Friday, November 16, 2012

*Insert title of 1944 Judy Garland musical here*

When I say I work in Study Abroad the first question people usually have is, 'Oh, do you get to travel?!'. And I say, 'No, not yet. But hopefully that will be part of my position soon.' with an understanding tone because I understand why they're asking the question, but also with much sorrow because there's nothing I would like better than for glorious international travel to be part of my position RIGHT NOW*.

This sorrow all ended just a few weeks ago when I went to Saint Louis, Missouri for an International Education conference!!!!

Oh yes. St. Louis. Perhaps not a glorious, nor international, destination, but the TSA agents might have been less condescending when I asked if I could have a stamp in my passport. 

The conference was fun, and in a cute part of St Louis that I really enjoyed.

 Cool old houses in the neighborhood.

 Considering its proximity to the world's largest chess piece, the conference hotel had surprisingly reasonable rates.
 It was also very close to a chocolate shop that had drinking chocolate!  Do you have any idea how hard it is to find drinking chocolate in the U.S.?  It's hard!

The St Louis Cathedral was also in the neighborhood. The red mosaics were especially pretty.

The arch is a scam. You pay $10 to take this capsule sized elevator (ok seeing the infrastructure of the arch was cool) to the top and peer out of these itty bitty windows at... not much....

*As anyone will tell you, but I feel the need to stress, international travel for work involves working very hard and is NOT a glorious vacation. This is true for int'l educators, not just corporations. So the next time someone you know gets back from their International Education 'sponsored' trip abroad, do not say 'Oh that must have been so fun!'. They are too tired to talk about it.

Friday, November 9, 2012

What you don't get from Restaurant Week

Burgers, fries, onion rings, and ice cream are some of the greatest culinary pleasures known to mankind. Especially when acquired from a malt shop that's existed for no less than 50 years and for which phrases like "restaurant image consultant", "foie gras shabu-shabu", and "we have a reservation" are as out of place as reasonable blood pressure at the state fair.

Is that grease? That delightful aroma gracefully wafting through the air? Savor the heavily breaded onion rings while they reform as an undigested mass inside of you. There is nothing on the menu over $6.25! Phosphates, full of delicious fruity sugar. Admire the french fries gracefully arranged inside greasy little paper pouches. And the burgers, oh the burgers! All cooked one way.

"I'd ask you how you'd like your burger done, but we only do delicious."

The next day you may or may not regret this meal. But your lethargic body will remind you it happened.

I recommend Snuffy's Malt Shop in St Paul.