Another day trip down. We wanted to go to Boston...but the hotels were too expensive. We then tossed up the idea of going to New Orleans....but the flights weren't as good. Finally we decided on good ol' St. Louis.
That morning Kelli and I left the house at 5:15AM to catch a 6:30AM flight. Flying is like driving to the store for us…..just another mode of transportation. But of course the day wasn't just another normal day…...it was September 11.
I have gotten lax about preparing for a personal flight. That morning showed me I need to prepare for personal flights the same way I do for my work flights.
Kelli woke up at 4:30AM. I stayed in bed. I don’t care to interact with her dogs. If I stayed in bed then she would get to them in a few minutes.
Just past 4:50AM she was out taking care of her dogs…I rolled out of bed.
First stop was getting my computers ready. I copied over several video episodes of Diggnation to my netbook from my server. We were just going out for a day trip…no need for a full laptop.
I then got my clothes out of the dryer and turned on the iron. Time 4:58AM. Kelli was busy feeding her dogs and getting ready herself. When I am on an overnight I iron my clothes the night before. I am going to start doing that for personal flights as well.
While the iron was warming up I began searching for my employee ID, cell phone charging cable and GPS for the rental car. I was done ironing at 5:09AM. I still had not found my employee ID. I stashed my netbook and cables into my mini messenger bag and slipped my shoes on. Out of the corner of my eye I saw my ID.
We rushed out the door at 5:16AM. I tossed my bag and items into the backseat and drove away. Halfway to the stop sign I reached around my neck like I always do when heading to work to make sure I had my ID. I didn’t feel it. Turn around.
I ran back inside to hunt for the ID. Not in sight. Once back in the car I saw it around the strap on my messenger bag. Nice.
Now we were 4 minutes late. We reached the employee lot at 5:38 AM. I saw the employee bus approaching. I still had not learned my lesson from 20 minutes prior and rushed myself and Kelli out of the car and across the lot. Once seated…another missing item. My cell phone.
As soon as I realized it was not in my bag or on my belt the bus pulled away. Crap. I told Kelli to go ahead and go through security and I would meet her at the gate. At the next stop I got off and walked the 1/3 of a mile back to my car. I searched for my phone, which of course was in a black case……which was hopefully somewhere inside my car. Oh yeah I have a completely black interior. I searched and searched. No phone. Crap. Time is 5:49AM.
Figuring it is in my driveway (having fell out when I went back to look for my ID) I got in my car and started driving to the terminal. I then remembered my prepaid cell phone I carry for my side business. I grabbed it out of my messenger bag (glad I packed it in there last week!) and called Kelli. We discussed our options. I then had a bright idea…have her call my cell phone to see if it was in the car. She did…and saw her phone number pop up on my radio screen. Thankfully my blue tooth was on…my phone was in my car…somewhere.
I answered and told her to go to the gate and that I would princess park (parking right at the terminal) and meet her at the gate. Parking at the terminal is expensive….but I had no choice. I had put myself into this situation.
Once parked I turned off my car and called my phone again. I saw it…it was under my brake pedal. Nice spot.
I cleared security and headed to the gate. Time 6:05AM. Flight made I needed coffee. We boarded the flight at 6:20AM. I wore my ID around my neck to make sure the flight attendants know I am here if they need me. I don’t always wear it as they can also look on the passenger manifest to see I am a crew member. Today was different.
After I took my seat the crew prepared the cabin. To my astonishment and disgust a man across the aisle wasn’t complying with the simple request to turn off his IPhone. Not airplane mode…off. The reason? The FAA says devices have to be off….they don’t mention “airplane mode”. The flight attendants enforce the FAA policy that electronic devices must be off. Don’t be an ass…just turn it off.
The flight left on time. One flight attendant felt a little sorry for me as I was sitting in a middle seat next to another large guy (hmm did I just call myself large?) and told me after takeoff I could snag an exit row aisle seat. Sometimes it pays to wear my ID.
First stop in St. Louis was the Arch. We had been there before. The first time was 3 years ago. That day it was packed and the line to go to the top was over an hour....we didn't go up. This time we bought tickets in advance. Of course there was no line.
The elevators were small to say the least. The view at the top was neat...not as cramped as I thought it would be.
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After the Arch we headed to the Anhauser-Busch factory. This was our second time on the tour. The first time the bottling section was closed. Most of the tour was the same, seeing the bottling section was way cool and worth the second trip.
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We then headed to Pappy's BBQ. We saw Pappy's on a TV show we watch called Man vs. Food. This is our third resturant to visit from the show. The line to place an order was 30 minutes long. An employee said sometimes the line is nearly an hour long. Once they run out of an item they announce is and post it on a board. Thankfully that didn't happen when we went.
I ordered a half slab or ribs and sausage. Kelli ordered pulled pork and brisket. That was the best slab of ribs of my life.
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Bellies full we headed to Harrah's because we are gamblers. Kelli financed my bank roll because I am a poor pilot. On the way a couple in a 2002ish Lincoln Continental with the gold package, pulled around and then infront of us. The guy was leaned back and had his arm around his wife. I joked with Kelli that was "big pimp".
Sure enough he pulled into the casino parking garage and proceeded to illegally park in a non-parking spot. That's how pimp's roll. After less than 45 minutes we left broke.
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Walking out ahead of us was "big pimp". He and his wife stood near the wall of the parking garage....hanging out?
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My best friend Katrina sent us a text message that we should try a specific custard place. We popped the address into the GPS on Kelli's phone and began driving. Somewhere along the way I messed it up and took a wrong turn. We were both pretty tired. I pulled over to get gas. The gas station was just 5 miles from the airport. If we headed to the airport now we could make the 5:30PM flight instead of waiting till the 7:30PM flight. Kelli gave in on custard. Good.
We made the 5:30PM flight no problem. As normal we didn't sit together as the flight was kinda full. 40 minutes into the flight the Captain advised that Dallas was closed due to weather. We would be holding. After an hour of holding we headed to Dallas. Once we got back we checked the 7:30PM flight....it cancelled. If we would have custard we would have been stuck like chuck.
For all the St. Louis day photos (with Captions, but not in slideshow mode!!!) click here.