September 19, 2006

We Came, We Saw, We Slept

That's the St. Louis Arch - the Gateway to the West and all that.

I had a conference in St. Louis, Missouri this past week. I've never been to St. Louis before - unless you count a layover in the airport - so I was looking forward to seeing the city. I planned to go to the botanical gardens, see the City Museum, and maybe even check out a brewery.

It didn't work out that way. The conference kept me pretty busy until Friday afternoon, but I had planned to see the botanical gardens in the afternoon and then be back in time to meet Alex who was coming to join me Friday night. But, after my afternoon session, I was just so darn sleepy. I decided I should take a nap and be ready to see Alex that evening instead. "We'll see the city tomorrow," I thought.

Alex made it in late, and unfortunately he brought a 'bug' with him. He wasn't feeling great, but we did check out the Landing district. By walking through the Arch park and down another block or so, we could get to the historic Landing district. It's mostly restaraunts and bars, but it has a definite night life. Like this:Hee, hee. I still like that one.

Saturday morning I had seminars, but we were all ready to go in the afternoon. We decided to try seeing the botanical garden, even though Alex is supposed to stay out of the sun. One stop up the metrolink (what passes for public transit in St. Louis), and we are trying to figure out how to take the bus to where we need to go. A little bit of wandering around and we decided this wasn't such a good idea. He was getting sunburned already, and we needed to come up with an alternate plan. We sat in a hotel lobby - not our hotel, of course - and tried to figure out what to do. The City Museum looks like fun, but again with the bus... Carriage ride? Finally, we both admit that we're tired and not feeling so good, and the best thing would be a nap... Yeah, great travelers us.

We did make it back out for dinner, again at the Landing. And Sunday morning we took a close up look at the arch before heading for the airport. But mostly, we laid in bed and watched TV. In our hotel room. I threatened to take a picture of Alex watching TV in bed, since that was our REAL St. Louis trip. But, I didn't. I took this instead.And a stranger we grabbed on the sidewalk took this.

Well, we did see the Arch.

We also saw some really cool historic buildings. This is the old courthouse, where the Dred Scott trial was started. (It was apparently moved somewhere else later.) I was inordinately fascinated by this fact, even though it wasn't open for me to go inside. But, even just seeing the outside... it was middle school American History come to life.I also did a little walking tour of the area on Thursday, before I decided to give it up and just sleep. And I found this neat mall.

It was a huge train station back in the heyday of train travel. It was definitely an imposing building. Now its a mall, but with little boutique stores rather than department stores or the cookie cutter branch stores. There's still alot of marble and statuary. And outside there's a mini-lake with paddle boats and everything. Not a bad way to kill a few hours at all.

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