I did dip my toe into the Gulf — it was cccccold. Like, freezing! At least I did it.
So writing this report outside from my balcony, sipping an ice-cold beer and observing interesting people. This part of the beach is devine.
Favorible impressions of Northwest Airlines
(soon to be Delta…sad to see NWA go…). So far — I haven’t flown NWA in decades, but each flight was spot on time and my bag came out only 10 minutes after arrival. First class was nice (when is it not?!) but actually I thought it was a wee bit better than American, my usual carrier. Food was actually good.
During the flight between MSP & TPA I was graced with a delightful traveling companion sitting next to me. She was from Minneapolis and ya, sure, you betcha — honest to goodness. Her mannerisms and accent were straight from Francis McDormand in the movie Fargo, but she looked EXACTLY like Ennis’s wife when she was blonde later-on from Brokeback Mountain (Was that Anne Hathaway?)! She was my age and travelling to a conference in Tampa — we had a great time talking about everything. It was a hoot.
Favorible impressions of Minneapolis Airport (MSP)
I actually haven’t transferred thru the main terminal at MSP before. It is quite large, and I had a hefty hike between gates, but it’s really nice. Massive mall will all shops you could imagine, incredible food choices. Makes me want to plan longer layovers here — with 2-3 hours you would not be bored in MSP. That said my 40 minute transfer was a bit tight, but worked perfectly — one of those magical layovers where just as you get to your next gate they pick up the mic and start announcing the boarding.
Favorible impressions of the Doubletree North Redington Beach, FL.
Slightly older building, sweetheart staff so far. I think I forget about the Doubletree when I travel — this is as nice as any Sheraton or Marriott I’ve been too, and it’s on the beach and was fairly inexpensive. And they asked, for $20, if I wanted a “welcome” package waiting for me in my room of assorted cheeses, crackers, fruit and beverages. I said yes, expecting a saucer of maybe 3 pieces of cheese and two small, green strawberries (but hey, I’m on vacation…) But then I found it and honestly — the thing is huge! All pretty and wrapped in a bow. I will never be able to eat all this cheese and fruit. It was awesome. Oh, and remember that Doubletree’s also give you a warm cookie upon checkin — yum!! Doubletree gets A+ from me so far…
So-so impressions of the beach.
It’s a nice beach for sure, and nice to look at and the Gulf view from my balcony is fantastic — love that! But, as I had thought, I can already tell that beach life is just not one of those things I’m attracted to. Laying in the sun and doing nothing. Just not my thing. And even off-season just before spring break hits there are still way, way too many people. I don’t like people as a rule. I DO like to lay around and do nothing, but not with people I don’t know and sweat dripping down my backside. Not comfortable! For me, relaxing on my balcony in the shade with a breeze reading my books OVERLOOKING the beach — well, that’s quite another thing. Lovin’ that. And the little lizards are cool.