Day 1: Arrival in St. Louis

Happy New Year from St. Louis!

Until yesterday I didn’t know I got free wifi in the hotel 🙂

I typed up my journalings in my journaling area of my laptop, but I figured I’d share it here as well, so here you are, a copy and paste 🙂

So I guess I’ll share starting today, the first day of the year – my Urbana experience!

Sunday December 27

Today we arrived at St. Louis at about 10am in the morning 🙂

Unfortunately I barely got any sleep (but the money saved and the adventure earned taking the red eye was worth it!). I almost finished all of C.S. Lewis’ biography 🙂

It was amazing landing in St. Louis. 100_5653The moment we dropped out from the clouds you could just see the ground covered in white and snowflakes beginning to fall on the windows of the plane! This was only my second time seeing snow and it was… it was just wow! Last time there were only a few small snowflakes but this time it was tremendous! You could easily see all the small intricacies of each flake 🙂

After landing, some Urbana helpers directed us towards the metrolink and the waiting shuttles. While walking down the platform looking for somewhere to squeeze in, to my surprise I heard my name being100_5651 shouted. Aaaand who was there? Millie!!! 😀 I knew Joyce told me she was going with Millie… lo and behold, out popped Joyce and the twins 🙂 what a great way to start the never ending day! So we rode on the metro with mah buddies and departed at the shuttles. I wouldn’t realize till later that our hotels were right next to each other and that we were supposed to take the same shuttle… but I’ll say this much, we got on the right one 🙂

Driving down the snowy streets, someone made a remark I found to be completely true. It looked just like the movies. People in coats walking briskly down the white streets around old looking buildings and an occasional open space. It really was surreal.

Our hotel is quite amazing 🙂 the girls have a perfect view of the arch, I mean, really a perfect view. 100_5666Unfortunately I couldn’t get the lighting right to take a good picture of it at night, but man is it gorgeous!

After checking in at the hotel, we decided to go check in at the conference center. Apparently there’s another Audrey Lee out there that lives in San Francisco cuz I’m fairly certain she accidentally took my name tag… because now I have hers. Looks like I have to return to get a new name tag tomorrow and fix the problem.

Next it was onto sight seeing and the arch!

Underneath that magnificent engineering feet lies a museum of some pretty interesting things 🙂 we walked around looking for almost an hour before our ride up to the top of the arch and I still only got through a little less than 1/2 of the material. I woudn’t mind going back and finishing up the rest, it really was quite interesting. Going up the arch was stupendous! We squeezed 5 of us into a super tiny room thing. It sort of reminded me of those space escape pods like in starwars or something. Anyway, up and up and up we went! The view from the top was awesome 🙂 According to the handout it only takes us 4 minutes to reach the top. According to the guard it takes 45 minutes if you take the stairs. Glad we didn’t have to do that!

Then we met up with Bonnie and Willie and went off to dinner. Unfortunately Evan fainted on the way to his first plane stop and was held up at the hospital in Chicago for the day 😦

We went to eat at the only place in town that seemed to be opened; Zuzu’s Mexican restaurant. The food was good… but it took about an hour to get to us and the portions were small 😦 I don’t think they expected SO many people. It was obviously a family owned place and I felt kind of bad for them. Our waiters were 2 little boys between the ages of like 5 and 12, the guy taking our order was their teenage older brother, and our chefs were their parents. You could see how they would be backed up being one of the only restaurants open for 17,000 hungry college students!

Our first session was good. Unfortunately it wasn’t very memorable as I admit, I fell asleep… yuuup and that’s that!

Random funny happenstance:

A very nice guy named Tom approached us asking if we were here for Urbana. After hearing our reply he asked us … well almost stated more like a so you guys are staying at the international hotel?… We all gave him blank stares … so the international students typically house together…hahaha… international, it must be because we’re Asian.

Random sadstance:

I notice at conventions or times such as these I become very fustrated or dissapointed in the Christian community. Walking around you can obviously tell who is here for Urbana by their name tags. It really pains my heart when I over hear talk that isn’t quite as nice or not necessarily mean… but could have not been said or at least said in a softer way, and I know it’s coming of out a Christian’s mouth 😦


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