vrijdag 27 december 2013

7 dec: Columbia - Saint Louis, MO

Red Roof Inn is a great value for your money motel, but they dont have breakfast, and their coffee sucks, so we went into town to find something. Also, I wanted a fridge magnet.

And this was only after one day on the road :-)
forgot to take ALL the water out of the car: ice cubes

Christmas decorations

We were a bit late already and looked for something like a bigger gasstation or a Walgreens. Saw a few of them, but you have to be able to get there without causing accidents, so we ended up driving into town a bit, and getting back to the highway...we passed... Aldi!
There, right in front of us!
We shop at Aldi at home every week, and we've always been very curious about the American Aldi. (no, thats a lie, I'm very curious, Robert can't care less :-) )
I didnt have to ask, Robert just pulled over and we went in.

Just before we entered the shop, all of a sudden a tiny tiny bell rang... wait, didnt I read something somewhere about not being able to pay with a creditcard? Nehhh....
Stepping into the shop... bit of an anti climax! It didnt look like the Aldi at home, it looked EXACT like the Lidl at home :-D (another German discount shop) the only difference was that it was filled with American products. We looked around a bit, bought snacks for breakfast, and I noticed my new pants were falling down. Yep. I had to hold it with one hand while strolling through the store, and felt like a lo life, we found a souvenir bag that said "www.aldi.us" (how exotic!) and went to the check out.
Long story short: of course our creditcards didnt work! credit cards dont work at any Aldi all over the world! we tried our debit cards... didnt work either. (of course) so we had to pay cash, and we were almost out of cash. We were able to drag up dollars from all corners and pockets and quarters too, didnt have to use my 2 dollar bill.Of course these things always happen at Aldi, just like at home :-D We were totally embarresed and ran out with our groceries...(still grabbing my pants with one hand)

Now we were out of cash, out of gas, and I was about to show up at Janets door with fallingdown  pants looking like a lo-life.
First two problems: gas station. Got gas, Robert stayed in for a long time and came back with bad news, he tried all options on the ATM inside but no cash, so we had to ask for assistance in Saint Louis.
I could have gone out and change all my clothes on the bathroom, but for some reason thought it would be easier to do in in a driving car. Dont ask, but I did it, and we werent stopped by the omnipresent highway patrol/police. (never seen so many cars pulled over EVER as this trip)

Saint Louis coming closer again! We got the adress in the GPS and drove into town. we saw all kinds of interesting and weird stuff like the water tower, a space ship shaped museum (decorated with a bow for christmas) and the biggest old hospital we've ever seen, it looked like a factory and/or like something from a scary movie.

There we were on the streets of Saint Louis. It took 12 years for me to come back but we're here now!
First impression of town... it looked familiar (ofcourse, I've been there) then... it all looks so dutch/european! Couldnt really put my finger on it. Then we passed some buildings and I said "I know this... I've been here 12 years ago"

Robert said "how big are the chances? St Louis is huge!"
I said "there will be an Applebee's on the left within moments"
HA!! There WAS!!!
Still maybe coincidence, but funny anyway :-)
We found the right street and drove up.
I was so nervous to see Janet!

We found the house, parked in front, and saw to familiar faces from Facebook that arent on Facebook (hah!) and they turned out to be Jody and Derron, who turned out to be awesome. Brian came out and while we were standing outside I all of a sudden saw this blonde flying down the stairs! Janet!!
Several big hugs, wow, FINALLY!! I was totally exhausted and mixed up and said stupid things like "you're really pretty in real life!" hahaha!!
Next was Rocco, who wasnt that happy with the strangers in his house at first, and they tried to convince him we were good folks.

What followed was a great, superrelaxed afternoon. A lot of people came by and we had great food, (delicious pasta) stories and laughs! Another blonde I was so happy to meet after all those years online: Marcia, who came with Steve, (and a tray of her signature devilled eggs, mmm) I was a bit overwhelmed by meeting everyone at the same time but had a great time. Also our dearest friend Fran walked in later (how super cool of Janet to invite her too!!) we didnt see her in a long time and it was just fantastic. (just at the chocolate wine she brought!) we also had... cake. A huge Bottle Rockets cake!
Janet and Rocco. Rocco: "mommy, those Europeans make me wear a hat! please say something!"

Introducing: The Cake
(disclaimer: *we* brought him that mug)

The venue was "really close" so Robert and I thought we could walk. Haha, no. First of all it would have been quite a walk, and second, we had to go through some bad parts of town.

Off Broadway is a very nice, not too big venue. It was already very crowed when we arrived, and the first thing we did was another attempt to get cash from the ATM. So Robert ended up with at least 5 Americans around him telling him which buttons to press :-D and yaayyyy, we got cash! Got a drink and politely tried to get as close to the stage as possible without pushing others away. we did ok!

First, finally OTIS. I only heard him on youtube, but was so thrilled to see him live finally (there is no way you can get around him in Bottle Rockets land) I thought I could only be dissapointed. How wrong I was! His songs, his voice and his stories are just awesome, straight from the heart, straight to the heart. He made me cry!

We were standing right next to Tom and Phoebe and it was great to see them again. Its funny how quick some people feel like friends after only seeing them once, but that was something that kept happening here... adding to the magic.
I think it was Janet... who showed up with a cute girl (with cute hat) and introducing us... Johns wife Liza! After the show we talked a bit and I felt sorry we couldnt hang out longer. All those great, sweet, nice, awesome people popping up from everywhere!!

This time I was totally ready to rock and the band didnt let me down for one second. It was such a great, great show!! And what a nice surprise to get Alone in Bad Company again!
(now I know why I usually make notes during some concerts, because you will forget everything within a week when you see several shows in a row) so, details? I'll give you some details: they were awesome!

Free Fallin... with very interesting lyrics... :-D and Take me to the bank, requested by and played for Marks mom, who was sitting in the back!
I danced the whole show...
Fran saw the band open for Fogerty in 1997 here in Saint Louis, liked them, and was very impressed by the way they sound now.
Robert and his "rare t-shirt twin"

After the show I was totally ready for a party. Hang out with everyone, and dance some more... but, probably due to the bad weather, people were leaving early. Also because some had to go to work in the morning. Had to say goodbye to Fran, and to Marcia and Steve, nooo, not that soon, we barely had the chance to hang out!
Met another online friend who was on his way out, Tom (Bottle Rockets attracks Toms :-) and his wife.

With Phoebe and Tom

With Steve, Fran and Marcia

But then Mark appeared and introduced us to his supernice parents and sister Ann!
Had to say goodbye to them to as we were leaving... back in the cold and snow, back home through "one of the bad parts of town" -not the worst parts of town. Luckly, the criminals didnt wanna come out with this kind of weather, but we did start to feel a bit nervous when we had to wait for a red light for a while.

Here's the link to the official Bottle Rockets message board with a decent report of the show by "Lightning" hope it's ok to post it here.

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