A while ago, I was in St Louis hanging out with family and friends – The trip was great, but it didnt start out that way. The first few hours in town were rather difficult, and part of it was caused by my assumptions and lack of preparation for the trip. Here’s what happened.
H and I had a late flight out of our airport (because I need to save up vacation time for now) and were not scheduled to land until around midnight local time in St Louis. Well, there was some terrible weather in the area during the flight, so we were just in a holding pattern about 30 minutes west of St Louis for a while. The bad weather had knocked out power to the lights on the runway, so someone had to run out there with a gas can and mark the runway with fire (just kidding). The landing was a bit bumpy, but turned out ok. Once we were on the ground, there was a miscommunication between our friends that had offered to pick us up, so we took a taxi to where we were staying (Cost $40).
Lesson: Wait it out at the airport, and look for your ride harder. We got in touch with them right after we checked in, and $40 in cab money later.
On to the second thing – once they met up with us, it turns out that no one had contact solution. I need a special kind, and had hoped that what I had brought was going to be enough to hold me over until Saturday, when I could pick some more up – it wasn’t enough, and not even close. So, at about 1:15am, two of us headed out to the store to fetch some more. We managed to find the only wal-mart I’ve ever heard of that’s not open 24/7 (I’m still annoyed by this, actually). Unfortunately, this mission couldn’t fail, so we had to find another one – at this point it was nearing 2am, and both of us were getting tired. Of course, on the way to the other wal-mart we got caught in a rain storm that was by far the worst I’ve ever seen. Typical with storms (That I noticed driving from 1 state to another when I had 2 jobs), once we crossed the state line back into Missouri, the storm was gone (We were about 2 miles from the border). So we headed into the nearest walmart and picked up some contact solution for people. Cost: $9. Once we got back and parked the car, we headed for the bar for 2 quick beers before last call.
Lesson: Trust, but verify. I should have gotten more contact solution before I left.
The worst part about this whole story is that none of it needed to happen. Spending 1 hour in a car, driving through terrible storms and spending money could have all been prevented by proper planning. Had I had contact solution, there would have been no problem, I would have happily shared. Instead of spending this time with friends, 2 of us spent it in a rainstorm driving all over the greater St Louis area, while the other 2 spent it asleep.
The rest of the trip turned out to be a blast, though.
Readers: Do you have any times where proper planning could have prevented money spent and time wasted? Share them in the comments!