies:
They are actually baked across from the airport by a company called Ellison Bakery I hunted up and down the aisles at the Scott's next door to the hotel, but to no avail. That morning, the "cookie man" was there (same guy as on the you tube video), and I talked him out of a couple:

This was also my first brush with the "Nude-o-Scopes", as Ft Wayne does not have metal detectors. It did not like my $6 walmart watch.
Overall, Fort Wayne is a very good airport.
It was Originally named Smith field, after Art Smith, The "Bird Boy" of Ft Wayne. This is a replica of his home built plane:
From 2-19-2011
Mr Smith invented Sky writing, and was the first pilot to successfully take off and land at night.
The current airport was built by the Army air corps during World war II and named after Paul Baer, The first American aviator to earn the title of "Ace" during World War I. The airport has a small museum dedicated to there two pioneers:
From 2-19-2011
From 2-19-2011
They also have free wi-fi, No computer? They have computers for loan. They also have a store for Du Brand chocolates and Vera Bradley handbags:

I had bought a new one with my rei divdend, and was think it was too small, so I splurged
N646AE pulling in:

and we left Fort Wayne behind:
From 4-12-2011
going over Midway:
From 4-12-2011
I had about 3 hours, so I go in my exercise by walking over to the united terminal:
From 4-12-2011
We got on the 757 back , and you guess it: delay. The first Class lavatory was leaking "Blue juice". They drained it and made them come back and use the peon's bathrooms.
I was but surprised to see this, after seeing about the run-in that the air france 380 had at JFK
From 4-12-2011
crossing the Mississippi:
From 4-12-2011
The Rockies:
From 4-12-2011
and big bear:
From 4-12-2011
I had meant to get a photo of the John Wayne statue , but forgot about. Perhaps an apt metaphor for travel portion of this trip.
Enough for now, need to unpack and start re-writing

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