Ramblings of a Tampa engineer

While this blog is primarily used for technical posts, I felt for this week's blog to document my little trip to St Louis, Missouri. This trip was for the wedding of a great friend.

Every travel begins with opening up Uber and requesting a ride to the airport. $28 for a trip in the morning while fighting the 8am Friday work traffic. I arrived at the airport with about 1.5 hours until my flight.

For the first time in awhile, I wasn't required to take off my shoes, belt or remove my laptop from backpack. This made security effortless as I was just dropping off my backpack and walking through a detector.

The boarding

For those who haven't flown with Southwest before, you get a letter (A - C) and number (1 - 60). You board A1-30, A30-60, B1-30, etc. It seems all of A is reserved for paid upgrades, because checking into the flight at the instant the clock struck 24 hours until my flight I obtained B15. This means roughly 75 passengers are on the plane already before I board.

I walk onto the plane and the 2nd row has an open window seat. A rare sight, so I ask the couple sitting if it is reserved. It isn't. As the couple stands up to move, I realize her foot has a cast on and she requires help from her husband to move. I felt bad, because I didn't see that when I asked if the free seat was open.

The flight was estimated at 2 hours and 20 minutes duration, according to my clock and captain confirmation we did the trip in 1 hour and 56 minutes. It must be some jet stream direction benefit.

The next Uber

As I walk out into the St Louis airport, I spot an old friend. He has flown in from Kansas City and we both landed around the same time. This was a perfect chance for us to grab a split Uber and head downtown.

With sharing the cost, I'm only looking at a $14 fee for the trip. We arrive at the Hyatt at the Arch hotel, which was pretty fancy in comparison to my usual selection of hotels. As hotels evolve, so does the check in procedure. I completed most of the check in procedure from an Android application. I just presented my driver licenses and keys were printed for the 7th floor of the hotel.

After my next friend checked in, he got the 16th floor. The very helpful staff member switched my room immediately so I was also on the 16th floor. The hotel had eight elevators with a tad bit of confusing logic on them. Four of the elevators didn't go to the top two floors. So when a trip to the soon to be meeting room was needed, we had to take our 16th floor elevator down a few floors to switch to a different elevator.

It was confusing and stressful when we had to make trips of moving wedding related items from a room on the 10th floor to a room on the 16th and 18th. The elevator that could reach the 18th floor, couldn't reach the 16th. The elevator that could reach the 16th floor couldn't reach the 10th or 18th floor.

The return of BBQ

Living in Florida for a few years has kept me missing the great BBQ that Kansas and the midwest has. So thanks to a recommendation from our Uber driver we tried out SugarFire Smoke House. With an early flight and timezone change, I was hungry and it was lunch time.


  1. 8oz beef brisket sandwich
  2. Sides: French Fries & Coleslaw & A Pickle
  3. Fountain Lemonade drink

This place had a unique twist with each table holding 6 unique sauces. My plate quickly became a mess of tiny pools of each sauce as I tried a fry with each sauce.

The Rehearsal Dinner

After a quick rehearsal, our group met at Tucanos (A Brazilian Grill). These are always a fun experience getting to eat a wide variety of meats. The grilled vegetables and pineapple also hook the meal together quite perfectly.

Meeting in the bar in the hotel after dinner, we enjoyed drinks as one by one names turned in for bed. The big day was tomorrow, so lots of waters were consumed to prevent that next day hangover.

The Wedding & Reception

From the ceremony, pictures in the park and reception were all excellent. Not a single emergency even with mother nature raining down on us. The food included at the reception was a perfect blend of salads, raviolis and slices of meat. As the reception continued the open bar ended and the party relocated to the bar at the hotel again. This time with no event on Sunday, a good deal of alcohol was consumed.

The final day

6:30am arrived quickly as the rented clothing needed to be packed and returned. It was a day of saying bye as friends left every hour on their journey home. Back to the airport I went, with nothing more than a small 15 minute delay, I returned to Tampa around 9pm local time. An amazing weekend spent with excellent friends celebrating the marriage of another friend!


This was my first travel post and it wasn't good. I only have a photo of one meal I had and the details of random events aren't important in the scope of you (the reader). In the future, other travel blogs will be about the travel and food of each city.

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