Monday, 3 February 2014

Travel Talk

I have to tell you all about our trip to Boulder on Friday, January 31st. It was a long day of travel for my Mom and me but we had a terrific time together. My Dad took us to the Robert Q station at 9:30 a.m. to catch the 10 a.m. bus to Detroit. This bus was scheduled to get us to the airport with lots of time to kill but was recommended in case bad weather or potential problems at the border made us late. 

Our bus ride was fun. The weather was good, the roads were clear and the driver was very friendly. He assigned "co-pilot" duties to the nice young man who sat in the seat next to him. We sat behind the driver and thoroughly enjoyed talking to our "co-pilot", Tony Autin for the length of the drive. Tony travels to London from Louisiana frequently as he works for InnoSoft Fusion which specializes in Recreation Management Software. He is also a foodie and made us both hungry telling us about various southern recipes and restaurants he enjoys. He is into "nose-to-tail" cuisine which I think is healthy. I can hardly wait to try grilled bone marrow now that I've heard about it. He was also telling us about an infrared oil-free deep fryer which sounds interesting. 

We had no weather delays but we did have a bit of excitement at the border. Everybody had to get out of the bus and line up for luggage inspection outside in the cold. At least we were able to watch as they went through our luggage and nobody failed so we were soon on our way. The bus got us to the airport right on time at 1:30 p.m. We were quick to get in line at the Southwest luggage counter but were turned away as it was more than 4 hrs until our scheduled departure at 6:25 p.m. Since we couldn't check our luggage, we sat and had our first snack of the day.
Mom waiting patiently for check in time
At 2:25 p.m. we got in line again and checked our luggage then headed over to security to wait in another line. Mom was very pleased to discover her Business Select ticket came with perks almost worth the extra cost. She enjoyed a short line, got to leave her boots on and collected a coupon for an alcoholic beverage on the plane. I went through the long line, removed my boots and sorted my stuff into bins. My backpack was stopped and I had to wait while they swabbed my jar of nut-ball mix. Who knew you weren't allowed to bring any type of nut butter through security? Luckily my jar passed the swab test and the nice young security officer allowed me to keep it. Phew, almost lost my yummy snack full of expensive organic ingredients. On the other side Mom was waiting all relaxed and pleased about keeping her boots on.

We checked out our gate D21, wandered to the end of the terminal checking out restaurants and headed back to the Coffee Bean for a cappuccino where a nice young lady took our photo.
Cappuccino at DTW
 After enjoying our cappuccino, we checked out some shops then decided it was time for an early dinner at Ruby Tuesdays. We asked an airport employee how to access the free internet and learned you have to go to for 45 mins free wi-fi. I was able to connect and chat with my daughter while we had dinner. My time ran out just as we finished our meal so we moved on to our gate and used Mom's laptop to Skype Dad. Their chat was cut short to start boarding. I love the Southwest boarding system where you get a spot in line and can pick whatever seat you like once you get on the plane. It's very efficient. Mom's Business Select ticket got her the first spot A01 so she was able to pick a really good seat by the window.
Selfie on the airplane
Our flight was smooth with only a very little bit of turbulence at the beginning. We sat with a nice young man who had been in Detroit for an interview. He finished Med School in L.A. and is currently looking for a residency position. We wished him luck with his search. He sat in the aisle and was very patient as I must have bugged him at least 3 times to get up and use the toilet.

We landed in Denver with about 50 mins to find baggage claim and figure out where to catch the Airport bus to Boulder. We followed signs to find the shuttle to baggage claims. Luckily, we are not shy about asking directions as it was a bit confusing. Also Mom's Rogers phone did not work in the US (bit of a surprise that she'll sort out when she returns home). Luckily we were able to borrow a nice young man's phone to call both my daughter and her hubby but nobody picked up. Oh well, we decided to head to the airport bus station with our luggage. At baggage claim we talked with a man who was also taking the bus to Boulder so we knew we were in the right place when we saw him chatting on his phone. He even let us borrow his phone to try calling again. This time we reached my daughter and told her what time we expected to get in. The bus arrived at the airport right on time at 8:43 p.m. We sat in the front, took another Selfie and then talked with the driver all the way to Boulder. 
One more Selfie on the airport bus to Boulder
The driver was very entertaining and nice so we enjoyed our trip even though the weather was terrible. Apparently, environmentalists have convinced Boulder area to use no salt on the roads. Once we left the airport road, it was slippery and there was an accident every couple of miles all the way to Boulder. Our driver was very competent so we made it to the Boulder bus station safe and sound and my son-in-law arrived right on time to pick us up.

When we arrived "home", our grandson heard us and asked to come greet us even though it was 10 p.m. and well past his bedtime. He came downstairs and gave us both a big hug and a kiss. It was a perfect end to a long day of travel. We were both exhausted but very, very happy. 

Congratulations if you've made it to the end of this post. I know it's a long one but I want to keep a detailed record of this trip with Mom as we have not traveled together since I was a young teen which is a very long time ago. 

Our week is going famously although there is no baby here yet and it is already Monday. We'll have to take my daughter out walking or something if we hope to see this baby before we leave. You can read my daughter's post on our arrival and fun first day on her photography blog here


  1. Nat looks just like you in the cappuccino picture!! Looks like a lot of fun and like you ladies enjoyed yourself! Learned something new with the salt thing! I got the Business Select for our upcoming Feb. trip and am looking forward to the perks too!! =)

    1. Thanks Isamira and yes, you will enjoy those perks.

  2. Great account of your travels, Beth! So fun to read about the characters you've met.

  3. Replies
    1. Indeed it is. I hope is well at home ... miss you lots.

  4. Thanks for sending me this blog, it was a great read!

    It was wonderful meeting you, and I'm still waiting on our pilot to take us for steaks!