1:15 p.m. I get to work on my presentations as soon as we
get the OK from the flight crew. Based on the feedback from Blaine,
I revise the St. Louis presentation, which involves some unique
marketing ideas. In Dallas and Phoenix my presentations are more
general, so they don't require much work. Then I dig into some
budget documents. If this doesn't keep me busy until we have to
pack up our tray tables, nothing will.
6:30 p.m. (CST) As we break through the winter storm clouds
over St. Louis, I'm surprised that city lights aren't obscured by
snow flurries. It must have been snowing most of the day. The city
looks beautiful under its blanket of snow, and big white flakes
speed past my window. Suddenly I feel a wave of appreciation for
travel, a brief moment of smelling the roses. That quickly changes
to concern about potential delays in leaving tomorrow. I can't
afford to get snowed in.
But before my Road Warrior instincts totally kick in, I think of my
family. I wish my girls were with me. They never get to see
7:30 p.m. After Jose and I check in at the Marriott Pavilion
Downtown, we decide to meet in the lobby at 8 p.m. for a late
dinner. A concierge suggests Tony's, a restaurant that's only
walking distance from the hotel.
I remind the concierge that Jose is from Miami and I am from Los
Angeles, it's snowing outside, and his idea of walking distance may
differ from ours. He laughs and says it's literally around the
corner. Thank goodness I found my gloves.
8:00 p.m. Jose and I take the short but brisk walk to
Tony's, where we get a great table. Our waiter is an older man
named Eduardo who is originally from Mexico City, but has lived in
St. Louis for 25 years now. We call him Don Eduardo (a title
signifying great respect), and he is delighted that we speak
Spanish. He recommends the osso bucco and the veal chop, and we
don't argue. Nor are we disappointed.