Landing in St. Louis last Thursday, I didn't know what to expect for my first convention. I have never before been to the "Show Me" state either, so this would be a new experience for me all around. I knew the city would be hot, and that there's a huge Arch, but other than that, I was pretty clueless.
On the flight over, I had the pleasure of meeting a soldier who just graduated from boot camp. His MOS is supply clerk. During our conversation, I learned that he wanted to get all of his training out the way so that he could join the fight in Afghanistan and follow in his brother's footsteps. It was fun trading boot stories and how we changed froom civilians into troops.
Once we landed, the young private and I said our goodbyes, and Commander Hotop and his wife Judy greeted me at the airport. The Hotops showed me that wonderful Midwest Hospitality and after making sure I was settled, treated me to a dinner of traditional St. Louis barbecue. I stuffed my face with tender beef brisket and fried okra, washing it down with a delicious root beer float made with Fitz's soda, which is a local company.
My overall first impression of St. Louis is that it is a friendly, welcoming city with a love of country and our troops. I look forward to the rest of my stay here, and will most assuredly visit in the future.
Now.... If I can only make time to visit the top of the Arch...