A Saturday to Remember

I made it home from St. Louis unscathed, although, I wasn’t quite sure that was going to be the case until I actually stepped out of the plane in Myrtle Beach.

Sometimes, I think I have the best ideas and then they quickly turn to shit. I know I can’t be alone on this. And honestly, you would think that I would know better by now, but as it turns out, I like to learn the same lessons over and over and over again.

I woke up Saturday morning and packed my backpack. I tend to travel light or at least try to when I am not going to be gone very long. Considering I pretty much wore the same pants and alternating shirts while I was there, I could have packed even lighter than I did. My backpack was fairly heavy. It had a laptop, a kindle, two notebooks, some pens, my glasses, some toiletries, a spare pair of flip flops, some supplements, and some clothes in it. I don’t know how much it weighed as I’m pretty bad at guessing those kinds of things, but if I were held at gunpoint and forced to guess, I would say, it was somewhere between 20-30 lbs.

It didn’t really feel heavy at first. You know, when you are first awake and you haven’t used your body much in the morning and you feel strong? That’s how I was feeling.

So I got dropped off by the park where the zoo is and planned on putting my backpack in a locker at the zoo like I did at the History Museum the first day I got there. In case you were unaware, the St. Louis Zoo is sprawling. I grabbed a zoo map, but for some reason, my brain does not calculate maps. I just kept walking around in a big ass circle unable to find the lockers or the stroller rentals, because that was going to be my backup plan, until I finally found the building I was looking for. It turns out, I was obliviously walking past it. Three, maybe four times. By the time I realized that was the building I was looking for, I was so hot and irritated and hungry, I decided to just leave the backpack on my back and go walk through the park.

I have this crazy idea that one day I will backpack El Camino de Santiago. So I just kept telling myself that it was good practice. It was cloudy and there was a breeze so the 80 degree temps didn’t feel all that bad at first, but as the clocked ticked on, the humidity ticked up. Before I knew it, I had pulled my hair in a ponytail and was wiping sweat from the sides of my face as it dripped off my chin. Still, I trudged on.

Forest Park has all kinds of places with maps so you know where you are at all times. That really only helps if you have a sense of direction and/or can read said map. Usually, I am very smart when it comes to directions and finding my way around. I’m not sure what happened yesterday, but it set the tone for the whole rest of the day.

By 10 am, I had hit my 10k steps according to my fit bit. My back was drenched in sweat. I was wearing a sleeveless shirt and had put my hoodie over my shoulders like a 1990 sweater on a Catholic school girl so I could put my backpack on and it wouldn’t rub my shoulders raw. That mission was accomplished, but I was sweating so bad that my hoodie was wet all the way through. When I finally decided that if I didn’t have water and some breakfast, I was either going to die or kill someone, I found a cute little restaurant online, thanks to google, and headed a few more blocks for brunch.

The Songbird Cafe was definitely the highlight of my whole day. I ordered a frittata and a matcha tea and pretty much drank all the water in the joint. Taking that backpack off was a close second. My shirt was soaked on the back, the hoodie was soaked all the way through, my hair was soaked and I looked a total freaking mess. But the server was so kind and pretended not to notice. The frittata was heavenly. The first bite changed my mood, maybe even my life. And to top it off, it came with a small bed of mixed greens. I wanted to stay in there forever or at least until my shirt dried. I talked to some of the other people who were sitting at the bar and eventually finished and was ready to go. When I opened my wallet to pay, I realized I had left my debit card at the taco joint the night before and didn’t have any cash.

Luckily I had one lone credit card in my wallet and used that. I ended up not having enough time to go get my debit card because the train to the airport that I got on as soon as I was finished eating, had a detour. We had to get off the train, get on a bus and be taken two other stops down the road, which added 30 minutes to my commute and I didn’t want to miss my flight.

Around the time I got to the airport, the clouds came rolling in and the sky opened up. Our flight was delayed. Thirty minutes. Then and hour. Then Two. After about two and a half hours, they started letting us board. I knew I was going to have to rush to catch the connecting flight, but the pilot made up some time in the air. So we landed and I had almost 30 minutes before they even started boarding, and we were parked on the tarmac. There was a plane at our gate and we had to wait, and wait, and wait. After about 40 minutes or so, we finally started moving toward the gate. I ran, well, half walked half ran, I wasn’t about to sprint with that big ass heavy bag on my back, to my gate. The door was closed and there were people from other flights and mine trying to get on. They were yelling and being so rude. One of the people working, dealing with the others, looked at me and said, “you can go to customer service and they will re-book you.”

No problem.

I think when you travel, you have to be mentally prepared for things to not go your way. That had been par for the course yesterday anyway. After waiting in the American Airlines line for about 40 more minutes, I was finally at the counter and was put on the plane. I think I got the last seat on the plane, because the dude who was behind me was also going to Myrtle Beach and he did not get on the plane.

So we finally took off in this much smaller than the others plane and started our 36 minute flight home. A big plane is like a cruise ship. You can’t really feel all the turbulence and small directional changes. A small plane is like a tiny boat on an angry sea. You could feel every cloud, every air pocket, every time they slowed the plane down, every time they made even the tiniest shift in direction and it made me so motion sick. I was popping tic tacs like it was a life or death situation and praying to the gods of not vomiting to keep me safe in their loving arms.

We finally touched down, which incidentally is also not near as smooth as a larger plane, and I am not sure I have ever been more relieved and grateful.

I think I got to the St. Louis airport at 12:30 pm on Saturday and got back home right before midnight. Needless to say, it was a hella long day, but you know what? It was still a really good day. I learned about some cool places in St. Louis, I ate the best frittata ever created, I learned a few good lessons about patience, and I learned that the flight attendants who have to fly on those little planes are the real MVP and are highly underpaid. I don’t even know what they make, but I can tell you, it’s not enough.

And then I woke up today and stepped back into reality. Grocery store, meal prep, laundry, unpacking, loving on animals… all the good stuff!

I hope you had an eventful weekend that gave you something to be grateful for and that somewhere in the bad, you could find the good. See you tomorrow.

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