Friday, November 21, 2008

Touring St. Louis

Our trip to St. Louis at the end of September was a bit different than our normal drive by. Not only did we have the joy of Diane's company, but we stayed a whole day in between our 10 hour drives. After arriving on Sunday evening, we stopped to pick up something for dinner. Then we settled ourselves in to Nana's apartment knowing she was having a great time up north with Elizabeth but wishing she were home all the same. Monday morning we went to see Dr. Dobbs for a check up and prepared for the tests that Laura would be taking early Tuesday morning. Then we headed out to see what St. Louis had to offer.

It had been a long time since I'd been downtown, and even longer since I'd been to the arch. So we headed there praying that Jonathan wouldn't decide he was brave enough to take a ride to the top. He wasn't. :) But we did have a great time in the museum below the arch learning not only about it, but about it's status as "The Gateway to the West". There were wonderful exhibits detailing Lewis and Clark's exploration, some military items, native American history, details of the wagon trains headed west, and large pictures showing new arrivals coming by boat on the might Mississippi. I know Jonathan learned quite a bit that renforced some of his history and art lessons, and Laura was fascinated by teepees, covered wagons, and buffalo.

Here's Jonathan waving goodbye to us as he prepares to set off in his covered wagon.

Jonathan compared himself to the typical soldier back then. He declared them 'short'.

Here he is next to Lewis or Clark. I can't remember which...

Jonathan read some of the more interesting facts to Laura. Sometimes she actually listened!

Jonathan really got in to the spirit of it all and decided he needed to put some space between him and the buffalo.

And here he investigates the bear that used to roam that area.

It is hard to get a true picture of just how tall the arch really is,

but when you compare the picture of the arch with this picture of the little windows in the observation area, you begin to get the picture. The arch stands 630 feet in the air. And it sways in the wind. Really. Kind of takes your breath away when you are up there blowing in the breeze. I chose not to experience that this trip...

When you are standing outside the arch, there are huge steps that lead down to the Mississippi River. And the bridge we used to cross each time we came to town was just down the way.

We also stopped in at the renovated train station to visit shops and see some of the historic artifacts there, too. I was amused at the prices on the menu, and amazed at quality of the dishes, and the apparent customer service back then. The beautiful architecture they have restored, the stained glass windows, and the colorful tile work showed some of the pride St. Louis has in its history. They've done a beautiful job there. I hope that it revives once again as the economy strengthens in the coming years.

They also had a replica of a caboose at the train station, and Laura just had to explore it. :)

We had several other adventures on our trip as well. Mom explored the neighborhood where she spent some of her childhood, and we ventured in to several areas we'd never been to before in search of one of only three Wendy's in St. Louis. Imagine our surprise when we discovered it was closed. We ate ice cream at Ted Drewes, drove by the botanical gardens, and enjoyed some of the spirit of St. Louis and the efforts to maintain its history in some of the beautiful older buildings. When we finally headed home once again on Tuesday, loopy Laura (the anesthesia kept her a bit off kilter for several hours), Diane, Jonathan, Mom and I knew we'd be back soon. And Nana will be waiting.

No comments: