|Chicago: Ubi Est Mea - Where's Mine?
Sunday, September 6, 2015
Friday, October 19, 2012
Friday, September 7, 2012
As the final part of my trip, I scheduled a 14 hour layover in London (stops less than 24 hours don’t count as your free stopover), 2 hour stop at O’Hare, and a 32 minute layover in Moline, IL (MLI). The London layover was great because I could leave the airport, see a friend, and enjoy London just before the Olympic games started. The Moline layover was the only way to fly to Denver. It wasn’t the same aircraft for both segments, so there was a serious chance I would miss my connection (I’ve flown tight connections before on the same plane, making it impossible to miss your next flight).
London was great! After reading The Economist, I was expecting long lines at every point in the
airport. There was no line at customs and LHR was packed with friendly
volunteers to point you on your way.
The blue Tube line doesn’t run 24 hours, so don’t plan on
taking the Tube for a very early departure. We decided to play it safe and take
a cab; all the horrors of LHR were supposedly in full effect and a minimum of 2
hours was needed. The check in and security line the next morning was
miniscule. We made it from to cab to the
Star Alliance lounge (showers, wifi, and a decent breakfast spread) in less
than 20 minutes. This might be the first
time The Economist was wrong. I doubt
the speedy LHR experience or The
Economist being wrong will be repeated soon.
I saw a
departures board and it seemed like every United Express flight was
delayed. I went to the United Club to
get some help going to Denver, but a direct flight was cancelled and there were
no seats through connection points. I
was left to cross my fingers that my ORD-MLI would arrive in time to catch the
MLI-DEN flight. I missed it by 15
minutes. After 6 hours of killing time
(free wifi, walking the terminal, starting a fire, etc.) the last flight out
started boarding and I was heading home. A fast trip that felt interminable at
times had come to a close.
London was putting on their best for the world. Everything was lit up, there was a large public art display, and most people were exceptionally friendly. I really enjoyed walking along the river at night. There was some much happening, great places to eat, and brilliant sights. There were also dozens of the Olympic statues painted in different ways scattered about town. The mascot was ugly, but some artists did great work despite the handicap.
|Sunset by Arsenal's Emirates Stadium
|Lottery Fund Public Art
The flight from LHR to ORD on a United Airlines 767 was pleasant. We booked (yes, my friend still wanted to sit next to me after a week of travelling together) the second exit row on the plane and had plenty of space. Breakfast was a tasty waffle (adding a pound of sugar to it helped) and I settled in attempting to watch a movie and fall asleep. Neither activity went well. After a quick sandwich before landing, we were at O’Hare. My friend was heading into Chicago and we parted ways.
|Seat 21A on a United Airlines 767 from London
|United Airlines Coach 767 Breakfast From London
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Quite a few airports have museums or historical displays and most are quite interesting. San Francisco Airport’s museum is the most famous and accredited; they have changing exhibits spread across the airport. A recent favorite of mine was TV’s over time and historic racing motorcycles. SFO has a large budget and lands high profile exhibits worthy of any museum. The disappointing aspect is there are rarely aviation themed displays.
There is an impressive display on Billy Mitchell, famous WWI
aviator and military aviation pioneer.
There is also a display of the evolution of flight and the growth of
Milwaukee’s airport. Jim Lovell, Gemini
and Apollo astronaut and Naval aviator, has lent two cases of personal items
from his flying career to display. Most
airlines operating from MKE have cases with model planes and information about
their service. Unique artifacts and
|Early Television at SFO Museum
|Classic Racing Motorcycles at SFO Airport Museum
Milwaukee has a permanent museum dedicated to aviation. Most of the items are related to Milwaukee aviation or local famous aviators. The Mitchell Gallery of Flight is my favorite airport museum. The displays are relatively static (the Midwest meal service display is gone and an Airtran case is new) and generally interesting. The museum is located in the main terminal outside security, can’t miss it. The celebration of flight is everywhere and makes me enamored of the museum.
|Mitchell Airport Museum, Milwaukee
|Billy Mitchell Portrait
|Midwest Express, Now Aviation History
|Mitchell Airport Museum Displays
Phoenix’s museum tries to be a local art gallery. SFO tries to be a downtown museum. ORD has a Hellcat bomber and a small case on Butch O’Hare. Other airports follow suit with little or nothing on display, but only Milwaukee dedicates their museum (well Montevideo too) to the wonders of flight. The Mitchell Gallery of Flight is worth a visit and don’t be surprised if you spend 15 or 30 minutes looking around.
|Capt. James Lovell's NASA Gear on Display at MKE