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Answer Man: Sleep and fly isn't all it's cracked up to be

Dear Answer Man, I've always heard that a good way to fly out of the Twin Cities airport is to stay overnight at a hotel nearby and leave your car there until you get back, so you're not paying $20 a day to leave your car at the airport. Well, whenever I call to find a place, it either costs as much as leaving it at the airport (though you get a motel room for the night), or they don't have it. What are your recommendations?

You'll spend a lot of time online or on the phone trying to figure this out. There are websites that are aimed at people like you, including minneapolis.parksleepfly.com, but the number of sleep-and-fly hotels in the airport area are relatively limited, they're not necessarily cheap, you might wonder about the safety of your car at a few of the hotels, they don't all have early morning airport shuttles and, in the end, you don't save much money.

In other words, it's not all it's cracked up to be, though if you have an early-early morning departure, there are advantages.

Other options, as you know, are the airport shuttles that run from Rochester — Go Rochester Direct and Rochester Shuttle Service — long-term private parking near the airport (which if you have the time, and most of us don't, are an affordable option) and just flying out of Rochester next time.

Dear Answer Man, having just driven on the "belt line," 12th Street Southeast, I noticed the bright blue lights on top of the traffic lights. I find these blue lights distracting and am wondering what their purpose is. Thank you. Dick Hunter


OMG, you must read my column more often, Dick — I've addressed this more than once , but I will again, since they're so odd. They're to help cops catch red-light runners — they give the authorities a more accurate, 360-degree read on the lights from a distance.

Shutdown discounts

In my never-ending effort to serve my readers, here's another discount that an area business offers to federal employees who are affected by the government shutdown: Free admission to the corn maze and a wagon ride at Northwoods Orchard in Douglas. Available through Oct. 27, though we'd better hope the shutdown and debt ceiling brouhaha is resolved by then, or we'll all be seeking free admission to the corn maze.

You'll be amazed at what you learn from the Answer Man, but only if you read him every day. Send questions to P.O. Box 6118, Rochester, MN 55903 or answerman@postbulletin.com.

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