It has been years since I have been to St. Louis and stayed in the city and not on the couch/spare bed of a college friend. We splurged a little on the hotel because we figured it would be a good idea to have a nice homebase, particularly when planning around naps and such. We stayed right downtown and were able to walk to all of the destinations we were interested in seeing.
Jon and I got into town earlier than expected on Friday afternoon, which is impressive considering we didn't leave as soon as we had wanted to (not surprising) and I had spent that morning and the previous afternoon at the mechanic's getting new tires (very surprising--having a flat on the side of the interstate in 90+ weather is not something I had on my agenda). At any rate, we arrived just in time to enjoy the hotel's complimentary happy hour before heading out in search of dinner.
|Gateway to the West|
|View from the cheap seats|
After the game, it was back to the hotel for happy hour and a quick dip in the pool. With the exception of our sister-in-law and niece, we all went to the Schlafly tap room for more delicious beer and food. It was a nice time, although I'm sad to report that both of my brothers were unsuccessful in their quest to crash the wedding reception upstairs.
On Sunday morning, our niece was re-charged and ready to play, so we took her to Grant's Farm on our way back to our respective homes. Grant's Farm is the Busch family (as in Anheuser-Busch) ancestral home and is named after Ulysses S. Grant, who once farmed part of the land. Now, it is a wildlife preserve of sorts, featuring the legendary Clydesdale horses. We got in free because one of Jon's relatives once was handicapped when he was trampled by one of the Clydesdales. (Okay, so everyone gets in free, but the part about Jon's great-uncle is true.)
After checking out the horses, we rode the tram to the other part of the farm, where we saw lots of different types of animals, all desperately trying to keep cool. The folks at Grant's Farm certainly know what they're doing because as soon as we got off the tram, there were several employees selling the ultimate in kids entertainment. For one low price (it actually was pretty affordable), you could ride the carousel, feed the baby goats, and eat a sno-cone. Of course, our niece had to do all that. I'm sure you can imagine her paparazzi.
|Beware the ferocious guinea pig|