Friday, May 29, 2009

St. Louis Trip Part 2

The Arch
I was totally fascinated by the Arch from the moment we landed in St. Louis. I was amazed that you can see it from almost anywhere in the city. St. Louis is a big city, but you could see it from the airport, from our friends’ house, from the rooftop restaurant and from downtown. It is really larger than life and I can’t think of any other monument that dominates a city like the Arch does. I was really excited to go up in it, and I’m glad that I did, but I would never do it again. If you’ve never been, it is truly an experience. The first thing that turned me off was that we had buy tickets for the 6:50pm lift off time, but ended up not getting up in the arch until well after 7:30. When it was finally our turn to go up, we lined up and watched a 3 minute video with bad sound quality that explained very little about the designer of the “Gateway to the West”. Maybe my attention span for the historical significance is much longer than the average visitor, but I was really hoping to learn something about the Arch during our visit. Finally, the little doors open to the “elevators” that take you up. It was more like sitting in a rattling washing machine that lifted sideways and abruptly adjusted up the inside of the Arch. If you are claustrophobic or afraid of heights, this tour is not for you, but at no time did they every mention that. I am neither of these two things and I was really uncomfortable. Once we got to the top, it was too much for me to handle. I looked out the window a couple of times, but felt really nervous because there were a million loud people and kids running wild in this small overlook area that literally looks straight down. I caught the next spin cycle down and ended up sitting with two older couples from South Dakota. It was an odd experience that I don’t need to repeat.

The Cardinals Game
Day 3 we had breakfast at our friends’ house and then headed to the Cardinals Game. It was a pretty hot day. Overcast, which I think helped, but we were all feeling pretty sticky. We had good seats, so we could see all the action. I had some peanuts and a soft pretzel. Evan bought an $8 beer and immediately spilled the whole thing, so had to get another one. I would guess we spent about $60 on food and drink at the game if not more. The game was against the Royals and unfortunately the Cardinals lost. The last inning was pretty exciting. We thought we might make a comeback and win, but alas they walked the best hitter. I’m not much of a baseball fan, but it was still a nice time.

Our Friends!!
The highlight of the trip was definitely spending time with our friends. Aaron and Leah, our hosts, shared their beautiful house with the three other couples plus one baby. Their place is beautiful. The paint and d├ęcor really made the place look great and feel homey. The space was perfect for hosting guests with lots of living space and nice large bedrooms. My friend Cheri surprised all of us who hadn’t seen her recently. She lost 62 pounds and looked absolutely fantastic! Her and her husband Justin got married in October, so we hadn’t seen them since their wedding. It was really great to get to spend time with baby Austin and of course his parents Nicole and Tommy. We had a lot of fun with them and were very impressed at their mommy-and-daddyness. Austin is 9 months old and unfortunately we have missed most of his little life, but we have also missed his parents becoming parents. We remember them as Nicole who never turns a happy hour invite and Tommy who was always up for a shot of tequila. Now they are diaper duty, baby bag, bottle toting parents of a baby. He is absolutely precious and a very easy to be around baby. No crying, just cute smiles and naps.

We had a great time just hanging out at the house, drinking beer, grilling outside and playing a few killer rounds of catch phrase. We always play boys against girls. The girls team is called the B**ches and the boys team is called the Dudes. For most of the games, I was the score keeper, aka Head B**ch. It was a lot of fun and of course the girls dominated. On our last night we went to dinner a local Italian Restaurant and had the waiter take a group photo. We plan to have more reunions and take a group photo each time. I’m sure more kids will get added to the group and it will be really fun to look back and laugh at our outfits and our hairstyles in a few years. Evan and I hope to host the next one on the east coast. Hopefully sooner than later.

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