Monday, August 5th – Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
The entire day was filled with errands. We stocked up and filled our water jugs at Walmart, then took the van to the carwash to wash and vacuum it out before filling the tank and heading out via I-55 South. We stopped in Chatham, IL to grab a gas station shower, then headed to Litchfield, IL to get an oil change at the Walmart, and ate breakfast for dinner at “Jubelt’s Bakery and Restaurant” as we waited. We spent the rest of the evening sucking up WiFi at McDonald’s.
The van was running a little funny first thing in the morning, so we were a little worried. We hoped it wouldn’t develop into any more issues. Lord knows we’ve had our share of vehicular troubles on this trip.
It was a rainy drive along I-55 to I-270 West to cross the Mississippi River and into the state of Missouri.
We found parking in St. Louis, MO, and fed the meter before heading to the Gateway Arch. After seeing the security to get in, I realized I still had my pepper spray in my purse and didn’t have our National Park Pass which provided a discount, so we ran back to the van to make the swap before returning to the line. It was the first time we’ve felt humidity in a while and we were sweating uncontrollably. I wasn’t sure how I was ever used to such misery before!
We got our tickets and checked out the gift shop before the tour started. When we got in line to go to the top of the arch, the ticket collector noticed Trevor’s Alabama University t-shirt and muttered, “War Eagle” as he handed him back the ticket stub. I had to keep Trevor moving in line since he was so tempted to start bickering with the guy.
To get to the top of the Gateway Arch, you had to get in these tiny, white pods that rolled you up to the top. I would not, I repeat, would NOT go to the top of the Gateway Arch if you’re, one: claustrophobic, or two: have a fear of heights. We felt like Robin Williams from “Mork and Mindy” as we took the egg to the top, and after the slightly nerve-racking ride, Trevor was ready to head back down. The arch rocked back and forth in the breeze, and with every movement from the people walking around inside. You can definitely tell that there isn’t anything supporting you underneath!
We headed back down the other side of the arch, fed the meter, wandered through the sculpture garden, then went to “Everest Café and Bar” for their Indian and Korean lunch buffet.
Our next stop was the “City Museum.” I was a little disappointed since it appeared to be just a giant playground for kids, so we decided not to check it out further. We would later be convinced to return the next day and give it a second chance.
We enjoyed some small talk, coffee, and smoothies at the “Washington Ave Post” before walking towards the St. Louis Rams stadium (the Edward Jones Dome). Just for asking, we ended up getting a free tour of the place by one of the interns. He showed us a view from the inside of the stadium, the locker rooms, and the coach’s office.
After the tour, we headed towards the Mississippi River and listened to Jazz music as we sat and watched the steamboats, and a helicopter taking off for a city tour.
We crossed the state border back into Illinois to a Walmart in the town of Collinsville for the night.
Jump Back to Part 79: The Skydeck, Modern Art & the Bean
Jump Ahead to Part 81: Finding Our Inner Child & The New World
Start Over at Part 01: The Blue Bubble, Freebies & A Rude Awakening