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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Thursday (4/7/11) 11:07am - ... wherein Peter starts planning his trip to Minneapolis.

Towards the end of June (6/23-6/26), I'm going to travel to Minneapolis for the Twin Cities Improv Festival.  I'm attending as part of the Puppet Improv Project's presentation of their improvised puppet musical, Crack!

I've noticed that I only enjoy trips when I *plan* for them -- my trip to Chicago suffered greatly from a lack-of-planning, and my trip to Portland greatly benefitted from excessive planning.  So I figure, even though TCIF is still a couple of months off, I should start sketching out the vacation now.  A trip costs me as much as maybe three months of discretionary spending, so I like to make travel as not-lame as possible.

As far as getting there goes, the puppet folks had talked about road-tripping up to Minneapolis.  This is the cheaper option, assuming one's time is free.  But it's about a nineteen-hour drive, and my nine-to-five is very parsimonious with vacation time.  (Plus, being trapped in a car with people for any length of time tends to make me stabby.)

So:  airplanes!  It's expensive, but it looks like I can get direct flights in and out of MSP.  My current plan is to arrive in Minneapolis around 2pm on Thursday.  Then I could depart on Sunday at 2:30pm ($399) or 5:30pm ($438).  So I need to calculate whether those extra 3 hours are worth the extra forty dollars.  I can survive the extra financial hit, but my gut tells me that by the time Sunday rolls around, I'll be very ready to go home, and I'll need all of Sunday night to unpack and decompress.

Next, I need to sort out where I'm staying and how I'm getting around.  I'm 99% sure I want to get my own hotel room.  (As judovitch can attest, I do not roommate well.)  If I got a room downtown, I might be able to get by without a rental car.  Light rail runs from the airport to downtown, so I'd be spending maybe $5 on rail fees instead of $100 + gas on a car.

On the other hand, if there's touristy stuff I want to do in Minneapolis that's outside of downtown, I might be out of luck, or at the mercy of a tricky bus system.  I suppose it's just a big logistics problem:  total up the expected public-transit fares, total up the expected gas and rental fees, and total up how much extra it costs to stay downtown instead of outside downtown.  I should put a cash estimate on the inconvenience of public transit.  I also need to verify that public transit will get me to whatever touristy stuff I want to do.

Oh -- that brings me to, "What will I be doing in Minneapolis during the day?"

I mean, my nights are covered.  I'll be watching shows, and I suppose there will be improv parties afterwards.  But what will I do during the day?

I'd like to take workshops if they're offered.  I regret not doing any of the workshops at the last Out of Bounds Festival -- partly because learning stuff is fun, and partly because it's a chance to be social.  As it was, my only chance to interact with all the other visiting improvisors at OoB was at the parties.  We all know how bloody useless I am at parties.  So it would be nice to improvise with all the Mipples and visitors, as I can halfway-kinda-sorta function in that environment.

That said, if there *are* workshops, I can't spend *all* my daytime hours doing workshops.  This is because I detest visiting a city without actually seeing the city.  This happened to me a few times when I travelled to dance exchanges -- I went to San Francisco, for example, and spent most of my time on dance classes instead of *seeing San Francisco*.  (Madness!)  So I need to look up some touristy stuff to do in Minneapolis.  Plus I'm checking to see if there will be any blues dancing going on (apparently they have a monthly dance that might take place that weekend -- *crosses fingers*).  I may play hooky from one of the improv parties so I can pay a visit to the local dance scene.

Finally, I need to think about food.  Granted, I'm not much of a foodie -- most food doesn't make much of an impression on me, so I generally don't really go out of my way to find the best eats.  But it would be nice to go into this trip with at least a *little* bit of research on food I want to check out.  I'll probably give the Minneapolis board on Chowhound a good look.

And I *never* want to get in the bind where I *have* to go to a restaurant that isn't that great -- then I lose time, pay a lot of money, and probably wind up with unhealthy food that I don't even like.  Hopefully I can (1) get a hotel room with a fridge, and (2) lay in a supply of groceries when I first show up.  Then, I can go to a restaurant meal if there's a restaurant I really want to visit -- otherwise, I can cheap out and eat a sandwich.

So that's where I'm at now.  Hopefully I can get my plane ticket sorted out soon, and the rest, I can research over time.

ETA:  Jill reports that (1) there will be workshops; (2) there is a grocery downtown; and (3) the theater is easily accessible via the #4 bus.

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Mood: [mood icon] contemplative · Music: none
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[User Picture]
From:biscuitpig
Date:Thursday (4/7/11) 10:45am
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Yeah!! From Downtown you just take the #4 bus to our theater an it is fantastic!

Honestly, Shana did a lot of great research, I would totally chat her up if I were you. She did my city RIGHT.
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[User Picture]
From:biscuitpig
Date:Thursday (4/7/11) 10:45am
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Also there's a downtown Target store that has a nice but small selection of groceries, so packing in is totally an option.
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From:biscuitpig
Date:Thursday (4/7/11) 10:46am
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And we're having amazing workshops!
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From:hujhax
Date:Thursday (4/7/11) 12:48pm
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Thanks *so much* for this info, Jill!

I know you don't have everything nailed down yet, but am I right in guessing there might be workshops on Sunday afternoon & shows on Sunday night? (I'm toying with a possible Monday-morning departure.)
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From:biscuitpig
Date:Thursday (4/7/11) 7:01pm
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Yes! Your assumptions are all correct!

Please ask more questions, they're making me want to make an FAQ. Only it would be a PAQ.
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From:hujhax
Date:Friday (4/8/11) 7:38am

PAQ

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Lessee... at this point, I need to research:
* Good places to eat near the HUGE theater
* Touristy things to do during the day in Minneapolis
* Finding a cheap hotel, either:
      * Near the theater
      * Convenient to public transit
* Where/when I pick up my badge/ID/whatnot
* All the shows/workshops are at the HUGE theater, right?
* When the performance schedule might be up.

(That last one, only b/c it just occurred to me that I can't really buy a plane ticket home on Sunday night unless I'm sure PIP isn't playing on Sunday night.)
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From:hujhax
Date:Friday (4/8/11) 12:18pm
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(Also, does the HUGE Theater have WiFi we can use?)
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From:biscuitpig
Date:Friday (4/8/11) 9:25pm
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Yes! There is wi-fi!
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From:judovitch
Date:Thursday (4/7/11) 7:28pm
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"As @judovitch can attest, I do not roommate well"

That made me laugh - I was trying to remember if we ever actually put in the duct tape line down the middle of the room, or if we just talked about it a lot. :-)

In all honesty (and this may be old age coloring my remembrances) you were really pretty good as a roommate, otherwise we wouldn't have stuck with it for 2.5 years. Of course we had our share of spats, but so do any two people who spend time in close proximity. And we've kept in touch, which is more than I can say for pretty much anyone else in our immediate social group...
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From:judovitch
Date:Thursday (4/7/11) 7:29pm
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As an addendum, I'm pretty sure I annoyed you far more than you ever annoyed me. :-)
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