Dave & Dot's 25th Anniverary Tour

Week 4 - St. Louis, MO

Tuesday, October 23rd - An Exercise in a Clostrophobic Environment

Today we visited the famous St. Louis Arch. Although I had visited back in June, it is still an awesome sight and I really wanted to share it with Dot. We got off to a late start today because we had to find a place that would cash the money order we received, and it took longer than I thought. We also woke to a steady rainfall. Anyway, we got to the arch around noon. It stood tall and reflected what light there was against the dark grey sky. You start the tour by going underground below the Arch. There are several exhibits showing the history of St. Louis and a museum that we visitied later. We saw the movie of how they built the arch and then walked down into the very bottom of one of it's legs to take the journey all the way to the top which takes about 5 minutes. There are eight tram cars that go up to the top of the Arch in the north and south legs. Each tram seats five people. Trams travel at an average speed of 4mph and are very quiet and completely safe. Once there we found that the rain had stopped and the sky had cleared somewhat and looking out the small rectangular windows at the awesome view, we discovered that we could see for miles (30 miles on a clear day) to the west the city of St. Louis and to the east, the Mississippi River and the state of Illinois. WOW! Even Dot was impressed. I even got her to lay on the wall and look out the window straight down to the ground. That only lasted about 3 seconds but it was more fun seeing her reaction.

After about 30 minutes in the belly of the arch, we descended down the opposite leg and then saw an IMAX movie on the discovery of the American West. We followed that with a stroll through the great museum which chronicles, in great detail the westward expansion of the United States from the Louisiana Purchase to the early 1900's when the U.S. Government declared that there was "no more America to be discovered".

We then went in search of the famous "frozen custard" that everyone around here says you must try. They seem very popular but the establishments that makes them are few and so we drove for what seemed like forever. We finally found it on the opposite side of town and given the type of weather found the place to be very busy. The name is "Ted Drewes" and both Dot and I had a "concrete" which is the frozen custard mixed with the various toppings you choose. Very, very tasty!

We then went and visited St. Louis' Union Station, a converted train station from the 1800’s, which now serves as a shopping mall. Inside is all the usual fare you would find in a mall, food, snacks, and lots of stores, outside, the Hard Rock Cafe, Landry's, movie theaters, and such. You have to pay for parking (bummer) but the place has been kept to its original design as much as possible and it's cavernous innards exemplifies the style of architecture of that day. So far, I have seen two other "Union Station" conversions and this one, I think, empresses me most. Also, scattered all around the mall is the complete story of the history of the station. Very fascinating!

We ended our day by eating dinner at Hooter's (Dot’s choice . . . she wanted the chicken wings . . . Really!) and seeing a Johnny Depp movie.