Saint Louis Travel Blog› entry 2 of 6 › view all entries
On August 28, 2006, Trinity and I chewed Bazooka gum. The fortune on my comic said I would take a plane ride to a strange place. The fortune was half true, we went to St Louis the next day. It wasn't really that strange. Still, I want to believe that my future can be predicted by bubble gum wrappers. At the time, we had been trying to go to STL for about seven weeks. It started out as an idea, and when we couldn't get there because of heavy flights, it became something I had to do, just to show the universe. Well... Take THAT universe.
We started off our day by buying tickets for the train. It's one of those transit systems where there is no place to put a ticket or token, nor any type of turnstile or door to get past, you just buy a ticket and get on, and no one takes it.
We got to Laclede's Landing, which is the Arch stop. We were hungry and we saw a big sign down the street which said "mall, shops, restaurants" in all capital letters. We walked and went inside and it turned out to be an abandoned mall. So we went across the street to the St Louis Visitor's Center and asked the lady inside to tell us where food was. She was very nice but she kept talking to me as though I was familiar with the area, even though I told her I was not. For example, Trinity grabbed a flyer for a museum, and I asked the lady how to get there from the airport, and she told me how to drive there, naming streets and other things I ignored. We walked right back towards the Arch and ate at the Bread Company. We left there and then found a Jimmy John's just two doors down! Ugh.
The Arch is a giant metal arch. It's a lot bigger than I realized. I guess I knew it was big, but we stared at it for a while trying to figure out if it was bigger than the Washington Monument. We went back and forth on it, and we did not make a final decision. We found out later it is the Arch at 630 feet, compared to the Washington Monument which is 555. We bought our tickets and got in line to take the tram up to the top. I just about died when the door opened to reveal the tram we would be riding in. I had pictured an elevator. It was more like a pod. It was about Trinity's height, but even she had to duck down to get inside.
Next, we went to the Museum of Westward Expansion, which was underground.
We bought a couple of souvenirs in the gift shop and then we walked across the street to the Mississippi River. All these years knowing how to spell Mississippi, I finally got to type it! Twice now! I've been waiting like 27 years for this. I've never seen the Mississippi (3!) before, so that was kind of exciting. We spit in it and we also stepped in it. We are practically Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer.
We walked around through the park and then we got back on the train. We got to the airport pretty early, but I like to explore new airports. The lady that worked there was very nice, however she was the slowest person I know. I swear to god there was a turtle working at the Southwest counter, and the turtle checked in like 8 people in the time it took her just to check in me and Trinity. He even tagged their bags! Plus I was already checked in. I did it myself in MKE that morning. All she had to do was take my paper ticket and clear me a seat. This is like 3 keystrokes. Not that she has to be fast, all she has to do is check in 19 passengers max every day. I love working for an airline but I think I would die of boredom if it was in an outstation.
When we got back to Milwaukee, we had missed the bus by only a few minutes, and at that hour it means another one wouldn't come for almost an hour. We started walking, which isn't a problem. It's about a 20-30 minute walk which I do quite a bit, and Trinity is not averse to walking that far or that long. It was only a problem because as soon as we got home, I discovered that I had forgotten my keys! I had to call my mom to bring over my spare. And if I my mom had to bring over my spare key anyway, she could have picked us up at the airport, so I felt like I completely wasted 40 minutes of my life. But I got to give my dad the St. Louis newspaper I bought him that day at least. (He likes to read papers from other cities, just to see their take on things, so I buy him one everywhere I go.)