The flight was short and uneventful. I met M from our customer. Originally we were to go to processor A to look at some soybeans he had stored there. We had previously shipped out 7 containers of wheat that was found to have bugs in it when they reached Japan. Not good. So our customer wanted to make sure that they soybeans didn't have bugs as well. The only problem was that it would take two hours to get to processor A and M needed to be back in Minneapolis by 1pm for his flight back to Japan. So we wouldn't have very much time at all to visit processor A. My return flight was at 7pm, so I needed to get back by 6pm. Since I was to have M back by 1pm I would have 5 hours to kill, which meant a trip to the Mall of America, which is very close to the airport.
But M was worried about the lack of time, which left two choices. Either I go by myself to processor A, or he would try to get a later flight, which would give us plenty of time. Personally, I was hoping for the first option so I could go to the Mall of America. But no, M got a change in his flight for Saturday so we had lots of time. I had foolishly mentioned earlier, when it looked like we would have limited time that it was a shame as we could have seen processor B, who was currently cleaning the replacement wheat to go to Japan to make up for the stuff that had bugs in it. So now we had plenty of time to see both processors.
We got our rental car and headed out. We saw processor A and then processor B. M was not so very impressed with processor A, but liked processor B. The replacement wheat seemed to be very good indeed. And no bugs. M wanted to have the 7 containers worth of soybeans at processor A moved to processor B for recleaning. Processor B has more flexibility in how he loads containers and so we could get it done with out pallets.
We got a bit of a late start back and by the time I got the rental car returned I was running late for my flight. I was supposed to drop M off at his hotel, but there wasn't time. So I'm rushing for my flight and got to the security checkpoint. I put the backpack I had in the tray along with my shoes, keys, some change. They made me take off my jacket so that went in another tray. I was carrying my wallet. As I expected, I set off the alarm. So I took off my watch (detached it from my pants) and put that in a tray. They ended up having to use the wand on me again.
So I got my jacket on, put on my shoes, got my watch and wallet and grabbed my backpack and headed for my flight. As I headed for the escalator to the level with the gates, I heard the final boarding call. And the best part was that the gate was way at the end. I got there, but they didn't say anything as they took my boarding pass and I headed toward the plane. There was a long line waiting to get on the plane, so I didn't feel so bad about being late. Eventually I got on and my seat was way in the back, in the middle. I'm not a big fan of middle seats. Give me the aisle or the window, but not the middle. I had the latest Harry Potter book with me and I read that (both on the way to Minnesota and on the way back) which made the flight better. It was only an hour and a half flight, give or take 20 minutes. We seemed to be running a bit late for the return trip. There was really bad turbulence on the approach to Detroit Metro airport. It seemed to take us a very long time to land, and it was pretty rough. But we got down safely.
I headed out to the parking structure where I had parked, found my car and reached for my car keys. No car keys. I checked all pockets and my backpack. Nothing. I began to swear. Where the hell was my keys? Did they fall out as I was visiting the different processors? But no, I had them when I went through the security checkpoint as I put them in the tray along with some change. I didn't have the change either. Yes, dear readers, I had left the damn keys in the tray at the security checkpoint in my haste to reach my flight in time.
So I called Liz and she came out with a spare key, which took her a long time. I felt bad for making her drive all that way at 10pm. But she showed up and I was very happy to see her. I got the spare key and went inside. I decided to check with security in the Detroit airport to see if there was an easy way to get my keys back. I was told to go to the lost luggage claim office and get the lost and found phone number for the Minneapolis airport. But it was too late to call when I got home, and I couldn't get through today either. I'm hoping to get my keys back. While I was waiting in line at the Detroit lost luggage office, I was behind a couple. The wife and other relatives, including her daughter Brigit and Brigit's grandmother, had just come back from Disney World. The husband had not gone. The mother was telling the husband all the cute things tha Brigit had done on the trip. At one point, a relative, brought the tired Brigit (who was probably 5 years old) to her parents. Keep in mind that this was after 10pm at night. Well not surprising, Brigit turned out to be a red haired child. Her father picked her up and she started complaining about being thirsty and needing something to drink right away. They discussed whether or not there was a drinking fountain around. I had a couple bottles of water that I had brought with me so I gave one to them. They were very appreciative. I felt good for being able to help.
After getting the number, I was finally able to drive home.
I just looked up the lost and found at the Minneapolis airport on the internet. I've found a new phone number for items lost at security checkpoints. I'll have to try that.
So it was a very long, tiring day, but the best part was being able to give the people in head of me in line the water.