I’m back from Illinois. A bit of a recap of my trip to the midwest…
There was a bit of turbulence on the flight from Palm Springs to Dallas, which resulted in several passengers actually SCREAMING when the flight was a bit, eh, shall we say, bumpy. Come on people, get a grip. You are only blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube that’s some 30,000 feet off the ground…
While riding the little tram that connects terminals at the Dallas aiport (BTW, I’ve renamed that little train Thunder Mountain, cuz damn, you better hold on tight) I had to listen to some lady bitch about how confusing this whole changing terminals thing is and why can’t every airport be like Palm Springs? Uh, come on now, all you have to do is ride the little train from Terminal A to Terminal C, no brain power required…and yes, it would be great if every airport was like Palm Springs…oh wait, no it wouldn’t, because then we would never get anywhere. I hope these people don’t travel internationally…I can just see them complaining about EVERYTHING.
We arrived in St. Louis, picked up our rental car, and headed off to Sparta, Illinois (population: 4,000 something). While traveling down a highway I spotted a billboard with “JESUS” in giant letters. Subtle. I also noticed that 9/10 cars on the highway had a yellow or red, white, and blue magnetic ribbon (or sometimes both, or, in the case of the ultra patriots, 4 ribbons on one freakin car!) on the back of their car, usually turned sideways to represent the Jesus fish. Ah, Toto, we’re not in California anymore.
Sparta has grown quite a lot since I was last there (6-7 years ago). They have a Mexican restaurant and a Chinese restaurant and I must say they are pretty good. Certainly not as good as the Mexican food in SoCal or my favorite Chinese restaurant in London, but good by Midwest standards (and how multicultural, too!)
At the actual wedding reception I was introduced to this hardcore republican. He was pretty scary. Needless to say, we argued a lot. He said Bush would go down in history as the greatest president the United States has ever had. Wow, way to make me throw up my red velvet wedding cake all over your nicely polished shoes. He talked a lot about how Afghanistan and Iraq were now free thanks to Dubya – I told him I’d check back with him in 10 years to see how those two countries were doing. He said to me “Just remember, you live in the greatest country in the world.” I told him I live in the United Kingdom, and you know, I very much enjoy it. Free health care, low crime rate, an efficient public transportation system, multiculturalism – it’s all there. Ah London, how I miss thee!
We went back to St. Louis a day before our flight left and I met up with Laura. We went on a free tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery and it kicked ass. We saw the Clydesdales, the big tanks where the beer ferments, the packaging facilities, etc. The best part, though, was at the end of the tour, when they take you to a room, hand you a bag of pretzels, and direct you to the bar where you can get two free samples of any Anheuser-Busch product…and by sample, I don’t mean those little cups of juice you get at CostCo. These samples could be equated with that $6 cup of beer you buy at a baseball game…and you get two of them, woohoo! Thanks for the tour, Anheuser-Busch!
That’s about it. I need to post some pics…got a few of St. Louis and some of London that I need to put up…I’ll get around to it someday.
I am returning to London on January 1st…yesssssssss!