Thursday, August 03, 2006

Jeremiah grumbles about today's drive and the RV park!

Aug. 2, 2006

If Jeremiah could talk, here what’s he would be saying this evening.

“It’s been a tough day today. Even though Carol had carefully figured out the route from Cuivre River State Park into St. Louis, it was sort of a stressful drive once we came to the outskirts of this large city. For starters, there was a lot of traffic, four- and six-lane freeways, and some construction.

“Next Carol spotted a mall from the freeway and decided it might be a good chance to find a Verizon store to get help with her new fancy cell phone. It was one of those, ‘I could see the mall, but getting to it was not simple" situations. Then, there was not a Verizon store there. And it was hot.

“And then we missed the turn to get back on the freeway and had to drive a ways in order to get turned around. Next Carol turned left at a stoplight, expecting to enter a parking lot to do a U-turn to go back to the freeway entrance. But it was no ordinary parking lot – we came face-to-face with an armed gate guard at Pfizer Company. Nice man – he let us go into the lot and turn around. It was hot!

“Back on freeway 40, we continued east – almost all the way into downtown St. Louis. We were headed toward the famous St. Louis Arch when we finally came to the Jefferson St. exit and turned north to find MLK Drive. Our destination was the ‘St. Louis RV Park – The Finest, full-service facility in downtown St. Louis.’ May I also add it probably is the ONLY RV park in downtown area, and it might have been ‘finest’ 30 or 40 years ago. And it is hot.

“One hundred RV spaces are crammed onto a treeless blacktop area. And it is hot!

“Ugh! I much prefer those spacious RV parks that have plenty of tall trees to help keep the sun off! I have to be here for one week, and I won’t like it at all. The temperature outside is about 108 degrees. See, I told you it was hot.!

“Here I am crowded and hot!”

Aug. 3, 2006
Carol’s turn:

Well, hot or not, blacktop and no shade, this is probably the closest and most convenient place to be for the personal chef conference being held at the Clayton Crown Centre hotel. As the crow flies, it is probably about 8 miles; but then buses don’t fly.

My big adventure today was riding the city bus to and from the conference hotel. It was the day before conference, and I knew I could be helpful in getting things ready.

On the advice of the nice lady in the RV park office, I walked about 8 blocks and boarded Bus #52. One hour later, I was getting off the bus about a block from the hotel. A long ride, but it afforded me a nice tour of part of the city. The prettiest part was riding for several blocks alongside picturesque Saint Louis University.

Besides helping with conference preparations, I walked three miles, roundtrip, to the Galleria Mall to the Verizon store. I also decided I was overdue for a haircut and was able to get one at Dillard’s Salon.

Back at the hotel I got some more things done, chatted with some of my chef friends and then headed to the Metro Bus Station for the return to Jeremiah and Cat. At the station, I found out that Bus 97 would be a more direct way to go. And it was. It only took 30 minutes and I only had to walk two blocks to the RV Park.

On both buses, I was pretty much the only Anglo rider among the multitude of blacks. I have decided to ride the bus in the morning, but to take a taxi back after dark.

My New Verizon Cell Phone
After six years of good service, the antenna of my trusty phone broke off. The new one I got has several nifty features – more technology to conquer. It has an “integrated ViGA Camera, speaker phone, Advanced speech recognition, and a Navigation feature. FYI, my cell phone number stays the same.

It was the GPS navigation feature that caught my eye. I haven’t tried it yet, but it is supposed to give “real-time directions, audible turn-by-turn directions, and I can view maps to see where I am.” Also if I ever need to use it to call 911, it will identify my location.

I’ve gotten real good at asking for directions and help. Without the help of others, I’d have gone off in wrong directions several times. When I hesitate to ask, I remind myself of this Chinese Proverb:

"He who asks is a fool for 5 minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever."