Columbia via St. Louis
Columbia Travel Blog› entry 5 of 7 › view all entries
This morning was my first radio interview. I wasn't as nervous as I expected, but it is quite clear that I have much to learn. I was boring and probably left the host wondering why he wanted me on the air in the first place. If I have the opportunity to do an interview again, I will apply what I have learned from this experience and hopefully be much better. There is definitely an art to doing a good interview. I need to be sure to promote the website, which I didn't do, and I need to convey my desires to fulfill my dreams with this trip. I was careful not interrupt the host because I know as an avid radio talk show fan, that people who interrupt the host are usually annoying. The problem with not interrupting is that I allowed the interview to be geared more towards the Wendy's diet. This trip's focus wasn't supposed to be the diet, but I guess that is what has caught the media's attention.
Either way, I guess it's been a fun ride so far and if the media wants to focus on the eating aspect...by all means, go for it.
I left Nashville late in the morning with my GPS set for Columbia, Mo. Along the way, I had to see the St. Louis Rams stadium and more importantly, The Arch.
I had passed through St. Louis in years past, but never felt compelled to stop.
As I maneuvered my way through the chaos of thousands of workers trying to race home from their jobs, I noticed a few parks and stopped in to get a closer look. The park was filled with dog walkers, book readers, and tourist. The view of the arch was from a vantage point clearly created for tourist like myself and was magnificent. It was a seated area that rose about 50 steps allowing you to view the mid-city park and arch in its entirety.
While I haven't been playing tennis on this trip so far, I have managed to get some exercise from all the walking that I have been doing.
We all know walking is very beneficial to us in mind, spirit, and body, but how many of us feel we have enough free time to surrender an hour each day. People who live and work downtown find it easier to walk than use the car, thus keeping in better shape. I'm a little envious.
Can someone please donate a couple of million dollars to me so my next home can be in a city district? No? Ok.... I digress......
I wanted to go in for a closer look at the Arch and possibly go to the top. As I crossed two roads with cars "trying" to hit me, I could see the Arch getting closer and more impressive. The monument is surrounded by a park that plays second to none. It has trails, small streams, ducks, tourist....you name it, it has got it. It was serenity in the truest sense of the word. Much like Central Park in New York, it seems to leave the city sounds behind while giving a person easy access to all its amenities. As soon as I walked up to the Arch, I knew there was no way I was going to the top.
Although I have been to the observation deck of the Empire State building, this seemed much scarier. It was such a small tube that the elevator would have to be small, maneuverable, and it wasn't going to be a quick ride to the top. Needless to say, I chickened out and I am not ashamed to say: "I don't regret it one bit." The Arch is beautiful from the ground and that was more than satisfying to me.
After spending a couple of hours walking around downtown St. Louis, I decided I'd better get going. My hosts for the night were expecting me and I didn't want to arrive to late. I arrived in Columbia around 8pm, which I was worried was too late. My hosts, Mary and Walt didn't seem to mind too much. When I arrived they were sitting outside on the back patio talking. I was under the impression that they were thinking of asking me to sit outside and chat, but they seemed to retract that thought when I mentioned how cool the weather was. We ended up sitting inside and chatting for about four hours. As midnight approached, I could tell that this wasn't their normal bedtime, but being the great host that they were, they stayed up and enthralled me with their stories. I would love to write everything we talked about, but it would take me hours to even begin scratching the surface of my experience. I will sum up everything as quickly as possible because I think Lawrence, Ks. may want me out of their Wendy's after sitting here for a few hours. I'm getting the "Stink Eye' from management. I'm not sure if that's because I'm taking up space or if they're just tired of looking at me. Either way, I'm going to wrap this up for now and start blogging in the "People" section about Walt & Mary as soon as I get a chance. For now, I will tell you that they are two people who love to travel, brought three kids each into a marriage almost 20 years ago, and are avid 60's & 70's retro item collectors. Walt has a great story about his trip into East Berlin as a child and Mary will impress you with her artwork. They have a very positive outlook on the human spirit and left me believing that life truly is a journey and not labor. Their kids range from a documentary filmmaker in Edinborough Scotland to the top chef in Chicago. There are so many things they said that will stick in my mind forever and the only thing I regret about my conversation with them was that I didn't use my recorder to catch every word.
They are two of the most trusting, kind people I have every met and I can't wait to share all my thoughts on them with you, but for now....I have to get back on the road. I think I'll be making up time tonight by sleeping in my car for a few hours and driving through the rest of the night.
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