St. Louis, Part 2

On Sunday, we again got right up with the kids, this time at 6:30 (really 5:30, but it was DST). We packed up the car, had breakfast and were on the road by 9 again. We started our day at the St. Louis arch, I mean, you gotta see it while you are there, right. So, anyone who has a fear of heights or claustrophobia, who may someday want to go up in the arch, should stop reading right now.................

OK, so it was TERRIFYING. I mean, even for the mentally stable, it was a trying experience. Getting in the arch is like going through airport security, which kind of amps up your anticipation. Once your in and have bought your tickets ($25.00 for the 3 of us, Lucy was free) you get in line to ride the tram to the top. They sort you out by tickets with car numbers on them. You are then herded as a group into a dimly lit exhibition/waiting area which is loud with the mechanical noise of the tram, which was the original from 1965.
Then they take you down a couple flights of stairs to another dimly lit space, and you stand in front of the door that coresponds with your ticket. (Totally felt like waiting for a hatch to open, for all you Losties.)When the doors open, the tram car looks like the inside of an egg. We fit 4 adults and the two kids in this was cozy. By this time, Griffin was visibly nervous. Luckily, we had brought a backpack and I occupied myself and the kids with the passing out of snacks. The other woman in the car started to get a little panicky about minute 2 and her boyfriend teased her, "Does she need to get you an apple, too?" I was glad to be distracted with a task. I definitely had to swallow my fear more than once. The tram jerks and whines itself to the top in four minutes. The doors have little window slats in them so you can watch your progression by a series of cables and pulleys as you ride.
Finally we reached the top and walked into the arch. Both sides have a sort of ledge with a line of small slated windows. The view was amazing and I am sure it is even more so on a clear day. On the day we were there it was pretty windy so it was tough to walk from one side to the other (kind of like it feels to be on a boat.) The worst part though, was the knowledge that the only way down was the same way you came up. We probably stayed at the top for about 10 minutes (longer than most people of our group) before we headed back down. Luckily, it was less crowded going down, we had the tram car to ourselves, and it only takes 3 minutes to come down. It was an experience I am glad I have but I will NEVER do that again!
They had a great little museum under the arch and we hung out there and in the gift shops while a big storm passed through. Next up, lunch. We decided to just drive through the downtown (can't wait till the kids are a little older and we can do such things on foot!) and find a place to stop. We came upon the Union Station, an old railway station turned entertainment complex. It was a fun place to check out and we had a delicious lunch at a little bistro there. Afterward, we walked around their outside fountain/pond area and the kids had fun feeding the fish.

Last on the agenda before we headed home was the St. Louis Science Center. It was a must because their special exhibit was "A T Rex Named Sue". How could we not take our little dino lover to see this. The center was free and very cool. There was an animatronics dinosaur scene that Griffin was fascinated by and enjoyed watching from the ground floor and above. There were a ton of other cool things to see there, but maybe more appropriate for an older kid. Then we went into the exhibit ($5.00/person, Lucy was free). Lucy had slept through the whole thing, and Griffin was fading fast so it wasn't really the excited reaction we were hoping for although, I think he really enjoyed it. We did a craft project, watched a movie about excavating fossils, dug up some "fossils" and checked out the huge T-Rex skeleton. Very cool afternoon. By then, we were all exhausted and it was time to head home. Most of us (Thank you Bruce, for driving) slept most of the way home and no one was as happy as Lucy, to be home that night.


Anonymous said…
Sounds like a lovely family getaway
weekend (except for the arch thing - no way baby!!!) I want to know how you celebrated your birthday? Did you order a delectable dessert somewhere???
Hope you are feeling better!!!

Talk to you soon...
Love ya, Miss ya,