02 October 2010

St. Louis field trip

Cheese-ology, Delmar Loop, St. Louis, MO

I am in St. Louis attending the national AHVRP conference for volunteer managers in health care. It was a heck of a long drawn out trip after switching airlines and being rerouted I arrived long after the first sessions I was supposed to be taking pictures at. I go to this particular conference every year and they comp my tuition and room charge since I serve as event photographer.

I love settling into a hotel room in a new city, pulling back the curtains and wondering what fresh treats are waiting in the dark city for me to discover. I check the important things - can I make coffee flavored tea (yes pot, no tea), weak wireless access for $38 for the three days (check), no sign of bedbugs (check, check).

Bedbugs have been creeping across the country. We aren't used to them and I don't want them. Been there, done that as a kid. One of my volunteers brought me a giant plastic bag to put my suitcase in after she heard me talking about it. Later I started nibbling on a snack pack of fruits and nuts and every time I spilled a sunflower seed in the sheets I thought it was one of the nasty critters. Heheh. Thanks to the Marriott I have a lovely fresh room.

I don't have much free time but my friend Mike in Charleston had mentioned that his son William and wife Laura had recently opened a Macaroni & Cheese restaurant in St. Louis. How could I not check on that? Yesterday after dashing though the vendor fair I figured out the Metroline and walked down Delmar past the old Pageant Theater to track down Cheese-ology.

What a brilliant idea! Besides a few salads, the menu is entirely macaroni and cheese served bubbly hot in miniature cast iron skillets. Laura came out to keep me company while I ate and it was delicious. She said people often weren't able to finish the whole portion but I licked my skillet clean. It would be a dangerous restaurant for me to live too close to. I love macaroni and cheese. The one I had was a daily special with spicy sausage and mushrooms.

Okay, kids, I need to jump in the shower and leap into action. It won't offend me at all if things have dried up and cooled down a bit before I get back to Charleston.