This story wasn’t so pleasant. It doesn’t include Yuengling in Pittsburgh (or at Penn State for that matter), Civil War history or a monumental beat-down in Minneapolis. This is where traveling (insert expletitive here) stinks.
I covered the Iowa-Michigan State men’s basketball game in East Lansing on Wednesday, Feb. 25. The only surprise for me was the outcome, only an eight-point loss for Iowa at a place where the Hawkeyes have been brutalized the last 15 or so years. There’s no question the Breslin Center had the best basketball atmosphere in the Big Ten this season. I was thoroughly impressed with the Izzone. Unfortunately, that’s just a hazy memory.
The following morning, I left the hotel about two hours before my flight. Lansing isn’t that big, and the airport isn’t that hard to find. But as I drove away, I heard about a pileup on the interstate leading to the airport because of the freezing rain that fell early that morning. So I decided to take an alternate route to the airport. Horrible move.
The route took me way out of East Lansing and in the wrong direction. By the time I reached the airport, I had only 20 minutes until my flight. I turned in my car quickly but apparently I was required to check in and board 30 minutes before my flight. No amount of pleading, explaining or proving that I had one carry-on bag and one laptop persuaded Michigan’s version of “Wings.” The flight left East Lansing without me at 8:35 a.m., and the next flight to Chicago was set for 3:30 p.m. Yippee.
I spent the next six hours messing around on Facebook, working ahead and trying to avoid my boredom. Then, I noticed the 3:30 p.m. flight was canceled because of heavy rain and fog. So I was stuck waiting for the 6 p.m. flight, which became 7 p.m., then 8 p.m. By then the last connecting flight in Chicago had left already. So I received a distressed traveler’s discount from a local hotel and a 6 a.m. Eastern flight the next day. I nearly considered renting a car and driving to Chicago because Iowa played at Northwestern on Saturday, Feb. 27. But I took the flight, mainly to change clothes and see the kids for a few minutes.
I won’t say social media has changed my life. But it helped get me through 12 hours of pure boredom in Lansing.