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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Marilyn's 80th Birthday Party @ Bella Milano in O'Fallon, Illinois

Family and friends gathered from near and far to wish Marilyn a Happy Birthday.  Marilyn is Mother. Mother-in-Law, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Sister, Aunt, Great Aunt, Cousin and dear friend to all who gather....

... at Bella Milano.

Daughters Kelly &
Deb welcome us.

Daughter, Tammy, in the center
with her daughter, Desiree.

Desiree's daughters are Lauren,
to her right & Megan in the
lower left of the photo.

Megan and Lauren are happy to be here with cousins, Anna, in blue and Destiny, in the lower right corner.  Their mom, Gessica, wasn't able to join the celebration.

Deb, Val, Marilyn's youngest
& Kelly present Marilyn with
her Birthday Cake.

Grandaughters Luna & Venus
with Marilyn, son-in law,
 Carlos & Kelly.

Marilyn & her lovely sister,

Nephew, Tom, & his wife, Kathy

Nephew, Jim & niece, Sandy

Sandy's son, Scott & wife, Chris

Niece, Elizabeth, with her 
husband, Gerry & their
daughter, Emma

Brother, Sister, Sister-in-Law,
Cousins & Girlfriend...

Left to right: RJ, Dylan's girlfriend
Garrett, Val & Bethany's son
Debbie, Dylan's mom &
Val's sister.

Kelly & Desiree present
Aunt/Great Aunt Mary
with a Birthday Cake.

Her birthday is next week.

As I look around I see Mary
with her niece, Elizabeth.

Luna & Venus with their

Cousins Tom & Scott
 We gather for a group shot the next day....

Back Row: Val, Bethany & their son, Garrett; Emma, Anna & Megan
Second Row: Luna, Dylan, "RJ," Desiree & daughter, Lauren; Tammy, Gerry, Elizabeth,
Destiny & me
Seated: Carlos, Mary, Kelly, Marilyn, Kathy, Tom & Deb

We have a lot of different family relationships here and I am a cousin to all!

Monday, July 30, 2018

St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis Lambert International
Airport is the former Lambert

Charles Lindbergh flew the first 
US Mail delivery from Lambert
Field to Chicago on April 15, 1926.

From stlpoliticalblog

Sending mail by air cut the transit time for private and business mail dramatically.  While delivering mail and logging hours of flight time, Lindbergh spent time thinking about the challenge of flying across the Atlantic Ocean with no stops for fuel or rest.  Since 1919 the $25,000.00 Orteig Prize for the first nonstop flight from New York City to Paris, France, or vice versa, had gone unclaimed. 

After gathering backers to fund construction of a plane to withstand the rigors of a Transatlantic Flight, Lindbergh contracted with Ryan Airlines in San Diego, California in February 1927. 
He worked closely with Chief Engineer Donald Hall to design and build the custom plane in 60 days. 

After flight testing, Lindbergh flew his custom built plane, The Spirit of St. Louis, to Lambert Field on May 11, 1927.  Then he continued flying east.  At 7:52 am on May 20, 1927 Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field on Long Island to start his nonstop Transatlantic Flight.  He landed at Le Bourget Field, in Paris just before 10:00 pm, Paris Time, on May 21, 1927.  Lindbergh won the Orteig Prize for his solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean and became an international known figure.

Back to St. Louis Lambert International Airport....

Travelers enjoy rocking chairs
in one of the hallways between

Stella Atrois serves thirsty
people between their

Three Kings Public House
is busy.

CNN has a Newsstand here.

I wish the partitions between the
bathroom stalls were longer.

I left with my rolling carry on bag in tow.  (Vigilance is a good thing while traveling.)

This Airport has a Service

This is a great idea.

I like that the Doggie Station is easy to clean up.

There are facilities for
human cleansing.

I followed signs to the

The Down Escalator will take
 me to Ground Transportation
 & MetroLink.

Welcome to St. Louis

I cross a parking lot...

... & take an elevator up
to the elevated rail.

I bought a ticket for the ride to
is at the end of the line.

.... & away I go....

My solo trip to western Illinois is almost at an end.  I'll take an Uber from the Shiloh-Scott Station to the Hilton Garden Inn in O'Fallon and start looking for my cousins. 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Flying Solo to Western Illinois: Chicago Midway International to St. Louis Lambert International

Our plane landed at Chicago
Midway International Airport
& I walk down a long corridor
to the Terminal.

This Airport is built next to
a highway.

Stock up on snacks &
beverages on your
way to your Gate.

I stopped to look at
my Boarding Pass.

I am looking for
Gate A 15.

Pizza Vino has a menu
for morning diners.

I found Dunkin Donuts during
my walk to Concourse A.

Hudson News has books,
magazines, cards, etc.
for travelers.

I am happy to see bathroom
stalls that are secure.

One of my concerns was having my carry on bag stolen while I was in the Rest Room.  That isn't an issue at this Airport.

I struck up a conversation with
our Airline Pilot while waiting
at Gate A 15 for the plane
to depart.

Our conversation was wide ranging.  I learned about the Airline Industry's on-site screening of passengers for serious health issues.  There is a dedicated Health Line that Airlines connect to for final decision making allowing or denying a passenger with a suspected serious health condition to board a plane.  Commercial Airplanes have very little in the way of First Aid Equipment that can help during a major mid-flight health crisis.  And, there is no guarantee that a healthcare professional will be aboard a plane when a passenger is in desperate need of assistance.

I got a window seat for this leg of my journey & took lots of photos. 

The shadow of the wing as we
leave the ground.

Chicago recedes into
the distance.

We are between layers
of clouds.

As we descend, I spot a race
track in western Illinois,
center right of the picture. 

I wonder if it's the Belle-Clair Speedway

We descend over St. Louis.

The Aileron is extended as our
descendant continues above  the
rural area northwest of St. Louis.

The Spoiler is up & the
Aileron remains
extended for landing.

I was surprised to be asked to stay aboard the plane for a few minutes.

Our pilot allowed me to sit in
the cockpit & took a few

Thank you for the interesting conversation, safe flight and photos.