Where have you been?

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You may well ask! It really looks like I’ve been neglecting my readers. Many apologies, dear friend! Let me tell you where I’ve been.

The first weekend in June I jetted from London, England to St. Louis, Missouri, USA for a conference.

Things didn’t go well at the start – I arranged for my son to drop me at Heathrow Terminal 1 – I had checked it several times because I thought Terminal 1 was only internal or European flights. When I got there I rang my sister, with whom I was travelling – only to find she was at Terminal 3. I rechecked my flight details and realised that I was flying from Heathrow terminal 3 to Toronto Terminal 1.

So I walked on over to Terminal 3 – well, under, actually as you go down to the underground station and out the Terminal 3 exit. It didn’t take more than 15 minutes, thankfully. Once there, we decided to do the self-check-in at a machine seeing as we only had carry-on bags. Guess what! At each machine there was an airline assistant to help you use the machine! Did that amount to self-check-in? Oh, well, it saved some queuing, I guess. We changed our watches to Toronto time as soon as we took off from Heathrow and took our anti-jetlag herbal remedies – would they work?

The flight was uneventful – smooth, food provided, entertainment in the seat back of the seat in front, etc. We had a 4 hour stop-over in Toronto which was long and there was nothing to do since we had transferred to the “internal” departure lounge and there was nothing there except a couple of lacklustre fast-food outlets. Anyway, we didn’t really want to acquire any Canadian money for such a short time.

On to St Louis in a small aircraft – I really like these because you can see the terrain you are flying over. Most “carry-on” bags had to be left at the plane door for stowing with the checked baggage as there was no room in the cabin.

At St Louis we took the metro from the airport directly to a stop very near our hotel, which was part of the Union Station complexThis used to the largest railway terminal in the world but since the demise of steam travel has been turned into a hotel, conference, shopping complex. Take a look at here and here for some more information.

The hotel was comfortable and convenient. We found that our days consisted of:

  • wake up
  • have breakfast
  • go to 1st session
  • grab a quick lunch
  • second session
  • grab a quick supper
  • evening session
  • bed

So I can’t really tell you much about the weather except that it was warm and, I think, sunny.

The plan was to do some sightseeing on Monday morning before heading home again but we were all so tired that we had a lie in on Monday – but we did manage to go to the Gateway Arch which was conceived to commemorate the westward growth of the United States between 1803 and 1890. For those of you interested in seeing more, go to here.

And then the return trip was very similar except the stop in Toronto was slightly more bearable since there were several other people from the conference returning on the same plane and we were in the “international” departure area so there were more shops and restaurants.

In case you wondered… the anti-jet-lag remedies DID work – both ways – and we were able to enjoy the conference and hit the ground running when we got back to our duties in the UK.

As to the conference … well, I’ll tell you more of that in my next blog. But while you’re waiting – why not tell us where you have been in the comments section?

PS If someone could tell me how to indent the bullets above, I’d be grateful. Thanks

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