Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Vacation Day One, Part One - The Gateway Arch

Hello!  So sorry I haven't posted or commented on your blogs much lately, but I just returned from a much needed romantic eight day road trip with my husband.  We visited four cities:  St. Louis, Memphis, Nashville, and Louisville, and of course I will spend weeks sharing pictures and stories of all our adventures!  

On our first day of vacation, we drove from north central Wisconsin to St. Louis, Missouri.  It was quite chilly when we left, and there was still snow on the ground.  About eight and half hours later, we arrived to temperatures in the seventies and saw lush green grass, and flowering trees and bulbs.  Needless to say, I was in heaven!  When we got out of our car, I just lifted my arms to the heavens and soaked in the warm air and sunshine.  How good it felt to feel warm again after such a long, hard, cold winter.

Our main goal of this vacation was to spend more time in Tennessee.  We seemed to constantly drive through this beautiful state to get somewhere else, and we always thought it would be nice to actually spend some time there.  When I started researching all the places to visit in Tennessee I realized we could never see everything in one week, so we decided to visit the western side first, and then the eastern side on a second visit.  Well the first place I wanted to see was Memphis, but to get to Memphis we had to drive through St. Louis, Missouri; and since that was more than half way there, we decided to spend the night there, and visit a few attractions while we were there also.

  I had driven past the St. Louis Arches many times in my life, but didn't know anything about them.  So when my husband asked what I'd like to do in St. Louis,  I replied that I'd like to learn more about the arches.  So off we went!
It was a bit overcast when we arrived, but the sun broke through later in our visit and my husband got this beautiful picture:
 I loved the architecture of these arches.  They are quite magnificent to see standing beneath them instead of just the view from a car window on the expressway.  One really gets the scale in perspective.  Did you know the arches are taller than the Statue of Liberty?  I certainly did not.  Way up at the very top of the arches are some small windows.  Can you see them in the picture below?  There is a tram that you can take up to the top to get some wonderful views of the city below.
 This is the doorway to our tram.  When the door opens, there is a tiny little pod that looks like something from outer space inside.  It seats five SMALL people.  We had three average/small adults in our pod, and two children and we were touching knees inside. The ride costs about $10.00 for an adult and last four minutes.  Once your on top, you may stay as long as you like.  I wasn't allowed to take pictures once inside the pod, so if you want to see pictures of what the inside looked like, there a nice picture HERE.
 To get to the tram you have to go underneath the arches.  Underground is a museum where you learn all about the history of the arches and Lewis and Clark's adventures, two gift shops, and an IMAX theatre.
 The observation room at the top of the arches measures about six feet high and seven feet wide.  It is quite narrow and on a windy day the Arch will gently sway from side to side.  I didn't feel any swaying while I was up there, and even though I'm afraid of heights, I felt no fear and felt very safe and comfortable.  Here is the view of the Mississippi river from the top of the Arch:
 The windows are very tiny and you have to lay down on your stomach to look through the windows.
 This is the city's old courthouse which is now a museum.  Although we briefly walked through this building, we didn't  explore it much because we didn't have enough time.  We hope to go back there someday and see everything we missed.
 There was a Cubs/Cardinals game that afternoon and the city was flooded with excited fans.  Although I am not a sports fan, I thought their stadium was very pretty.
 We really were impressed with St. Louis, and thought it was a very nice, clean city and now we want to go back there and explore it further.  Since it's only eight hours away,  were hoping we  could back for a four day weekend and spend more time at the old courthouse and perhaps visit the World Fair Grounds.

 The old courthouse faces the river and the Gateway Arch.  This is me standing in-between them both.  Look at that GRASS!  Oh, the joy of no more snow and ice!
 The pillars on the courthouse frame the arches beautifully provided the perfect background for a photo!
 Inside the courthouse are some beautiful old spiral staircases like this one:
 The interior of the courthouse dome.  Oh, how I wish we had more time to walk around this beautiful work of art!
 In front of the courthouse is a town square with a lovely fountain.  The water is dyed red for the St. Louis Cardinals.
 The view from the town square:
 Normally when we travel, I like to cut costs by staying in inexpensive hotels because we are only there to sleep and shower, and are usually up at the crack of dawn to explore the area.  So I was so pleasantly surprised by this amazing Hyatt hotel in Chesterfield.  I paid only $14.95 to stay here, thanks to which gives you one free night for every ten hotels booked, and it was probably one of the best hotels I ever stayed in.  We loved this walk in shower and really enjoyed using it on our romantic getaway!
 The decor of the room was very modern and chic, which is becoming more and more of my style as I grow older.  I use to love anything vintage or antique, but I find as I age my tastes are becoming more modern;  which I hear is very normal, but I live in a house built in the late 1800's, so it's kinda creating a problem for me right now.  How do I balance my new love for anything modern when I live in a house over a hundred years old?
 Such interesting lighting:
 I loved this sectional and would love to have it in my own house.  The screen separating the sleeping area from the living area was so neat too!
 To see flowers and colors again was pure bliss!  I think I inhaled the scent of every flower I passed!

 And of course I had to take my shoes off and walk barefoot through the grass.  Oh, to feel the warm earth and soft ground beneath my toes again!  Life!  I love it!
 There was a beautiful large shopping mall within walking distance of our hotel, so we popped in for a bit.  I thought it so strange, yet lovely, that there was this beautiful Merry-Go-Round inside the mall.  I had never seen that before.  I live fairly close to the Mall of America where there is a full amusement park inside, but I'd never seen carnival rides inside malls before.  However, on our road trip we went to three malls total, and every one had a Merry-Go-Round inside.  It must be the norm in that part of the United States!
Well that concludes today's post of the Gateway Arch.  On my next travel post, I'll share pictures and stories of our visit to the St. Louis Botanical Gardens.  Till then…….

Have a great day!  Amy


  1. Wow ! so fabulous travel ! Superb shots, thanks for sharing this romantic moment !

  2. Beautiful photos Amy. We spent a weekend in St. Louis years ago. I agree it's really pretty, but we hated the traffic there. But maybe we should go back sometimes, we only live about 4 hrs. away and I know the kids would love it. Can't wait to see photos from the Botanical Garden!!

  3. Oh my gosh! You were within an hour of me - wish I'd known!!! Looks like a wonderful romantic weekend! Hugs...

  4. I was in St. Louis many years ago, great place!


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