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Travel Delays with Kids

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Creativity and an Amex are key when traveling with kids. As I was speeding down the runway towards an on time-ish takeoff, the Delta pilot skidded to a stop.

Oh #$%! I thought, I just missed my connection. No I didn't fear for my life. I feared for a day of unplanned time at an airport with my 6 year old.

Even the most clever packer can't prepare for this course of events. We arrived in Minneapolis 10 minutes too late to catch the flight to Missoula Montana. Rat turds. Delta's help desk I mean misinformation desk provided little assistance. I was shuffled between surly agents and clueless help desk answerers.

End result: I was put on a flight 10hrs later given $12 in airport food vouchers and sent on my way. I am not sure the last time Delta attempted to feed a family at an airport. Perhaps it was circa 1950, but we barely made it out of Starbucks with change (mama needed her caffeine to take on this adventure).

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Thank god for my Amex (Note: this is a completely unsponsored post). My business Visa was maxed out from event plans. So I whipped out the gold card and bought two round trip tram tickets to The Mall of America. Investment: 20 mins and $2.25 per person each way.

Heck, I thought. Why not make the best of this chance to show my daughter middle America. First stop? American Girl. We bought Kanani a new camping outfit. Yes, they have those ($30) and a new suitcase ($24).

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Since this might be the only shot my city slicker daughter has to see a Rainforest Cafe, we did it. She loved the oh-so-fake croc. And the dancing gorillas? A huge hit. Who knew? Total bill $30.

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With more than six hours to go, I did what an self-respecting parent armed with a lot of credit would do...I bought the all-day pass at the Nickelodeon Amusement Park in the center of the mall. Total bill $30. All in, we were out $123 before we had dinner back at the airport (another chain--TGIF--another $30).

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Back at good ole Minneapolis International we found an indoor playground. Score! My girl ran around for an hour chasing two other kids belonging to stranded families. We boarded our plane poorer in cash, but not in spirit. We didn't let Delta break us. Sure, I'd like my $150 dollars back, but I can't begrudge Minneapolis the city for the day of adventure with my girl.

On the uneventful return flight do you know what happened? My daughter said, "I hope Delta gives us another delay." And such is the stuff of travel memories.

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