Milestone B-days

Saint Louis Travel Blog

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the group inside

My friend Amy and her husband Bob were both celebrating milestone birthdyas, and we went to St. Louis to celebrate.  I met them, plus her parents, at their house, and (since Amy drives an 8-passenger Traverse), we went to Centralia to pick up Bob and Amy's friends Terry and Tina.  Now, St. Louis is only about a 90-minute (at most) drive for us.  But, we didn't even get out of Centralia before we had to stop for teas at McDonald's.  Then, 45 minutes later, we had to make a friggin' pitstop because two of them couldn't hold it -- two stops.  Two stops for a simple trip to St. Louis. 

Dinner plans were to go to McGurk's in Soulard, which, I think, is Bob's favorite place.  We totally lucked into a parking space right across the street.

my grilled cheese sandwich
  When we got inside, we expected to be seated fairly quickly, but the hostess was confused as to whether there was seating available because they had so many reservations.  We were indeed able to be seated immediately.  I glanced over the menu, already thinking about the grilled cheese sandwich.  Supposedly, it's the best in St. Louis.  I wasn't really in the mood for a steak, so I got the sandwich without the homemade chips (I can't eat anything fried in a restaurant if shrimp is anywhere on the menu.)  Which also meant I missed out on the ravioli and onion ring appetizers.

We had a fairly enjoyable dinner.  The grilled cheese was okay -- I'm not sure I would call it 'the best', it was a sandwich of cheddar, monterey jack, and goat cheeses with Roma tomatoes and Guinness-sauteed onions on sourdough.

part of the group outside
  The cheeses melded together well, and it did kill the hunger pains.  After we were done eating, including Bob's complimentary birthday cheesecake, we went outside to see the garden dining.  It was absolutely lovely out there!  Somehow the conversation came around to Blueberry Hill, and since the majority of us had not been there, we all agreed to go check it out.

Amy has the wonderful advent of OnStar in her car, too, so Bob call for directions to Blueberry Hill in the Loop.  The one thing about OnStar (as with any GPS, I guess), it doesn't take into consideration the neighborhoods to drive through, which was certainly the case tonight.  We were a little uneasy as it was, and I tried not to think about the huge Chicago Cubs emblem on her back window.

my 24 cent voucher
  We made it to the Loop, only five minutes away.  Then drove through the parking lot for at least ten, trying to snatch an open space.

We walked over to Blueberry Hill, but it wasn't exactly what I expected.  We got right in, but we were only there to check out the place and see if there was a band playing.  It was standing room only at the bar, but we were able to finagle seats in the waiting area.  There was a band, but it was a sold out ticketed event, so we didn't even try to get in on that.  After Bob and Terry and Tina and Amy enjoyed a couple drinks, we left to go to the casino, picking Lumiere over by the Landing.

Again, we had to drive around the lot to find a vacant space.  This time, we resorted to stalking people as they walked out to their cars, finally lucking into a space.  I had not been to the Lumiere, but that shouldn't be much of a surprise, since I'm not much of a gambler.  Upon entering, the older five laughed at me and Amy, getting carded at the entrance.  I even thought they were going to leave me behind, but Amy was looking out for me.

Bob went straight for the blackjack table, Terry and Tina straight to the bar, and Georgia and John the slot machines, leaving Amy and me to wander around for ourselves.  She was looking for penny slots with a minimum bet of ten cents.  Or slot machines like what she's played at the bowling alley or something, I'm not really sure.  What I am sure of is that the casino is a very good place to people-watch -- holy cow!  There are some interesting people that hang out in the casino.

Amy finally settled on a machine -- I helped myself to a complementary soda.  But, as she was sitting there, I was compelled to play as well, so I inserted a ten dollar bill into a machine and lost the whole darn thing.   Well, all but twenty-four cents of it.  We gave up on these machines, and wandered further into the casino corners, where she found the video blackjack machine she was looking for.  I just watched.  When she had lost enough of her $20, we again wandered through the casino, this time finding her mom.  Georgia informed us that the slot machines took the vouchers issued, so I inserted mine and proceeded to lose the last twenty-four cents.

I was done at this point, so I joined Terry, Tina, Bob, and John in the var, to have a seat.  Amy went back to the penny machines and ended up coming out ahead... by three cents.  She was done at that point, too, and thankfully we left.  I was really looking forward to sleeping on the way home, but no such luck.  Drunk Tina chattered the whole way home.  And we had to make a pitstop (these people could never travel with me).  Stopped in Centralia to take those two home, then it was back to Amy and Bob's.  Home at 1 AM, and I fell asleep immediately.

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the group inside
the group inside
my grilled cheese sandwich
my grilled cheese sandwich
part of the group outside
part of the group outside
my 24 cent voucher
my 24 cent voucher