Planes, Trains, and Missouri

15 May

Sometimes you’ve saved up quite a bit of airline miles. Sometimes you’re itching to get out of town. Sometimes your boyfriend has a birthday (and is STILL younger than you. Drats!) And sometimes, all those things occur at exactly the same time.

The general theme of this week: travel. It all started with a really long conversation about po’boys, crawfish, lakes and rivers, and how I totally intend to try to plan to visit back home soon. Then a brief moment of ‘What the fuck’ as to what to do for a birthday gift. A short while later I remembered a cache of airline miles. BAM. Crazy idea is born.

Folks, I love to travel, love to explore, love cheeseburgers, and I love pretty shoes. But those are not the things that define me. What defines me?


So I go online and look up places with non-stop flights from Albuquerque. The results: Phoenix (there in March for Radiohead), Denver (will be there again in June), Tuscon, El Paso, Dallas… All of it had been done. And none of it was different enough. Then I see it- St. Louis.

Now I would love to sit here and write that I had a solid, logical reason for choosing St. Louis- but I just can’t. It just isn’t some typical western/southwestern destination that we’re both so used to by now. Denver? Yea, seen it. Tuscon? Fun, but I’m over it

So for his 26th birthday, the boyfriend got a surprise trip to St. Louis, an afternoon out on the town, a delicious pizza, a visit to the Gateway Arch, some boiled crawfish, baked oysters, soul food etc, a shopping adventure, St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs game, lots of midwestern craft beers, and he finally got to meet someone very dear to me: the Mississippi River.

We discovered a few things over the course of our 36 hour vacation. One is that I turn into something similar to the Hulk when I’m hungry. Another is that alot of people in St. Louis seem to smoke. Like alot. And finally we learned that we travel in a very similar, haphazard style.

Case in point: Upon arriving at the metro station (at 6:04) to go to the airport, we had an ‘Oh shit’ moment reading that the train left at 6:02. Just as I had dialed the number for the cab, the rail shows up- ten minutes behind schedule. Phew. So we hurried inside Lambert airport at 6:40. Self-check in wasn’t working so I went over to the kiosk. Lady informs me that our 7:30 flight to Denver is delayed until 8:20 and that will cause us to miss our connection. Frowny face. She then says that they have moved us to the earlier, direct flight to Albuquerque. Smiley. It leaves at 7:05. In 12 minutes. Holy crap.

I’ve only once before had my name called over the intercom in an airport. And I was a teenager that time. Oops.

So I can check that, as well a a slew of St. Louis oriented activities, off of my list of things to do with my adult life. Sometimes it just works out that way.

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