Elian and I just took a 4 day trip to St. Louis, just the two of us. We wanted to get in a little trip before Baby Girl #2 arrives in July. We decided on St. Louis because it is relatively close (4.5 hrs), a lot of the attractions are free, and the Chicago Cubs, Elian’s favorite baseball team, were coming to St. Louis to play the Cardinals that weekend.
We left Thursday morning and stopped for lunch at Lambert’s in Sikeston. I’m not much for southern home cookin’, but the food was good, and who doesn’t like to have their rolls thrown to them? We got to St. Louis that afternoon and checked into our awesome hotel. We stayed downtown and had gorgeous views of the arch, the skyline, and Busch Stadium. The best part is we only paid $50/night by going through Hotwire. Sweet!
We took the free tour of the Anheuser Busch factory on Thursday afternoon. I’m not a fan of beer, but seeing how they make it was interesting. And at the end you get two free samples of beer! Don’t worry, I stuck to free samples of Pepsi products.
We ate dinner at Charlie Gitto’s Thursday night – an excellent Italian place the concierge recommended. The atmosphere was that of a Huey’s, and the pasta was fabulous.
Friday morning we headed to the zoo, also free. On the way we got donuts at a hole in the wall place in the Italian neighborhood of St. Louis. The zoo was a big disappointment. It was beautifully landscaped and kept up, but the animals were lacking. I think I can count on one hand how many animals we actually saw during our 1 hr 45 minute tour of the zoo. A lot of exhibits were empty, and the animals that were out stayed as far away from the public as possible. Not to mention the temperature reached 90 that day.
We left the zoo hot and miffed and decided to get pizza at Imo’s, a chain in St. Louis. It was…different. Not bad, but nothing I’d go out of my way for. The sauce was more of a thin, cheesy, red sauce than pizza sauce.
After lunch we went to the free science museum. It was a huge hands-on place that was entertaining for adults as well as kids. Then we returned to the hotel to rest before the first Cubs vs. Cardinals game at 7 PM. The weather was perfect, and the stadium was full. Although the Cubs lost 3-4, we enjoyed the game. After a late night Taco Bell run, we called it a day.
Saturday morning we went to the St. Louis Bread Co. (which is just Panera with a different name) for breakfast. Apparently 10:30 is too late to get a bagel because they were completely sold out of all things breakfast. I was annoyed, but my strawberry smoothie sufficed. Then we trekked to the Arch. When we got inside to buy tickets, a process that involves standing in line to go thru security similar to airport security, we discovered there was a 1.5 hr wait to ride to the top. We didn’t have that much time to kill, so we left and drove to Union Station, the Peabody Place of St. Louis.
We wanted to eat lunch at Landry’s, which was a great decision on our part. I know you are thinking, wait, didn’t they just eat at Panera? Yes, yes we did. Don’t judge. Landry’s, although pricey, was fabulous. We stuffed ourselves with shrimp cooked various ways and enjoyed every bite. Then we went back to the hotel to rest before ballgame #2 Saturday afternoon.
There was another sellout crowd at Busch Stadium, and the weather was beautiful again. Unfortunately, Albert Pujols decided to stick it to the Cubs with a grand slam. The Cubs lost 2-8. Ouch. After the game we waited around for the Cubs players, scouting out the door they sometimes come out of, but we didn’t see any famous ones. We did, however, see many drunk people stumbling up and down the sidewalk shouting comments at one another that were meant to be offensive but turned out just to be nonsensical. We saw one drunk guy fall up the stairs, and a fight broke out between two other drunk guys that were both wearing Cardinals t-shirts. We don’t know what they were fighting about, but one guy tried to tackle the other from behind by jumping on his back, ramming the first guy collarbone first into a light pole. I wouldn’t be surprised if he woke up the next day with no recollection of the light pole and a mysteriously broken collarbone.
Anyway, after the game we had the most fabulous pizza ever delivered to our hotel room and stayed in the rest of the night. Sunday morning we got up, had breakfast at the hotel, and went back to the Arch. There was still a 1.5 hr wait, but we decided we’d wait. When it was our turn, they crammed us in these capsules that we rode to the top of the Arch. We took in the view for about 10 minutes and then headed back down. It was pretty similar to flying over St. Louis in an airplane. The more impressive part was how the Arch was built.
Anyway, we headed back to Memphis Sunday afternoon, stopping for lunch at an unimpressive sub chain that we don’t have in Memphis. Johnny Something or Others. We got back to Memphis around 5 PM, picked up our sweet girl, and headed back to reality.