I'm going, even if I have to go by myself...

Saint Louis Travel Blog

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I'm a happy girl!

I was leaving Salem right at 9 AM.  I was really looking forward to starting the morning at Starbucks, and when I got to Fairview Heights, I made a detour for a venti mocha frappaccino light.  It wasn't a quick detour like I had anticipated -- there was a drive-thru line around the building.  But, I got my coffee fix, making me one happy girl!

Since I drove-thru Starbucks, my first actual stop was Jilly's Cupcake Bar for cupcakes for my sister. Worried that I had sat too long while dealing with some back/hip issues, I got out of the car and I wasn't in pain.  Phew.  She had sent me a list: 2 Missylicious, 2 Chocolate Thunder, a Reese's and a chocolate-covered strawberry.  BUT, when I got to the counter, there were no Missylicious or Chocolate Thunder cupcakes in sight.

Jilly's
  I asked for them anyway, thinking they may be somewhere behind the counter.  NO, and the lady was a little rude to tell me they weren't available. Caught off guard because these are supposed to be offered everyday, I got the chocolate-covered strawberry and the Reese's and spontaneously got two French Kiss (a February offering, similar to the Chocolate Thunder).  As I walked to my car, the more aggravated I got over the lack of daily cupcakes.  Jilly's isn't my favorite cupcakery, and the rude customer service I just received just added to it.

Moving on... I had planned to eat lunch at a restaurant I had come across online, Bailey's Range.  The menu posted consisted of a wide-range of burgers.  But, as I exited off 170 to get to Jilly's, I saw a Greek restaurant on the Interstate sign.

driving down Delmar
  Now, I LOVE Greek food, and considering I was by myself, now would about be the time to go because no one else enjoys Greek like I do.  So, instead of going back the Interstate, I drove down Delmar, with the hopes that I would see MoMo's.  No such luck.  I continued down Delmar, driving through the Loop.  Giving up on Greek, I called OnStar for directions to my intended lunch destination.  This was the first time the silly automated system worked for me.  Bailey's Range is located downtown, 6.2 miles away from where I was.  Getting back on 64, I followed the directions back to 11th Street and around to the restaurant on Olive Street.  I drove around the block five freakin' times, trying to find a parking space, not wanting to park in the seemingly abandoned parking lot.
buffalo burger with grilled onions, pickles and feta cheese: DELISH!
  I did manage to find a street-space, and quarters in the console to pay for that parking space.

I walked down the street to the restaurant, where I was very confused.  There are heavy teal curtains hanging in front of the entrance, leading me to believe they were closed, even though it was 45 minutes past opening time.  I waited a couple minutes, and finally got brave enough and opened the curtains.  They were, indeed, open.  The hostess asked if I wanted to sit at the bar or the table; it didn't matter to me.  She led me to the long table to sit.  I was there early enough that they weren't extremely busy.  There was groups of friends sitting at either end of the table, and myself in the middle.  Since I had looked at the menu online, I knew what I wanted: I created my own burger using a buffalo patty with pickles, feta cheese, and grilled onions on a pretzel bun with a diet Fitz' root beer.

the PBR semis
  It was perfect.  Oh, my goodness.  So juicy and delicious and the flavors melded so well.

I left the restaurant, heading in the direction of the ScotTrade Center.  I figured I could find it; I had plenty of time.  And, sure enough, it was just a few blocks away.  I was early enough that I got an awesome parking space.  I paid twenty friggin' dollars for it, but it was practically in the front of the nearly empty lot.  And, I was a little excited -- the tractor-trailers were parked alongside the road, so I got to see those.  (Being a truckdriver's daughter is absolutely in my blood).  I was early enough that I had to wait in the lobby before the gates opened.  I was standing off to the right side and when the line started moving 5 minutes later, I did, too.

me and Valdiron de Oliviera
  It wasn't marked for Posse members only.  I had let my membership expire, so it was back to the end of the next line.  Five minutes later, general admission was granted. 

I started off by just walking around.  I was basically just killing time so I didn't have to sit for so long.  I did sign up for the Fan Club again.  I don't know if I'll actually use the benefits, but I signed up anyway.  I was also going to stand in line at the Cooper Tires booth, but this year the guy was signing backsacks, which I didn't really want.  I was hoping for another t-shirt, since I practically live in the one I got three years ago.  But -- just a booth over was Valdiron de Oliviera, signing autographs at the Wrangler booth.

He is not my favorite bullrider, not even close, but he is an accomplished bullrider, so I left the Cooper Tires line and stood in line for his autograph and a picture with him.

I'd had enough walking around, and had pretty well seen everything I wanted to, so I went to my seat, which turned out to be a great seat -- just to the left of the chutes and up eight rows. I had about an hour to sit there before the event started.  I knew I wouldn't luck into an empty seat next to me, because I had just bought my ticket on Wednesday, and it was the only open seat in that section.  It was an aisle seat, which was great since the people next to me had to leave like 20 times.

Sunday Funday began with the fire show and introducing the cowboys.

  The one thing I love about the PBR is each event begins with a prayer, asking for the safety of the cowboys and the livestock.  Once the national anthem was sung, it was off and running... or riding is more like it.  It was a rough start; a bull went down (which happens rarely) and didn't buck.  The rider was given a re-ride.  There was only one 8-second ride, until Shorty gave a 'pep talk' (or talked smack, however you want to look at it), and then there were three in a row.  There were only ten riders that qualified for the finals, and the bulls prevailed there, too.  There were no 8-second rides in the finals, including Luke Snyder against Bushwacker.  Bushwacker is the legendary bull, right now, the rankest that the riders want to go against.
LJ Jenkins riding Bushwacker
  The winner of the event: Eduardo Aparecido, that I know nothing about.

I was going to stick around, since the cowboys came out and around the arena to sign autographs (dang, I didn't know that, and had nothing for them to sign), but I went ahead and left.  I was by myself, and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I also knew there would be traffic to fight.  I hightailed it to the parking lot, and made a quick exit.  I drove around to come back downtown to get on the Interstate to head back east.   My sister and I have a tradition of going to get ice cream after the PBR, but since I was by myself, I passed on that.  Instead, I drove through Sonic for a diet cherry limeade.

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Im a happy girl!
I'm a happy girl!
Jillys
Jilly's
driving down Delmar
driving down Delmar
buffalo burger with grilled onions…
buffalo burger with grilled onion…
the PBR semis
the PBR semis
me and Valdiron de Oliviera
me and Valdiron de Oliviera
LJ Jenkins riding Bushwacker
LJ Jenkins riding Bushwacker
line at Starbucks
line at Starbucks
a diet Fitz rootbeer... and a rea…
a diet Fitz' rootbeer... and a re…
finding the Savvis... oops, ScotTr…
finding the Savvis... oops, ScotT…
awesome seat!
awesome seat!
introduction of the cowboys
introduction of the cowboys
waiting for the nod
waiting for the nod
I happen to love my boots
I happen to love my boots
leaving St. Louis
leaving St. Louis