Day 64 of my U2 360 tour across America brought me from Philadelphia to St. Louis, driving almost 900 miles in over 16 hours. It should have only taken about 14 hours, but two traffic jams in Indiana caused my delay. Today was much like my drive from Miami to Nashville, actually it was like deja vu. I think someone is trying to tell me to break these trips into two days instead of doing it all in one day. My drive from Anaheim to Baltimore was easier than my drive from Miami to Nashville and from Philadelphia to St. Louis.
I left Philadelphia just after 6am eastern standard time this morning. I drove the Pennsylvania Turnpike – again. I was on that dreaded $20-toll turnpike last week and two weeks before that, and I will be driving it again in a few days and again next week. Ugh! But I did come across a historical marker at the one of the first travel stops on the PA Turnpike, so at least that’s something
We stopped four times for gas, food, etc in addition to the two times we were stopped in traffic. Both traffic jams were on Route 70 West in Indiana about two hours apart, which was very frustrating. It was truly Carmageddon today everywhere – the 405 in Southern California was closed, 240 in Memphis was down to one lane, and Route 70 West in Indiana was shut down twice. But if I hadn’t been delayed, I wouldn’t have seen the beautiful sunset – there is always good that comes with the bad.
We finally arrived at our great Drury Plaza Hotel in St. Louis just past 9:30pm central standard time, over 16 hours later. As soon as I walked into the lobby, I realized this is the hotel I stayed at when I visited St. Louis 8 years ago when I went to the Orioles-Cardinals game. The staff here is fantastic! They answered my questions immediately and quickly brought me what I needed, as well as checked me in quickly knowing I had a long day.
To reward myself for my rough day of driving, I ordered a pizza from Imo’s for a late dinner – ‘an original St. Louis style pizza.’ I didn’t even know there was a ’st. louis style’ pizza. It’s very thin crust with provolone cheese, but it tasted like cheddar was mixed in with it. It’s no Ledo’s, but it was really good.
Now I need a good night’s sleep for the U2 360 show tomorrow at Busch Stadium. Elvis and Cilla have already been asleep for almost an hour now.