Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Road Trip: St. Louis

Early on a Saturday morning in late June, Matt's dad picked us up from my parents' house in Dallas, and we started the long, long haul to St. Louis, Mo. (Matt's mom was planning to meet us in Chicago, since she was already traveling.) I had loaded four audiobooks onto my phone for the trip, since I get motion sick and can't read in the car, but as it turned out I listened to ... none of them. Instead, I somehow managed to sleep on and off for most of the trip through Oklahoma and Missouri.

Oooooklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plaiiiiins.

It's okay. Not much happened that day. Though we did see a billboard for the World's Largest Rocking Chair. And state penitentiary tours in Missouri. Hmmm.

"You're not from Missourah?!" - Barney Stinson

By the time we pulled into St. Louis, it was around 8 p.m. As we drove toward our hotel, the first thing I thought was "Wow, this place is really beautiful." We were staying in a part of town near St. Louis University, and there was lots of old architecture and pretty flowers hanging from the street signs and telephone poles.

The weather was perfect — nothing like Texas! — so after we set our bags down at the hotel, we walked a few blocks to a British pub called Dressel's Public House for a late dinner.

I got the tomato salad and Matt got fish and chips, which I also helped him eat. :) Both were very good, though I expected my salad to actually have, you know, lettuce in it. Turns out it was just the fruit! But my goodness, grilled watermelon is delicious. :) My FIL got a burger, and he said it was also excellent.

The next morning, we had planned to visit the St. Louis Arch, then continue on up to Illinois. As we left the hotel, we drove past some pretty buildings.

Cathedral Basilica 

Man, my iPhone takes good pictures from inside a moving vehicle! Buy Apple stock! ;)

I was just in awe of all the architecture! I told Matt if he wanted to get a job here when he graduates, I'll be okay with that.

Finally, we arrived at the Arch! It was pretty magnificent.

We bought our tickets for the tram tour, and with about an hour to kill before our turn to go to the top, we checked out the museum at the base.

It was quite interesting. Lots of history about Lewis and Clark, and the Indians, and territory wars. But my favorite part was that there were all these quotes from various generals and presidents and Indian chiefs along the walls. While reading about history is all fine and good, I liked being able to "hear" the thoughts of those who were actually participating in those events. Very powerful stuff.

Elliott needs a friend.

After about an hour, it was time for us to head toward the "elevators" that were going to take us to the top of the arch!

Or at least, they were described to me as elevators. They're actually more like window-less pods that somehow seat five people in these little spheres. It reminded me of Spaceballs, when the Megamaid is about to blow up and everyone has to escape in those tiny pods.

That's gonna fit how many of us now?

Luckily the ride to the top was pretty quick — I wasn't timing it, but I'd guess it was only a couple of minutes. Once we got to the top, we escaped from our pod and entered this hallway area with narrow windows all along the edges, tilted downward so you could see panoramic views of the city.

The St. Louis side.

The Illinois side.

Once we were finished looking out over the two states, we hopped back in our pod and headed back to the ground. Because the weather was still so nice — breezy and cool, but not too windy — we decided to walk around the park and along the water near the Arch.

I wish we could have spent a little more time in St. Louis. It was beautiful, and I really liked it there. But it was back into the car, and onward into Illinois! Springfield, here we come!

Have you ever been to St. Louis? Do you like road trips?


  1. Beautiful! We're planning on going over the winter break to visit Paul's sister and brother-in-law and our two nieces.

  2. I didn't know you could go up the arch! That's so cool! :D

    1. Next time you're in St. Louis you should give it a try!

  3. I didn't know you could go inside the arch, either! Did that pod thing make you nervous? It looks kind of creepy.

    1. It WAS a little creepy, but I knew the ride was only going to be a few minutes long, so I wasn't too freaked out about it. Also, the doors to the pod were made of glass, so you could see the inside of the arch as you were going up. It's full of emergency stairs.

  4. I can't say anything nice, so I won't comment on St. Louis (baaaad experiences) but it looks like you guys had a wonderful time!

    1. Aw, I'm sorry you didn't have a good time there!

  5. Going up to the top of the Arch didn't set off your motion sickness? Just looking at your pictures makes me a little queasy lol, no top of the Arch for me! I like the idea of audiobooks since I can't read in the car, will have to look into that if we take a road trip! The picture of the street lamps is so pretty. Love taking detail shots like that.

    1. Nope, it was such a short ride there wasn't much time for motion sickness! I'm not scared of heights either.