Wednesday, July 7, 2010

St. Louis, Here We Come!

Over the holiday, my beau and I decided to head out of town for the weekend.  July 4th marks our 2 year anniversary as a couple, and we also wanted to get away before his big 3 week trip across the ocean which is coming up soon.  Therefore, we decided to head to St. Louis!  After working most of the day on Friday, we finally set off on our journey:
Stopping for slushies and snacks for the 5 hour drive!

We didn't arrive at the hotel until pretty late that night, so we decided to get a good night's rest to be ready for the craziness that the next day had in store for us!

We woke up EARLY on Saturday morning and headed down to the 4th of July Parade.  There were tons of cool floats and balloons!  It was very impressive compared to other parades I've been to.  Here are a few pictures:

After that we conquered (with great satisfaction) the public transportation system and made our way to the Anheuser-Busch facility for a free brewery tour!  This was one of the coolest things we did during the trip.  A tour guide leads you through an hour long look into the beer making process and the history of the company.  They even brought out a Clydesdale Horse for us to have our picture made:

Then we came to Patrick's favorite part of the trip!  After the tour they give everyone free beer...and since I'm not a HUGE beer drinker, not only did he get HIS free beer, but he also got mine.  He was in Beer Heaven!

Once I could FINALLY tear him away from all the free beer, =) we made our way back to the hotel for a quick power nap before having a nice early dinner at a place called Lola.  Then we headed down to the Riverfront for Fair St. Louis.  While here, we both got some really cool pictures of the Gateway Arch, got to see John Legend perform and saw some really good fireworks (although, not as good as the Nashville 4th of July Fireworks, but what can I say).  =)

Sideview of the Gateway Arch

John Legend singing his heart out!

Ready for the Fireworks to begin!

Even though by this point I was so tired I could barely hold my eyes open, I decided that it's not every day you have the opportunity to go to a Casino, so we then met up with my friend, Katie and her boyfriend, Chris and headed to do a little gambling!  Katie and I mainly stuck to the slot machines (the penny machines, to be exact), while Patrick and Chris hung out at the craps table.  All in all, we both did pretty well.  Patrick won a little bit of money, and I managed to leave with $0.11 of the $10.00 I originally put in the slot machines.

Everyone thought it was funny that I was cashing in my $0.11 voucher...I figured that I had already given them $9.89; they weren't getting my $0.11, too!  Ha!

On Sunday, we slept in, which was MUCH needed.  We headed to a restaurant that Patrick scoped out called the Broadway Oyster Bar, and it was DE-licious!!!!!  They had the best Fried Oyster Po-Boy I've ever eaten, and Patrick said his Catfish Po-Boy was to die for.  They also had a really cool atmosphere and gave free water to take into the game, which definitely came in handy!  After that it was time for my first Cardinals baseball game.  We met several nice people sitting around us who were full of suggestions as to how we should spend the rest of our stay (this was MUCH appreciated since it is so hard to visit an unfamiliar place...I always want to make the most of my travel time, and these people were more than willing to share their opinions).  Also, the cardinals won, so that made all the fans happy.  The stadium was really cool and from some places, you could even see the Gateway Arch in the background...very cool!

Just before entering Busch Stadium!

Random pics inside the stadium!

Me with my favorite travel companion!

After the game, we headed back to the hotel for yet another nap!  This time, we didn't really recover quite as easily as the night was becoming fairly evident that our busy, busy weekend was beginning to catch up with us!  Therefore, we decided to take it easy on Sunday night.  We headed to dinner and after having a hard time finding anywhere that was open that evening, we finally decided to eat at a local pizzeria.  It was very tasty, despite our concerns.  After this we headed back down to the second day of Fair St. Louis, and decided that the ridiculously LARGE crowds were too much for us.  Therefore, we ended up watching the fireworks from a location slightly closer to our hotel.

Monday was our busiest day of all.  We had reservations at 10:20 for the portion of the trip I was the MOST looking forward to...taking the tram to the top of the Gateway Arch.  Even though I have heard horror stories about how scary the ride to the top is, I was determined to make the trip.  It wasn't nearly as scary as I expected.  I wouldn't have liked doing it alone, but Patrick and 3 other people were in the "elevator" with me, it really wasn't too bad!  Here is a picture of Patrick and me just before we boarded the elevators:

And here are a few pictures from the top:

While hitting up the Gateway Arch, we worked up a pretty good appetite...therefore we headed to Pappy's Smokehouse (a famous b-b-que place in St. Louis that has been featured on Man Vs. Food on the Travel Channel).  Even though the wait was close to an hour, the food did not disappoint!  It was yummy, and Patrick was loving it!

After that, we headed over to the FREE St. Louis Zoo, which was very impressive:

We saw Elephants,

and Penguins,

and Hippos,

and Bears,

and Flamingos,

and Apes,

And many, many more animals (after my camera battery died)  =( 

All-in-all, it was an excellant trip and I was sad to head back to Nashville to the real world...oh, well, every good trip comes to an end!

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