St. Louis

2013.09.30 338.stlouis.gatewayarch

Colt, Susan, and I just returned from a long weekend in St. Louis.  It a trip jam-packed with fun and we all had a GREAT time!  A HUGE thanks to Grandmommy for volunteering to host Sadie for the weekend - Sadie had an awesome time hanging with Grandmommy and Grandpoppy in Montgomery while we played in St. Louis.  Here are the details of our trip:

Our flight arrived in St. Louis late morning, giving us just enough time to drop off our bags at our hotel and make the short walk to Busch Stadium to see the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Chicago Cubs.  We didn't know it when we bought the tickets, but the game turned out to be a key game in the race for home-field advantage in the playoffs between our Atlanta Braves and the home town Cardinals.  Unfortunately for the Braves, the Cards were playing the Chicago Cubs this day.  The Cubs stink, and the Cards quickly dispatched them jumping out to a big lead early and winning the game 6-2.  It wasn't a great game, but we enjoyed visiting the ballpark and checking it off Dad's bucket list of visiting all the major league parks. I've been to 4 now, so I still have some work to do!

After the game we were so pooped from getting up at 5am, we headed back to the hotel and ordered up a pizza from Imo's.  Imo's Pizza uses provel cheese, which is a St. Louis thing blending cheddar, swiss, and provolone together.  Most people love it or hate it.  We loved it - one of the best pizza's we've ever had.  Shortly after dinner, we were sound asleep.

Our dilemma for Sunday was two of the places we really wanted to check out were open weekends only in the fall: City Museum and Grants Farm.  It was a tight schedule, so after breakfast at the hotel we headed out to Grant's Farm.  Grant's Farm is a historic farm once owned by Ulysses S. Grant and now home to hundreds of animals with lots of opportunities to interact with.  Some highlights: feeding milk out of a bottle to goats, hand feeding camels, riding camels, and an elephant show.  Colt had a blast!

After Grant's Farm, we headed to City Museum.  City Museum is basically a huge playground made from repurposed industrial and architectural objects housed in an old shoe factory.  It features dozens of slides and exhibits you can climb up, on, and over.  Check your grown-upness at the door here, as this was a blast for both kids and adults.  We all had an amazing time climbing through all the various tunnels and contraptions and going down the slides.  There's also a ferris wheel on the roof.  An AWESOME time!

After playing our all day, we headed to the well reviewed Pappy's Smokehouse for what's said to be St. Louis' best barbeque.  Unfortunately, we were met with a sign on the door that said "SOLD OUT".  So instead, we found the Fountain On Locust, which had great sandwiches and lots of ice cream treats.  Colt partook of the World's Smallest Hot Fudge Sundae, which was the perfect size for an almost 4 year old. 

After dinner, we paid a visit to the park at the Gateway Arch, just around the corner from our hotel.  The Arch is an amazing piece of architecture that makes the St. Louis skyline.  I'd call it a must-visit for anyone.

On Monday, we started the day by heading to the St. Louis Zoo, widely regarded as one of the nation's best.  We parked near Turtle Playground, which was designed by the genius who founded City Museum, located just outside the zoo grounds. After a few minutes at the playground, we headed over to the Zoo.  It lived up to expectations.

After the zoo, it time to officially visit the Arch.  Looming large over the city, Colt had been talking about going up in the arch the entire weekend.  He finally got his chance.  We took the "tram" inside the Arch all the way to the top, where we enjoyed great views of the city.  We enjoyed going up to the top, but you can enjoy the Arch just as well from down below.  I'm still in awe of the architectural awesomeness of it.

For dinner, it was back to Pappy's Smokehouse. This time they still had some lived up to the hype.  Being a Southern boy, I was a bit skeptical as to how good this place would be, but it was top notch.  We decided to cap off the day with dessert, so we went to Ted Drewe's Custard for yet more ice cream.  It was highly recommended and proved to be a delicious end to the day.

Before flying out, we had a good portion of the day to wrap up our St. Louis visit. We started by visiting the Anheuser-Busch Brewery for a tour of the grounds.  Anheuser-Busch has a huge presence in St. Louis - they sell Budweiser beer EVERYWHERE in the town: probably the only zoo I've been in that sold beer at the concession stands!  The tour was interesting, but Colt understandably wasn't a big fan.

After the brewery, we had lunch at Gus' Pretzels, which came highly recommended. It was good, but not sure I'm the biggest fan of pretzels.  After lunch, it was on to the St. Louis Science Center to wrap up our trip.  This was the typical kids' museum, with lots of science/educational activities for kids.  Colt enjoyed it, but nothing here was a MUST.  

St. Louis proved to be an awesome weekend getaway.  I think we were there just long enough to take in everything we needed to see.  The Arch of course was the big highlight, but St. Louis has plenty of other offerings to make for a great weekend getaway.  If you haven't been, it's worth the price of admission. Hope you enjoy the pics!


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