And to loosly quote Tennessee Williams...
After our time in the Loop, we headed towards the river to see this oh-so-famous arch.
We parked in a parking garage then trekked about a mile to the riverwalk/arch area.
I was curious to see whether or not the Mississippi River was cleaner up there.
It appears so.
Guess it picks up a lot of sediment and trash between there and here.
And they have a cool looking bridge.
I was also expecting a bustling riverwalk area like the one in New Orleans with shops and tourists and boats and things.
Well...this is what I got.
A fair food establishment.
Now, don't get me wrong...I love me some funnel cake...but really?
This young couple seemed to be enjoying themselves though.
So, call me crazy, but I was under the impression that this arch went over the river.
That seems like a cool idea.
Instead its just next to the river, marking the Gateway to the West.
And here I am in front of it...to give you some scale.
Its made out of stainless steel, and I was suprised at how fingerprint-y and smudgey it was.
Since we were at the Gateway to the West, we went to the Museum of Westward Expansion, located underneath the arch.
You can also go up inside the arch, but we got there too late for the last tour.
I'm not complaining.
I'm kind of scared of heights.
At this museum, they had cool stuff about Native American's, stuffed animals, and by stuffed I mean taxidermied, and other cool artifacts from life out west.
Oh look, Louisiana!
And if you look closely, there is a shout out to my office, which was formerly the General Land Office.
Pretty exciting stuff!
After seeing the museum, I wanted to tour the
Old Courthouse where the
Dred Scott decision was made...but alas...30 minutes too late.
And there was a bunny living in the foliage.
Who needs to go to the zoo, when there's free wildlife just off of the main road?
Just for kicks, we decided to drive over the river into Illinois to see the Cahokia Indian Mounds.
We have some Indian Mounds here in Louisiana, so like the Mississippi River, I wanted to compare.
When we exited the interstate, Illinois was like a completly different world.
Not many people around.
Dilapitated buildings and weathered homes.
We go to the mounds, took a few photos and left. We were just too tired and too hungry to really enjoy them...and my mom may or may not have been a little upset because she drove over a curb in the parking garage.
For dinner, we headed back into the city to grab some pasta at the historically Italian area known as the Hill.
We ended up at a place called Pietro's.
White table cloth, but not too expensive.
I chose spaghetti & meatballs, and my mother chose fettuccini alfredo.
Servings were huge.
My entree was not bad...but it wasn't amazing either. It seemed to need more spices, and my meatballs tasted less than homemade.
My mother's entree, which I tried, was VERY tasty, but too rich for me to enjoy a whole plate of.
I wished our Hampton Inn would have had a fridge so that I could have had her leftovers.
Then, since the lady at the Route 66 Museum suggest it, we headed to Ted Drewes Frozen Custard.
Its sort of like Marble Slab in that they mix everything on a big frozen piece of rock...or something.
Apparently, they have been asked to start a chain, but the owner won't.
So, you can only get this treat at one of three locations in the St. Louis area.
Let me tell you.
Oh my goodness.
Best dessert ever!
And really inexpensive too!
After writing some postcards at the hotel, showering, and getting a good nights rest, we were on our way back to Louisiana.
My mom even let me drive for about seven hours!
I'm pretty happy because at least it gave me something to pay attention to on the nine hour drive, which is absolutly zero percent exciting.
Then I was reunited with my bears.
Then I was reunited with my condo for some much welcome rest.
So, thoughts on St. Louis?
- Well, I went because it was so inexpensive and I needed a break from work, and my mom and I don't see each other that much...so it was better than being at work.
- I was expecting a big city. That it wasn't.
- Overall, food was not that impressive(minus that custard!!).
- People were very nice. Suprisingly nice. Definitly a big positive about the midwest.
- Although I do NOT want to stay in Louisiana much longer, I wouldn't leave to go just anywhere...I'll take Baton Rouge over St. Louis.
- I'll loosely quote Mr. Tennessee Williams, originally from St. Louis who moved to New Orleans. Someone once asked him, "So, why did you come to New Orleans?" and his answer was, "Because I'm from St. Louis".
I compare everywhere I go to New Orleans...and nothing really compares...I'm happy I visited this city on the river, but its definitely not home.