April 17, 2012

St. Louis Part 1 - The Sites

Another field trip!  We spent several days in St. Louis last week. We saw a good deal of the city and the Gateway Arch is without a doubt the symbol of the city.  It was a gloomy day, but the park path that leads down to the arch was really beautiful, with the river running along one side, still full of barges and some steam boats.  The arch was impressive as always, symbolizing the gateway to the west which was opened up in part, thanks to Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase. You can learn about it in the Museum of Westward Expansion, located under the arch. My hubby took the two artsy shots of the arch on the left above, and I really like them!

I first saw the arch as a kid, but had never gone up to the top.  As we purchased tickets for the ride up, we were asked whether or not we had trouble with steps or claustrophobia - hmmmm??  Well...the little cars that take you up are teeny weeny, and each one holds five people in cozy style. Think of the rides at an amusement park that are little cages going around like a Ferris wheel and you'll get the idea.  It's just that it's all inside this enormous arch.  It's still the original cable car system, and quite an experience! Once at the top, you crawl out of the car and get wonderful views of the river and the city.  Notice that sea of red in the stadium???

That arch view from the top is of course Busch Stadium, another classic symbol of St. Louis.  This past weekend was their opening day at home,  plus two more games, all being the classic Cards vs.Cubs games.  It made for a lot of chaos in the city, but that's not the reason we were there.

We were there to attend the 2012 NRA Convention.  A record 73,740 people attended.  There were a number of reasons we wanted to attend, but the best result of being there for us, was the encouragement that came from being among like-minded, deeply patriotic citizens that say the same prayers for our country that we say.  The conference was very emotional at many times, and no more so than when a number of the military widows from the Black Hawk Down tragedy were on stage for recognition, as well as several military heroes, to whom we owe an amazing debt of gratitude. At the prayer breakfast on Sunday, we had the great privilege of seeing three disabled vets and their wives receive the blessing of new homes.

There were a number of well known presenters offering political inspiration and entertainment.  My personal favorites were Ann Romney - you know the one who's stayed home to raise her children and not work a day in her life, and Larry the Cable Guy, who might be the most "un-PC" comedian around.  A belly laugh and a dose of common sense does wonders for a person!

We enjoyed the architecture on our Kansas City trip so much, and St. Louis had some beautiful buildings as well, but they also had a lot of this...

Other than driving through the city of Detroit, I don't think I've seen another city with so many abandoned, collapsing buildings.  Everything from old schools to homes have been left to cave in on themselves. Quite a sad and disturbing site.

A very pleasing site was the Soulard Farmer's Market.  This is quite an historic market, with it's beginnings in 1779 when farmer's came to this site (a field then) to sell what they grew.  It now spans two city blocks and has two main buildings plus outdoor area for warm weather vendor expansion.  There was an inspiring array of beautiful produce, meats, seafood, eggs, cheese and baked goods.  Of course we indulged at the Soulard Bakery to sample a St. Louis classic - Gooey Butter Cake - oh my!! But now I'm getting ahead of myself because St. Louis Part 2 will be all about the food.  Stay tuned!

1 comment :

  1. Looks like you had a very busy trip. I got to go up in the Arch on a Youth Group trip back in 9th grade or so. Love the Farmer's Market too! Can't wait for Part 2!