It’s that time of year again - my annual trek to Fargo. People still chuckle when I tell them where I’m going… I guess if you’re from Fargo, you just get used to that. :) I briefly re-read my posts from last year. A year ago, I tried Roam Mobility for the first time and it was fantastic. I’ve used it two or three more times since then and am using it again for this trip. My cell provider is Telus and their options for US data roaming are a joke both in cost and what data you get for that price. Roam Mobility’s prices are a no brainer for what you get IMHO. The only carrier whose deal is decent is Rogers, because you’re using your own data allowance. Everyone else’s data roaming plan is some lame amount of data for more money than it’s worth. If you aren’t with Rogers, check it out. I’m not getting paid anything for this btw… I just have been impressed with the ease of using their services so far on several US trips.
This year, I booked flights from Toronto instead of the closer-to-home airport in Kitchener. The pricing was way better. For the same as what I paid last year, I’m getting 3 first class flights out of 4 total flights to and from. Sweet! :)
I flew out at 7am Toronto time. Because of the early flight, I drove to Toronto the night before and stayed at the airport hotel (Sheraton). Well worth it, as I walked out of reception, right into Pearson Airport Terminal 3. Easy peasy.
I breezed through security and customs thanks to Nexus, grabbed breakfast and had an hour to relax and enjoy that before boarding.
While waiting for my flight, during the pre-boarding announcements, I had to laugh. “If you have a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, you’re not allowed to charge it on this flight and it must remain turned off during the whole flight.” (Paraphrasing… but I had to laugh). Same announcement in MSP (Minneapolis-Saint Paul) flight pre-boarding. Too funny.
I made it MSP without incident and then had a half hour before the next flight to Fargo. My gates were miles apart (or it felt like it) but I took the opportunity to stretch my legs and just walked, skipping the moving sidewalks. Took about 20 minutes but felt good to move!
The flight to Fargo was over in the blink of an eye, because I fell asleep for the entire flight. It felt great! I also won the “wait for your bag in the jetway” bingo (LOL), with the first bag off the rack being mine. I don’t check luggage if I can avoid it! This was one of those small planes that doesn’t have room in the overheads for a regular small bag so you check it at the gate.
The airport was pretty deserted and I ended up grabbing a cab to the hotel and got checked in. After a little downtime in the hotel lobby checking maps and looking at things to do, I walked over to the West Acres Mall for my annual visit to the Roger Maris museum. I love that stuff!
A cab ride later, I went downtown to get lunch (& wander the downtown core) as it was already after noon CST. Having eaten last at 5:00am EST, I was kind of hungry! I remembered a place I went to after the first pub crawl a couple years ago, Vinyl Taco, and it didn’t disappoint. Yum!
After lunch, I wandered the downtown for a bit and stumbled on the Red River Market, that runs on Saturdays. Cool spot… lots of interesting vendors, predominantly food-related but not all of the tents were food vendors.
One of the vendors was a business called Lost in Fargo selling t-shirts and sweatshirts. I picked one up. Lost in Fargo is how I felt much of the afternoon! ; ) Someone will see me wearing this here one day this week for sure! Pam Misialek was kind enough to give me a couple of pointers on things to check out but I kept running into road blocks, literally, there’s lots of construction. So, lost in Fargo was pretty close to accurate today!
After getting a cab back to the hotel, and resting my feet at the bar to update this blog post, I wandered out to get a bite to eat. I know others are here in town already but oddly enough, I still haven’t run into a single #MSDYNGP person yet. Strange! I am writing this just before actually going out to get a bite to eat so I’m sure by the time I eat and get back to the hotel, there may be more familiar faces congregating at the bar in the lobby or something! There’s a wedding here tonight so there’s no shortage of people coming in and hanging around, just none of them are here for the conference! Go figure.