Escape Artists offers up a global discourse ranging from great finds close to home to adventures far afield. You'll find weekly travel deals here, too. Share your road wisdom, rave about great finds and rant about roadblocks that get in the way of a great trip.

Contributor: Travel editor Kerri Westenberg.

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Holiday cheer rampant in Delta safety video

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg under Airlines Updated: October 24, 2013 - 2:21 PM

A dreidel spins in the aisle. Santa helps himself to an oxygen mask before assisting his neighbor, an elf. An oversized nutcracker stows his top hat in the overhead bin.

Delta is at it again, with a plan to entertain cramped and harried fliers with a new amusing in-flight safety video. The airline has produced a new holiday-themed video, which will take to the air in the coming months but can already be seen on

These vidoes are serious business, devised to convey vital safety information to fliers. Why the injection of silliness? No doubt, the airlines bring out their fun side in the hope that fliers will actually watch -- and probably as a way to say "happy holidays" to customers during a busy flying season.

Updates at area ski slopes

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg under Minnesota Updated: October 16, 2013 - 3:04 PM

The naming game: Lutsen Mountain has added two new runs for the upcoming ski season, and they want your help to name them. By offering a suggestion, you’re entered in a drawing to win a 3-day, 3-night ski vacation at Lutsen Mountains. Offer up the winning name? You’ll receive a free season pass. Submit your suggestions this weekend at the Mall of America Ski Show, Oct. 18-20, or click here to make a web entry.

When concocting monikers, think adventure: The two new runs, located near The Plunge on the north face of Moose Mountain, are double-black diamonds, meant to draw advanced skiers and adrenaline junkies.One run features a similar drop to The Plunge, a steep drop-off that poses a test of skill for even the most avid skiers. The other offers a more consistent grade, though still challenging.

McDonald's opening in late October at airport

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg under Airports Updated: September 30, 2013 - 11:32 AM

A press release from the Metropolitan Airports Commission revealed today what many hungry fliers had been waiting hear:

A new McDonald’s restaurant will open in Terminal 1-Lindbergh at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) by the end of October, bringing a familiar array of favorite fast, affordable foods back to the airport following a two-year absence.

"A new McDonald’s has been travelers’ most frequent restaurant request since that company’s contract with Delta Air Lines for stores on Concourse G expired two years ago,” said Jeff Hamiel, executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission. “We’ve been working with McDonald’s since that time to find a suitable location for the restaurant’s return. I’m pleased to say that by the end of October, travelers will once again be able to satisfy their McDonald’s craving before boarding their flight.”

Construction crews are busy near the entrance to Concourse D building an 1,800 square foot store that will be open 24 hours a day and employ about 60 people, according to local McDonald’s owner/operator and Twin Cities’ McDonald’s Co-op member Courtney Henry.

"We're very happy to be back at the airport and extremely pleased that there has been such great demand for McDonald's to return,” said Henry, whose organization, Franchise Foods, owns eight other McDonald’s restaurants in St. Paul. “We look forward to serving the traveling public and MSP employees for years to come."

There will be Grand Opening offers available in the free November/December MSP Eat, Shop, Relax coupon book as well as on the Twitter feeds of the Twin Cities McDonald’s Co-op, @McD_Minnesota and the airport, @mspairport.

Giant footprint "discovered" in New Ulm, Minn.

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg under Minnesota Updated: August 7, 2013 - 12:36 PM





It was a news release I couldn’t ignore, merging archaeology and travel. Officials in New Ulm, Minn., have discovered a giant footprint, it said. “Is it real?” I asked the publicist, foolishly. She refused to answer directly, but reminded me that the print was, duh,  found at New Ulm’s Chamber of Commerce building and that, double duh, it’s four feet long. The oversized cement impression is now on display, along with a plaque that says it’s “rumored to be that of Hermann the German,” the town’s Teutonic mascot, and that anyone who touches it will have more fun. (But who wouldn't have fun in New Ulm, home of the August Schell Brewing Company and the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame?) The footprint is in need of a back story, so the town in Minnesota’s River Valley has launched a “Legend of the Footprint” contest. People can submit their theory on the origins of the footprint at the town's facebook page until September 6; the winner will receive a prize package.




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