10:30 p.m. and I FINALLY have access to the internet without having to go to the library down the street! YAY! Free wi-fi is a great thing. Hubby better thank me for this. :) My mission for this trip, aside from visiting hubby, was to help find a house for our family. Homes here in St. Louis are a lot more affordable than Sin City. Sad to say, we missed that boat when it came to buying cheap in Vegas. Being an island girl, I could not fathom what to expect of St. Louis. I've heard good things and bad things from friends and strangers, plus my own predispositions of a place I've only read about in the news. I mean, it's so far from the ocean -- any ocean, at that! Are there Asians? Will I be able to buy Filipino food? Can I buy oyster sauce, furukake, nagarashi, patis? Will folks think we're Mexican? Call me ignorant, but I think my questions are legit when we'll be uprooting our family to this place. When hubby first moved here, I googled "Filipinos in St. Louis" for sh*ts and giggles. My first hit was a short piece about Filipinos being first showcased in the World Fair in the early 1900s in St. Louis. Nice. In the past week and a half, my fears have so far been put to rest as we explore St. Louis. It is very, very green. I have to admit, I haven't seen this much green since leaving Hawaii. Everyone we've encountered has been very nice and I haven't noticed anyone "staring" at us as if we're illegals. Maybe it's because my youngest keeps greeting everyone with a cheery "Hi" every time we're strolling her around. That's a good thing. We managed to explore all the universities in town, including Washington University, Webster University, University of Missouri at St. Louis, St. Louis University, and the community colleges. All of these places and their surrounding areas are very beautiful. People were friendly and I'm enjoying myself so far. And yes, there are Asians! In fact, we found a Filipino balikbayan store and bought some Chippy Chips which were devoured by the munchkins in the car. We found a cute home in "Olde Towne" Fenton, MO, the "City of Parks." The current owner took excellent care of this home and it's extremely charming. I can totally see us living there. The neighborhood is perfect for families with a huge park nearby and the school district is one of the better ones in the state. We were fortunate to have met a couple of the neighbors, who were very friendly (and happen to have ties to Nevada in one way or another). We're currently in the process of buying this house and I hope everything works out for the best. I know we're in good hands. If it was meant to be, then so be it.