I am at that age (mid-late twenties) where it seems like everyone I know is getting married. This summer I was invited to no less that 5 weddings. So aside from being broke I am also not wearing heels again until next spring.
The last wedding I went to was in St. Louis last weekend. A good high school friend of mine was getting hitched so my friends and I all road tripped down there to witness the nuptials. (Well, the ceremony - not the wedding night. That would be both kinky and gross.) For me it was the first time I have traveled outside Chicago for a wedding. And boy was it an experience.
I learned a lot of things while down in St. Louis, like the cops are so nice while giving you a ticket you can't badmouth them afterwards. Or that going up in the Arch doesn't trigger my vertigo but standing at the top of a 30 foot slide at the City Museum does. Or, and this is the most important thing, no one in the suburbs of St. Louis eats after 8:00 PM.
I am not even kidding on that last life lesson learned. So there were four of us who went down early and played tourist. We spent the day hanging out and ended our night at a bar across from our hotel. After one round we asked our waiter where we might find some food. He snarkily said "Our kitchen is closed." That's nice, but we wanted to eat anywhere. "Sorry, there may be a sports bar open or something, I'm not sure. It's late."
It was 10:30PM on a Friday night.
If I had been in the suburb I live in outside Chicago I know where to get a burger at 10:30PM, a sub a 12:00AM and a burrito until 3AM. But in St. Louis apparently there is no place to get even a lukewarm cup of coffee. So we did what any logical city dweller on vacation would do and went out in search of food. Luckily, we found a Hardees which was open until midnight. Mind you, not a huge fan of Hardees but when you are so hungry you would eat a shrub, Hardees is pretty damn good.
The next day, Saturday, was the actual wedding. It was lovely. And possibly one of the best meals I have ever eaten at a wedding. And lots and lots of quality liquor. But between the dancing and the dehydration when we got back to the hotel once again, we were starving. So me, two bridesmaids, and a friend decided to go on the hunt for the most elusive of late night food; White Castle.
Armed with an iPhone we managed to find one which was only "an inch away" (That's iPhone speak for about 20 minutes". Normally we would have no hesitation heading that far for some sliders, but this was St. Louis. We feared that perhaps, it might be closed like everything else in the freaking city. But as we crested the last hill and saw the illuminated sign shining like a beacon in the night, we nearly wept with job.
$40 bucks later we headed back to the hotel with a Crave Case and sacks of fries in hand. I have never been so happy or full in my life.
So while my story, like the plot of a buddy comedy, had a happy ending, treat this blog entry as a warning should you ever find yourself in St. Louis and hungry as hell. Finding food without the aid of modern technology is damn near impossible.
~ The Office Scribe
P.S. - This also applies should you find yourself in Port Angeles, Washington, where the only thing open past 8:00PM is a Pizza Hut/Taco Bell.