I promised you, my faithful readers, that I would post about our adventures in Iowa City and St. Louis and here I am, doing just that.

Those of you who think Iowa City sounds lame as a vacation destination, think again. I guess it could be under most circumstances, but when you are staying in the Sheraton downtown, which has the most comfortable beds you've ever slept in, and there is a free Jazz Festival going on a few blocks away and someone else is paying for everything and the weather is perfect, it's worth spending a few days. We spent our days wandering around town, listening to music and dining at local restaurants and our evenings hanging out with Jordan's cousins, all of whom he'd never met before. No crazy stories, but plenty of fun.

St. Louis was fun in its own way, but included a hefty dose of stress. (As an aside, if you're ever thinking about going to St. Louis for the Fourth of July, it's not worth it...really.) We arrived on the third around 2. Jordan noticed that his wallet was missing around 5, when we were headed out the door for dinner. The car was checked and rechecked. Jordan was convinced that it must be at his sister's house, but Rachel, her husband, Nate, and Jordan's brother, Jesse, were already on their way to meet us for dinner and a ballgame, so there was no way to find out.

We talked about it over dinner, but it didn't seem dire, so we went ahead with our plans and Rachel promised to check around her house upon her return. Jesse called around midnight to tell us that the wallet wasn't found. *sinking feelings all around*

The next morning, I used the hotel's computers to look up the number for the Quiznos where we'd had lunch the day before. I recognized the voice of the woman who'd made our sandwiches right away. Had they found a wallet? Why, yes, they had. Was it Jordan Burdge's? Yes, it was!

BUT! His wife had already come in to pick up the wallet... HIS WIFE!?! I quickly informed Patty, our helpful Quiznos employee, that Jordan had no wife.

So, Patty called Jessica, the woman who'd left the note about Jordan's wife coming to get the wallet, and then called me back. Jessica denied it, but Patty was sure that she had taken the wallet. While Patty was dealing with Jessica, Jordan and I were trying to figure out how we would get him home. Turns out you need government-issued picture i.d. to get on a Greyhound bus these days. If we didn't get his license back, he was going to be in St. Louis until his brother drove home in two weeks or more. Lori and Ernie found out from the airline that it might be possible to get on the plane with Jordan's boarding pass from the flight in and a police report stating his identification had been lost or stolen...

Before taking that step, though, Jordan made one last ditch effort to find out if he could get the wallet back without involving the police. We found out from Patty that Jessica was at the Quiznos and Jordan called to confront her. He told her that he wouldn't rat her out to the police or Quiznos, but he needed the wallet to get on our plane. She admitted that she took the wallet because she needed the money for a "friend's" pregnancy test and agreed to meet us at noon near the Quiznos.

So, we all hopped in the car and headed to Troy, Missouri, about an hour away from St. Louis. It was a stressful trip, all of us thinking that Jessica may or may not show up, but in the end she was there waiting for us. After retrieving the license, I suddenly realized I hadn't eaten all day and we went to Quiznos for lunch. :)

Through a tricky turn of events, I let the cat out of the bag about Jessica having the wallet. Even if I hadn't, though, she was going to lose her job for not getting ID from Jordan's wife when she claimed the wallet.

It's difficult to know how to feel about Jessica. She certainly wasn't an experienced pilferer, otherwise she wouldn't have kept the wallet. She wasn't thinking rationally and she got herself into a situation much bigger than she expected. We feel compassion because there was obviously some reason she needed the money, but it's hard to feel badly about her losing her job since what she did was wrong and could have caused serious problems for Jordan and his dad and stepmom. Of course, after all of this happened, we all stopped to wonder whether we would have given her the money had she just asked for it...
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