Okay...it was HOT...I mean REALLY REALLY hot. Temp was around 101 but the heat index was more like 114 (thank goodness we were in an ACed car most of the time). So, first of all, like the SECOND we got into Missouri, the drivers got horrible. It was as though they didn't know what cruise control was! They would speed up to get in front of you...then SLOOOOOW way down, then you'd try and pass them, they speed up, then slooooow down. Then, they won't change lanes!! They won't get out of the fast lane (which, for all you Missouri driveers out there is the far left lane) when they are clearly slower than the other drivers...and since the slow drivers are on the right...you can't really get a good way to pass them. It was a NIGHTMARE!! (and one that wouldn't end once we left Missouri).
Anyway, some of the scenery was pretty cool on the way down...they have a lot of rocks we don't have up in prairie land...and eventually we made it to St. Louis. We came to see the arch, and that is what we did. Once we got to the city we had 'the arch sighting' and proceeded to try and find the best place to park. Eventually we got a spot on the road and walked to the arch. Now, the arch is supposed to stand for the gateway to the west...so we're thinking you can go there and walk through this 'gateway'...well you can't!!! They have a fence in the way (LAME) so you can't go through the gateway anymore...this did provide me with a great ironic photo of an Amish couple walking along the fence though "Help...we can't pioneer the Great Expansion!" You could go under the arch though, so that is what we did.
There was security there and we had to put our bags through the scanner...and Emily plays trumpet and took her mouthpiece with us so she could sort of stay in shape...well she left it in her bag and the guard stopped her and said "um, excuse me miss...do you have, um...a...HORN mouthpiece in your bag?" and she said "oops, yeah I do" and he said "may we see it please"...I didn't know horn mouthpieces were so dangerous! hehe (I know you can go to the top of the arch too, but we didn't want to pay to do that, nor did we want to risk getting stuck up there like they had done a couple weeks before...plus...there really isn't that much to see in St. Louis, so why do you need a panorama to prove that to you?) Anyway, so we go underneath the arch to get some postcard souveniers and look at the museum.
An Amish couple walking along the fence of the arch since no one can walk through it.
Now I like museums, I GET museums....I may not have taken museum studies, but I know enough about the intent and layout and goals of an exhibit, and let me tell you, I would NEVER hire the curator of the museum under the arch. It was confusing...way too much clashing...and the tone of presentation, especially of the Native American artifacts was certainly NOT to my liking AT ALL. It was horrible...I couldn't get out fast enough, but what was I rushing to? The 114 degree heat outside, that's what! Well, I was perfectly content taking photos of the arch without me in them...but Em, Sarah and Lauren wanted fun ones like that. So we took them...and it would have been perfectly enjoyable if it weren't for the fact that 5 minutes outside and I thought I was going to get blisters on my arm! It hurt to EXIST out there!! We decided we needed an AC fix before getting into the warm car, so we went to the cathedral right next to the arch and had a look around.
Hey there St. Louis
It was pretty cool, nothing like Europe...or the St. Paul Cathedral for that matter...but it was nice enough, and had AC :-). One thing though is that apparenlty Cahokia...this ancient Native American metropolis, was apparently right outside of St. Louis and OH MAN was I excited!!! I had just learned about Cahokia in my American Indian Art class nad I really wanted to see it. But we couldn't find it on the map, or any map that was available under the arch, and no one knew where it was...so we didn't get to see it, which I was totally bummed about, because I'll probably never come back to St. Louis so I'll probably never see Cahokia. Oh well, I guess it wasn't meant to be...but that's ok...it's not like there's much left of it except some mounds anyway. So after all this it was time to embark on the last leg of the journey for the day...off to Memphis!