We left the MC compound after a lunch from La Gondola shortly after 1 pm. We were divided into two vehicles once again - the Rocket and Saturn. After one rest stop potty break for Tiny Tank (and, as it turned out, several others) and a flat out painful drive of continual cruise breaking due to drivers who seem incapable of just driving at a steady speed (none of these drivers being pilots of either of our vehicles) we arrived in The Lou. We promptly checked in to The Westin which was located directly across from the new Busch Stadium. We spent several minutes oohing and ahhing over the swanky rooms and fancy bathrooms before heading out for some sight seeing.
We were all impressed with The Home of the Cardinals, which we found to be surprisingly accessible. The field is open to the street (minus some fence for obvious security reasons) which allows for great views of the inside of the stadium. Along our walk we were even able to get a view of the infield. I quickly declared that I want to come back to St. Louis to watch the Cardinals play at home. I'm not even much of a baseball fan but the place just looks like it promises good times.
From the parking lot. The hotel is just to the right of Busch Stadium.
It was just a short 10 minute walk from our hotel to the main attraction in downtown St. Louis - The Arch.
I'm not sure any of us went to the Jefferson Memorial with thoughts of being 630 feet in the air a mere 60 minutes later, but that's exactly what we did.
After a relatively short wait we loaded into two teeny tiny pods and spent the next four minutes hoping Mr. MC wouldn't pass out due to his dueling acrophobia and claustrophobia. We all survived the trip up and down the nation's tallest monument and even got some good pictures to prove it.
That look on Mr. MC's face? That's fear, people.
Following our safe return to solid ground we took a quick tour of the Museum of Westward Expansion where Munchkin proceeded to spank a bull and AL mocked a bear. I swear, we can't take those two anywhere.
From the Arch we headed further north to Laclede's Landing, the premiere place for downtown St. Louis nightlife. We were given an detailed summary of the area restaurants from one of the *air quote* locals *end air quote*. Unfortunately he made Joey B's on The Landing sound like just the kind of dining we were in the mood for, and even more unfortunately we all agreed that dining al fresco on that cool summer night sounded just perfect. I say unfortunately not because the food wasn't delicious (although The General may disagree with me on that one but I won't get into that here for those of you who may have just eaten yourselves) but because we spent the next two hours fending off a severely intoxicated and potentially homicidal drunk while simultaneously waving off the stench of projectile horse crap from an obviously relieved carriage horse.
Let me tell you this: nothing says fun like a 300+ pound man threatening to kill you if he could just get the trigger on his cell phone to work while taking bets on whether or not the next car to drive by will put their wheels directly in the steaming pile of equine dung. That right there is some classy eatin', my friends.
Since that was about all the fun we could handle on one Friday night, soon after dinner we headed back toward our hotel. We had a big day of brewery tours and an even bigger night at the local piano bar on the agenda for Saturday, and we all needed our rest.
Given the awesomeness that was the Anheuser-Busch brewery tour, I feel it's only appropriate to give that wonderful leg of our trip its own post. Stayed tuned for pictures of some awesome architecture, emotionally charged moments, and stories from that night when ten devoted consumers spent a night on the town enjoying the hometown brew.