St. Louis Meetup

Saint Louis Travel Blog

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First part of the Meetup - at Hannigan's in Laclede's Landing.
One of the largest meetups ever... a party of two  :o)

With Mark (travelman 727) and I holding down the fort, we painted the town red as we headed to Hannigan's, our first stop to have lunch in Laclede's Landing.  On a perfect-weather day we sat outside and enjoyed the view of old cobblestone streets as we munched on a Greek salad and had Shepherd's stew.  Yum!

Next we boarded the train, a first in this city for Mark.  Our first stop was to continue on the train East, over the Mississippi, and exited on the Illinois side of the river from where we had a better view of the Arch.  Since this side of the river was not very scenic except for a casino in the distance, we headed back to the action of the Missouri side.

Crossing off another first for Mark, we embarked on a bus ride.
The domes and spires of the Basilica.
We exited the train at Centeral West End, proceeded to the nearby MetroBus station, boarded a bus to go see the Basilica.  (see bus guide below) Wow! What a shocking display of devotion, patients, tenacity, and artistry! The basilica rivaled the beauty and stature of the Vatican, in my opinion.  With over 41,500,000 pieces of colored glass in this spectacle, color was everywhere and so beautifully done!  If you get to St. Louis you simply MUST see this place!  It will dazzle you!

After waiting for what seemed like 20 or more minutes to catch the bus back to the train, we exited at the Stadium Station.  The cardinals  fans were in full swing as they began piling into Busch stadium for the ensuing game.  It was about 5pm and already the train to get to the stadium was packed with Red and White - the parking lot was packed, the streets were packed.
Cards game.
..... and spirits were high in anticipation of the All American Past Time.  Crowd control was in the form of a couple of men in golf carts lounging leisurely nearby..... we noticed that they, too, were enjoying the moment by tipping a cold beer every minute or two.  Great fun!

Mark and I parted ways for a couple of hours. He back to his hotel to get ready for dinner, I to my hotel's bar!  There at the bar I met another Mark. This one from Phoenix who was on a guy's weekend - he was waiting for his Dad and brother to arrive.  They take a guy's baseball trip around the country once a year, this year being #14 for them.  They no longer care who is playing or where, but as each year is checked off their list they visit a new stadium and revel in the moment of each other's company.
  What a great tradition!!!

Ok - onward to dinner.  Meeting up with Mark again, we boarded the train and headed to Union Station where Phase II of the Stupendous St. Louis Meetup would take place at the Landry's Seafood and Steak Restaurant.  James (pearcetoyou) selected this restaurant, too, and a it was another fantastic location!  Seated inside without a wait Mark and I each enjoyed a cocktail featured that evening; Mai Ti.   Yummy~!  Dinner was great and the conversation even better~

Since our proximity for dinner was within the Union Station area I took Mark inside the (now) Marriott Hotel lobby and showed him what I had discovered the previous day; the restored, old, Union Station.  How beautiful! We went to see the Three Ladies window and the ornateness of the ceiling.

Next we moved on to an outdoor Bistro bar where we finished the night with one more beverage.  Since I'm an early bird my energy was already waning so I grabbed a diet coke while Mark sampled another local flavor, Shock Top beer.  We walked through the Marriott to the street level back by Aloe Plaza Fountain where we caught a complimentary shuttle back to the Hyatt.

Shortly after the evening ended around 11pm.  On my way back to my hotel, knowing it was my last evening in St. Louis, I forced myself to walk through city park, a lit up spectacle that we noticed on the way through Downtown, about 1 block from my hotel, the Hilton.  How interesting at night!  With big heads, waterfalls, "people lights," and rabbits, it was almost surreal!

**Bus guide and travel tips for the Basilica area:  From the MetroBus Hub at Central West End take the #13 "Florrisant" route to Lindell Blvd.
The private "castle" at the return bus stop.
bus stop (bus route will turn the corner to the left here so will stop before making the turn onto Lindell.)  Once off the bus cross Lindell Blvd as there isn't another crosswalk before the Basilica and that street is a busy one.  Walk to your right approximately one long block to get to the Basilica. You can see the green domes and spires from the bus stop.

To return to Central West End MetroBus Hub, return to the corner of Lindell Blvd, but get on the opposite side to catch the bus.  Take the first of three routes to get back:  #95 Hampton - #13 Veterans - or #18. All of these routes make a stop at the MetroBus Hub.  **Note: There is no bench to wait on at this stop, but there is plenty of shade. The stop is outside of a private residence that looks like a castle.

**Basilica is within walking distance of the Central West End train stop for those who are fit. It is approximately six long blocks to Lindell Blvd.
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First part of the Meetup - at Hann…
First part of the Meetup - at Han…
The domes and spires of the Basili…
The domes and spires of the Basil…
Cards game.
Cards game.
The private castle at the return…
The private "castle" at the retur…
Mark buying his ticket to ride the…
Mark buying his ticket to ride th…
Arch from the Illinois side of the…
Arch from the Illinois side of th…
Signs pointing to East route on th…
Signs pointing to East route on t…
Eads bridge - at train level.
Eads bridge - at train level.
Bus route to get to the basilica f…
Bus route to get to the basilica …
Mark from Phoenix
Mark from Phoenix
The three ladies... representing L…
The three ladies... representing …
Union Station, which now holds the…
Union Station, which now holds th…
Cool bar effect at Hannegans
Cool bar effect at Hannegan's