Monday, October 01, 2007

Meet Me in St. Louis

When we first planned our trip, Mom and I had the idea of driving down to Memphis by going through St. Louis and returning through St. Louis. The route changed and the plans grew, but we maintained the idea of going through St. Louis on the way south. In St. Louis, we planned on seeing the Arch, the Mississippi River, and eating some great St. Louis B-B-Q. We also planned on going to a botanical garden, which we did, but it turned out to be a bit of a bust. We didn't have the time to explore that we thought we would and so we kind of ran through the garden.

The Arch was extremely cool. We visited the park with the Arch first at night. With evening settling in, Mom and I walked around the park, viewing the river, looking up at the monument, and telling each other over and over, "I'm not going up in that thing."

Night Falls
Thin Arch
Looking up the Arch
Straight Up

For Dana, I had to snap a few images of a flock of birds that were filling up the sky.
Take Flight

There were also the big, scary bridges that we may or may not have crossed. We did go over a few bridges in St. Louis, all of them scary. As went to visit the Arch the first night, we ended up on the wrong side of the river in East St. Louis. That was a little scary, in and of itself. Let's just say East St. Louis is not the tourist attraction that St. Louis is.

St Louis Bridge
Bridge St Louis

The next day, we visited the Arch again. And it was still as tall as the night before. But the fear of being picked on by Scott (Mom's boyfriend) was stronger than the fear of heights, so Mom convinced herself to get inside and told me I had to go.

Standing Tall
And here Mom and I are:
Mom and I at Arch
Beth at Arch

Heading to the top of the Arch was an adventure. Once you purchase a ticket, you stand in line, waiting for these little pods that are egg shaped to take you on a four-minute journey to the top. The pods shift into an upright, vertical position as you travel up the Arch. The jolting back into position is a bit unnerving, but you do get used to it.
Mom thumbs up
Beth in Pod
At the top of the Arch, Mom and I started viewing St. Louis and taking pictures.
Mom looking out arch
Beth in Arch
And Dana will appreciate this. (Actually, I sent it to her, but it is funny.)
Beth ghost
The view!
View Mom took
St Louis Highways
Downtown St Louis
Capitol Building
Baseball Field
Arch View St Louis Downtown
Arch View Missouri
Arch View E St Louis IL
Arch View E St Louis
Arch View Bridge

One of the other stops in St. Louis was the Chain of Rocks pedestrian bridge. This bridge used to be how those traveling Route 66 (to get their kicks) would cross the Mighty Mississippi. Route 66 was a two-lane highway that connected Chicago to Los Angeles. Mom discussed the importance of it quite a bit during our trip and we would repeatedly see signs about it. The conversion of this bridge to a pedestrian walkway is quite nice and it was a great, unexpected thing to do in the afternoon. I managed to walk to the 1/2 way point on the bridge (Mom almost made it). I saw where the signs turned from Route 66 Missouri to Route 66 Illinois. The view was awesome. It was a great place to see the Mississippi and see how large it was getting. These are some pictures of the bridge, the river, St. Louis in the distance, and Route 66 memories.
Route 66
St Louis Distant
Sparkling Water
River Wide
Station Stop

On the way out of St. Louis, we stopped for ribs. It was the first meal of our "Trifecta of Ribs," and it was delicious. I found that the sauce at this place, Bandana's, was the best on our trip. Each time we ate ribs, there was a different favorite part, but I really enjoyed the sauces at this place.
Bandanas Smell that Smoke
Food at Bandanas
Mom and I at Bandanas

Remember that botanical garden I mentioned? We weren't there long, but I did get a few pictures that I enjoyed.
Water Lily
Orange Drop
Glass Sculpture
Glass Drops
Mom on Sheep

All-in-all, St. Louis was pretty cool. Even with a big, scary bridge or two.