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Report 2041: Driving the Great Mississippi River Road

By BJinNM from New Mexico, Fall 2012

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Page 10 of 33: Day 10-St. Louis

photo by BJ Firestone

City Museum in St Louis

We are staying in St. Charles but spent today in St. Louis. The first thing we wanted to do was to go to the top of the St. Louis Arch before it got too crowded. As it was, the earliest time we could go to the top of the Arch was 12:45pm. It is a very popular National Park Service attraction! To get to the top you go in a very tiny, five-seat elevator. When we bought the tickets, the cashier asked if we were claustrophobic, afraid of heights, or had trouble with steps. Just as I was about to answer "Yes" to all three questions, Alan said "No," so we were given our tickets. It was worth every moment (four minutes to be exact) in that little tiny elevator. The views from 600 feet up are spectacular. After descending from the top of the Arch, we spent quite a bit of time exploring the Museum of Western Expansion which is part of the Arch complex. It tells the story both of the western expansion of the United States throughout the 18th and 19th centuries and the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Ethan and Erica strongly urged us to go to the City Museum and Aquarium and all I can say is that it is a dream for a hyperactive kid. Steam-punk at its finest doesn't begin to describe it! There is so much to do and see and if you are young and brave, so many slides to go down and things to climb into to explore. It is an explosion of your senses! We also went through the Aquarium, not the best aquarium we have been to, but the steam-punk theme continued throughout it and the beasties fit into this environment perfectly.

Finally we went across St. Louis to an area known as "The Hill." This was originally the Italian area of the city and Deb, Jen, and Nancy had recommended we go to Lo Russo's Cucina for dinner. Since we had skipped lunch, we happily complied! Here we had our very first "toasted Ravioli," a St. Louis specialty. It is fresh-made ravioli, breaded and fried and served with a marinara sauce. Crazy but good!

Now we are back in St. Charles, snug in our room against the chill that has been around the past two days. Tomorrow we go to Edwardsville, Illinois for our visit with Erica's mom, Chery.

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