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Santa Schnellenberger, taxi update and travel tips

// Dec. 24: Christmas with my family...my FAU family


Yes, that Christmas tree does have an owl mask on top. It's decorated with blue and white lights and two owl ornaments.


There's nothing under the tree, yet. But when I wake up in the morning, my bags will be packed and inside my luggage will be two tickets to the Motor City Bowl. That, my friends, is my Christmas present.


With my dad and step-mom in Dallas, my mom, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins and Goddaughter in Jersey and step-sisters and friends in Florida, Christmas would have been a little lonely in San Antonio without the invite to the Bowl game, although I probably would have driven to Dallas.


So to Santa Schnellenberger and his elves, I say thank you for allowing me to spend Christmas with my family... my FAU family... and then my family in Jersey.


From Detroit, I'll be taking four planes, stopping in two cities, to get to Kennedy Airport, and then hop in a car for what is supposed to be a two-and-a-half our car ride into Jersey. Apparently there is only one flight track that goes from Detroit to New York that had an opening, and I'm on it. So if I'm delayed and miss one of my connections... well...


And God help me, if I don't get to Jersey by noon on Dec. 28 for my Goddaughter's first birthday, you may have heard the last of $mitty. Sister $mitty is unforgiving, although I'm sure my goddaughter Deanna will understand why I missed her first birthday in a few years when she hears the story of why Uncle Ri Ri (Ree-Ree) wasn't there to see her goo goo and ga ga over her FAU stuff she got for Christmas.


So why am I telling you this?  TRAVEL TIPS!


But first, an update:

Taxi cab ride from the Detroit airport to the team hotel isn't $40 as originally expected. Ted Hutton e-mailed me and said he paid $50. So that $52 "executive sedan" ride that I booked just went from a great idea to pure gold.


Now for the travel tips:

It's inevitable that we all will be traveling with bags that we are going to put under the plane and probably one or two bags we'll be carrying on the plane.


I'm not a travel expert, but I think if you follow these simple tips, you may have success:


Tip one: Put your tickets where your cell phone is.


Chances are, we'll be the people that turn on our cell phones as soon as the plane touches down in Detroit and start calling everyone to say "we're here!"

Don't pack your game tickets in the luggage that goes under the plane. If they lose your luggage, you'll be without the game tickets. And even though I'm sure FAU can scrounge around and find some extras, let's not take the chance.

So keep your tickets safe and put them with your phone. We all know we don't go anywhere without our phones anyway.


Tip Two: Have someone take you to the airport.

Airport parking. Usually it's not a concern, and that's the way I was going to get to the airport tomorrow morning at 67 a.m. But then Papa $mitty gave me this scenario: It's Christmas and a lot of people are traveling. What if you get to the airport and the parking is full?


I fell silent on the phone and was left speechless. DOH! So, I called ahead and the parking garage guy who picked up the phone said "we have plenty of parking." I could take a cab... but wouldn't want to risk the cab not picking me up.

And if the worst becomes a reality (no parking and at the airport without enough time to get home, call a taxi and get back to the airport)? I park my car illegally, hope it gets towed safely and worry about it when I get back. :)


Tip Three: Pack one change of clothes, hygiene products, TICKETS and your good luck charm


Carry on luggage. What should one pack in their carry-on luggage? Well, I've got a few things I'm packing:

a.       TICKETS

b.      Cell phone and cell phone charger

c.       Laptop and power cord

d.      A change of clothes

e.       My lucky boxers

f.        Deodorant and toothbrush

Why am I packing my lucky boxers? Because if I put them in my luggage, and my luggage gets lost, and I'm not wearing them for the bowl game, well... let's not go there. And coincidentally, they celebrate proper theme for the time of year.


Tip Four: Bring Blue

I was the biggest proponent for RED during the "color debate" fans were having... and I kinda still am. But I'm succumbed to the wishes of Santa Schnellenberger when he called me on the phone, knowing I wear red everywhere, and said, in his deep voice, "$mitty, did you hear the school wears bluuuuuuuuuu now?" Yes Santa Schnellenberger I did, and I will wear blue too. I think he scared the red out of me. ;)


Tip Five: Pack dollar bills and/or quarters

We'll be traveling around Detroit on the Detroit People Mover. one of the stops is inside of our hotel, and other stops include Greek Town (casinos), the pre-game pep rally location and one block from Ford Field.


It's 50 cents to ride, so bring quarters. Just don't pack them in your carry on luggage, because you'll beep going through the security check point. 


So to everyone traveling tomorrow, good luck and safe travels and I'll see you in Detroit.

The weather for our landing looks pleasant: between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., The Weather Channel is predicting mostly cloudy skies with temps in the 20s. That sounds fine to me! Just get us to the game. I'm sure those of us traveling rather be stuck in Detroit AFTER the game than stuck in San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, etc. on game day.

Merry Christmas,



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