It sounds waaaaay better than it actually was. Our CJ200 airplane took off from Toronto Pearson International Airport in Ontario Canada shortly after 7:45am eastern standard time (EST) and came to a rolling holt at one of the many gates along Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, in Detroit, Michigan USA. The time reported by Co-pilot Kevin Long was 7:55am central standard time (CST). According to him we made good time and we would be de-boarding the plane as soon as the luggage handlers were on point.
Rolling the carry-on luggage in my right hand and the ugly burnt orange Dakine backpack on my back I wondered into the concourse thinking, “what’s for breakfast?” as my stomach growled and I realized if I was back in Edmonton it would be around feeding time.
In my experiences with short flights of less than an hour when I get off the plane the last thing on my mind is typically sitting back down for whatever reason. Therefore I went in search of a drinking fountain to fill up the nearly empty grey Yeti tumbler. Followed by a search for a location map to determine what the possible breakfast options were in Detroit’s airport?
Legs moving we searched left then right without locating that damn location map. Then I saw a long staircase and escalator system going down, down, down into a corridor. Looking through the windows it looked as if I was in a “wing” of the actual concourses and the only real option was to go down with everyone else. Thankfully I had plenty of time to kill and opted for the staircase to give the legs a bit of a workout.
Wow! that was some staircase, I thought spinning around at the bottom to see just how many flights that may have been? At least three maybe four could have been five, it was like being in Japan heading down for the train system. Spinning back around the walls glowed with a wide open space and two human conveyor belts on either side going there and coming back.
Again, I opted not to use the mechanical systems as I had time to kill and needed to get the legs walking. As I wandered through the hallway I realized the speakers were playing “Its a Wonderful Christmas” and after a minute or two it finally hit me that the dancing colourful lights were in-sync and choreographed to the music coming out of the hidden speakers. Nearing the centre of the hall, I stopped to listen and watch the colours as other travellers were swept past my observation area.
At the far end of the hallway there were four escalators; two going up and two coming down. Reaching the top I finally spotted a tall kiosk and slid over to it. My gamble paid off on the opposite side was an interactive location map and I read in the top corner 8:13am this meant I had plenty of time to keep exploring the concourse, locate some food and stretch the legs as the Hello Wisconsin! flight started boarding at 9:45am.
Fingers on the screen, pushing here and looking there I wasn’t really seeing anything that screamed out “we serve breakfast! come eat here!” and with that in my head I spun around and around with my luggage thinking do I go right or left? After another minute I stepped to the left and said to myself, screw it, lets go left and see what we come up with???…
With food on the brain I came across this ten-foot tall bubble gum machine and happened to locate a loonie in my pocket when I realized HEY YOUR IN DETROIT ROCK CITY! damn it! the loonie’s not going to work. Luckily this gigantic bubble gum machine accepted credit cards.
Visa out, Visa tapped, and we were awarded with two round pieces of bubble gum. One into our backpack the other into our mouth and off we went in search of better nourishment. A few minutes down the hall we found a Starbucks and wandered past the twenty-five person que until we spotted a cafe and the smell of delicious chicken wings wafting through the air.
Checking out the menu we were disturbed by the sheer number of choices which contained bread, english muffins and eggs as we tended to stay away from hot foods in the morning and typically at oats with fruit or veggie breakfast skillets. This is when we noticed the plethora of cold salads along the deli counter. Eye brows raised we began reading through the ingredients listed until we settled on a tabouli salad and a kale salad without mayonnaise.
Wandering over to the cashier we spotted a couple of fair trade chocolate nibs and bought those too, for later down the road. As we exited the cafe we noticed upstairs a red train approaching at a rapid speed. An indoor train… we thought, its like being a kid with a train track in your room. This awesome! Looking down at our phone we noted after eating we’d still have thirty-nine minutes to kill. And the train ride looked like it would be one of our last activities to do before our next flight.
The only questions remaining were;
- is the train ride free?
- how long does the train ride last?
- how many train rides could you complete before having to leave?
Wondering over to a table we sat down with our selections of food then thought looks like we found our next bit of Detroit City entertainment before having to head back over to the other terminal for boarding. But first lets polish off this breakfast food.
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