St. Louis...Home of the Pork Steak and Corkball*

St. Louis...that magical city on the Mississippi River that might be the best thing since sliced bread...which is funny, since the bread slicer was invented here. It's unfortunate that I didn't know much about St. Louis when we visited briefly in May last year. The 3 things I did know were that Clarks' brother was currently living there, it was home to Gateway Arch and that East St. Louis (where we were staying at the Casino Queen RV Park) has the highest crime rate in the United States...O_o

(Also, my favorite essayist, David Sedaris, was going to be in town for a book signing the same weekend we were there.)

But we are optimists...and we came from the East Bay (aka Oakland/Vallejo area-okay, maybe a little further east in a not so 'tough' neighborhood)...and thankfully our RV park was gated. The Casino Queen RV Park was almost completely blacktopped but offered full hook-ups with 50 amp service, wifi and free shuttles to the Metro Station and the Casino. Plus, if you looked just right you could see the Gateway Arch in the background!

The Mutiny admiring the view.
Some of the things I wish I had known about St. Louis {and you may be glad to learn if you're planning to pass through this cool city} prior to our visit:

Sadly, our trip was short and sweet and involved doing just 3 things:

A trip to the top of the Gateway Arch:

It really is something to behold and the museum, located underground, is fascinating.
It's really, nerve rackingly, really high.
Yes, there's a sign...but no, there's not a bar.
Spectacular views that help distract you from the height and swaying of the structure as the wind blows.
The Star Trek style doors that open up to reveal the egg shaped "pod" which will carry you up and back down.
A ride on the Metro to meet Chris and Paula for drinks:

Hmmm, somehow we managed to get pictures of our drinks but not of the four of us! Picture fail!

And my marathon night at the book signing:

A new book and a chance to see my favorite essayist (for the third time)!
This is obviously just a suggestion.
They closed down the street to allow for all of Davids' fans.
Six hours of waiting in line (even though I had pre-paid for a ticket weeks prior), an awkward chit-chat with David and he still managed to spell my name wrong {even though it was written on a sticky note}. Longest book signing ever.
Had we done more research we would have spent more time in the city hunting down some of the quirky sites {The City Museum or Museum of the Dog} as well as the historical ones. I almost feel like we need a "do-over".

I was surprised at how beautiful the architecture was:

And how cool the bridge between St. Louis and East St. Louis was:

We weren't sure of the significance of the statues of drowning men in the Mississippi was so we had to Google it...
It's actually Lewis and Clark crossing the river (in a boat and with their dog which is underwater...making it a bit weird).
It was a whirlwind stop...and speaking of whirlwinds, it was only a few days before our stay in St. Louis that the tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma. To say we were on high alert would be an understatement. Part of the reason we didn't stay longer was our desire to get through the Midwest and head north as quickly as possible. From May 18-21 there were 56 tornadoes  in the Midwest (including several states we needed to drive through) and from May 26-31 there were 86 tornadoes!

It was shaping up to be an "interesting" drive through Missouri and Iowa on our way to South Dakota.

*Disclaimer: I don't know what Corkball or "Pork Steak" actually is but they were both invented in St. Louis. =)

Labels: ,