Sleet me in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)

My friend Jennelle and I have been planning to have a visit in her new home of St. Louis for awhile. She moved there to be with her new husband Kevin, and ever since I’ve been a flight attendant we’ve been hatching plans around both of our busy schedules. Finally, I received word that three of our other Chattanooga friends, Alanna, Jeremy and Hunter would be going to St. Louis as well.

Perfect, I thought. I’ll see if Mr. Darcy wants to go and we’ll make a big group trip happen! This turned out to be easier said than done because that Thursday all the flights from Chattanooga to Charlotte were pretty much booked. However, the good little CHA airport also has a direct flight to Washington DC with my airline and Darcy has a good friend who lives there who he has been meaning to visit for EVER. I’m so glad this got to work out, and from what I heard they had a stellar time.

Met up with Darcy in Philadelphia who came in from DC around the same time. We took this picture together and boarded our plane. I was all excited, I was sitting next to a handsome man, and we were going to have the time of our lives visiting some dear friends.

Darcy, Ben Franklin and I just chillin

Darcy, Ben Franklin and I just chillin

It was around this time that I realized I had lost my iPhone. In a frantic state of panic, I deplaned the aircraft and searched everywhere: our gate, the women’s restroom, the lost and found. No dice.  Suffice it to say, pretty much all the pictures I have in this post are borrowed except for the ones from my point and shoot camera. Total bummer. I was 2 weeks away from a phone upgrade too, and they would’ve given me $100 towards a new phone for the trade in!

Moving along from my moment of crisis, we made it west and hopped in our little red rental car and sped around town.

Our first stop was the arch.

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The signs said you could take a ride up the arch to an observation deck but I didn’t believe them because the arch is so thin and frail looking. I was just imagining a particularly strong gust of wind knocking the thing over and the rest of our vacation being reminiscent of the ending of Hitchcock’s famous Vertigo.

After we survived the tiny little pod ride up to the arch and looked around (and I do mean tiny!)

gasp!

gasp! We were shut up in this tiny pod for 5 minutes to ride to the top of the arch. I almost died.

we went to see my friend Jennelle and her husband Kevin. They had cooked dinner for us and it was so good to see everyone. Afterwards, we saw Jennelle perform a burlesque show. She is a natural born actress and model and she has an affinity for vintage pin-up style. We all have missed each other so much, and being reunited (albeit 600 miles away from home) made me truly grateful to have my flight benefits.

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That’s my girl there! The gorgeous redhead in the front with the orange feathers! We love you Jennelle!

After the show, Darcy wasn’t feeling too well, so I took him back to Jennelle’s place. Unfortunately, with Hunter, Jeremy and Alanna there also, there wasn’t much extra guest room space. So, being the awesome girlfriend I am, I found us a hotel room. At 2:30 AM. Shockingly, this wasn’t as easy as it sounds.

I was tired, Darcy was pretty much already sleep, and the Pakistani hotel mob boss wanted $150 to sleep in a bed for less than 7 hours before check out at 11 AM. I was not having this. Please understand that I hate haggling and any kind of confrontation involving money. I’m a big fan of getting a price and giving the vendor money and being done with it. However, $150 seemed rather ridiculous. I think the mob boss Jazeem saw a timid looking female and figured he could milk me easy. However, this was not the case. I sure was tired and stressed, but I was also annoyed (I had lost my iphone for crying out loud!) so I looked up how much rooms were running for online and found the SAME room at the SAME hotel for $90. I told the guy I could book this right now for $60 cheaper unless he wanted to get the same money in cash rather than eventually through hotels.com. He reluctantly acquiesced.

Next morning we went to have lunch at a gorgeous little restaurant called {Fountain on Locust},, and then to the Science Museum. It was wonderfully simple to get to lay on our backs on adult size nap mats and look up at a projection of the stars on a dark ceiling. We learned about Sirius the Dog Star, how different colors indicate the size and age of a star, and how they move across the sky in different seasons.

At night we visited the Thaxton Speakeasy. This, by the way, is one of the coolest venues I’ve ever seen. It was modeled after a 20′s secret bar, where you had to go down a dark alley around back and whisper a password to a gent standing outside in a bowler hat and stogie. The password, by the way, was Drugstore Cowboy. It doesn’t get cooler than this folks.

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Friends forever

Our little adventure west ended when it started pouring snow. The sky opened up and dumped copious amounts of ice as far as the eye could see, which made flights cancel and others fill up. So, Darcy and I were literally stuck in St. Louis until he decided to just take the rental car back. This turned out to be easier said than done.

This is what it looked like all the way home

This is what it looked like all the way home

Have you ever seen Planes Trains and Automobiles with Steve Martin and John Candy? That’s pretty much how it felt trying to get back to Tennessee. Mayhem and hilarity rolled into one.

Jeremy and the others caravan behind us but eventually we had to stay at another hotel. *sigh* are you seeing a pattern here?

The roads were covered and caked in snow and it made driving nigh impossible. Nevertheless, we drove behind plow trucks (which helped a little to clear the way) and braved the 7 hours through Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky before we finally made it back to Tennessee.

We laughed a lot when we got back (and breathed a sigh of relief) but it was so much fun to see our friends and take a roadtrip across country after talking about the idea for years. I love these people so much and its a blessing that we’ve remained close despite some of us moving away, getting married, changing careers, and just growing up in general. I hope there are many more to come!

Also, my friend Hunter has a hilarious Youtube channel, and he made this {video mash up} of our little journey. Check it out!

Here are some more pics in a gallery if you’d like some more samples of the trip.

 

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