Monday, March 12, 2018

The Longest Route to Grenada

After spending the night in scenic Springfield, Illinois we continued on our quest to get to Grenada in the slowest, cheapest, most roundabout way possible. So we got back on the Amtrak to go to Chicago.

The train ride to Chicago passed without anything notable happening. Every stop the conductor would say something like "next stop Joliet","Joliet, Joliet, going once going twice, Joliet". Well when we got to our final stop they didn't say much of anything. The train just stopped and they turned the lights off. There may have been 8 people in our car just sitting and waiting for them to tell us to get off. They never did. Eventually we just got tired of waiting and went outside to a nearly deserted station. It was a strange experience.

The air in Chicago smells like if you put a baseball in a jar, farted in it, then yelled "Cubs lose!" at it every single day for 108 years.

We took the "L" from Union Station to O'Hare International Airport. We were riding a couple stops before Lydia realised we were standing right next to a girl she went to middle school/ high school with. Catching up with her and her girlfriend was an excellent way to pass the time.

At O'Hare we had some time to kill so we popped into the Delta lounge. We both had Delta American Express cards that give you a statement credit of $50 with your first Delta purchase. I think they assume it'll get you to buy a plane ticket, but we aren't the "pay for plane tickets" types. Buying a day pass to the Delta lounge cost like $30, so we were effectively being paid $20 each to hang out at a  booze and food buffet. #Winning

Speaking of not paying for flights, I've been just pounding JetBlue's airline mile Amazon promotion mercilessly for maybe a little over a year. Well I think I finally broke their spirits. Getting the "we surrender" email while I was sitting at the airport waiting for a free JetBlue flight was pretty fantastic. So far we've been to Ecuador and Trinidad & Tobago on their dime, soon to add Grenada. I'm hoping that the rest of the pile of their little blue tears I've amassed will get us to Barbados in the future.

I put like 5 maraschino cherries in my Baileys Irish Cream then dunked a cookie in it because I'm an adult and I make my own decisions.

JetBlue has these fantastic blue sweet potato chips as one of their onboard snacks.


I was admiring this old school Trans World Airlines manhole cover at JFK. While sitting waiting for planes or standing in line at some ticket counter I've many times gazed out the window at the fantastic retro-futuristic TWA terminal at JFK and wished I could go there and check it out.

The now defunct TWA evokes an especially strong curiosity in me because one of its former hubs was St. Louis, with another planned hub in Kansas City. My understanding is that KC built its weird airport to TWA's specifications and then TWA dumped them. Sad.

Well I looked up and saw that they are finally turning the abandoned TWA terminal into a hotel! I really must stay here. Another fun St. Louis connection is that architect Eero Saarinen designed both JFK's TWA terminal and the Gateway Arch.

So at some point Lydia and I must've said, "instead of going to Grenada from JFK the same day, let's stay the night in a Chinese man's basement in Queens". Then I assume we high fived.

"Basement in Queens" sounds to me like a place you'd stay the night only if you had been kidnapped, but it was not bad at all. 

We'll get to Grenada one of these days.

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