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St Louis and the gateway to the West {days 5-6}

by allison on July 4th, 2011

After Branson and our pit-stop on Route 66, we made our way to the Gateway to the West! (For all you uncultured people, it’s St Louis. Don’t worry though, I was totally uncultured too until just a few days ago!)

We arrived in the evening and decided to take our time eating and swimming at the hotel. St Louis can wait one more day.

Thank goodness I have facebook fans. No, seriously. Thank.Good.Ness. My facebook friends on my fan page have pretty much planned our trip for us. I just make a status update an hour or so before asking everyone what touristy things we should do, and my friends have yet to disappoint! Ben and I pretty much have no clue going into the next city what we are going to do there. Honestly, we are pretty much some of the worst vacationers I’ve ever known. We planned our route in advance, but other than that, we’ve done nothing. Our trip has been a success thus far because of last-minute wiki searches and posting on my fan page from my iPhone.

With that being said, I posted that we were in St Louis and needed somewhere to eat. Within minutes several people had suggested Imo’s Pizza.

Holy mother of all pizza. This place was ah-freaking-amazing! Those toasted ravioli? Yum!

And the cheesy garlic bread? To.Die.For. The pizza was good to, but the cheese bread stole the show.

Bright and early the next morning we were on the road headed for the Arch! And when I say, “bright and early” I pretty much mean we were lucky we left the hotel before we had to request a late checkout. Is noon early? (Yes, we are the worst vacationers on the earth. We are not morning people.)

And here it is! The Arch and our proof that we were in fact actually really there.

Yes, unfortunately I really am that fat. But thanks in advance for consoling me by saying things like, “It’s okay Allison. The camera adds 10 pounds.”

Coolest picture I took all day:

Yes, it did involve laying on the ground and contorting my body into a weird position. Total strangers may or may not have been gawking. But who the hell cares, because this picture is just that awesome.

We went inside the arch. It wasn’t even that expensive. We were expecting it to be outrageous and only the most daring and wealthy could go up, but fortunately they have this arch tour so commercialized and down to an art form that pretty much anyone can go up. I think it was $10 per adult and $6 per kid.

Inside the top of the arch

Can I just remind everyone that I’M TERRIFIED OF HEIGHTS. It’s a real-for-real panic attack inducing irrational phobia with sweaty palms, nausea, and legs that turn into pudding. I HATE HEIGHTS.

But I went up. And I almost cried like a baby. Here’s the proof:

You can see the panic on my face. I was trying really hard to keep it together so my kids didn’t think I was a total loser.

Here’s a view from inside the arch:

And here are two of the Mississippi from the other side of the arch. The Mississippi is totally flooded. It was really sad to see so much flooding.

At the bottom of the area where the flags are are stairs. That entire area is not suppose to be under water.

Here’s a random side fact: This pod is what you get inside of when you ride to the top of the arch. They are on pulleys that go up inside the arch and hold 4-5 people each. They were really small and reminded me of a bomb shelter.

After the Arch experience we left and headed to a little custard place called Ted Drewes.

Ted Drewes is another little gem of a place that we would never have known about if not for my facebook fan page. Thank you to all my friends who suggested it to us!

Ted Drewes had quite literally the best custard/ice cream that I’ve ever indulged. We all got a “concrete” which is basically a “Blast” from Sonic or a “Blizzard” from Dairy Queen. {Dang, do I know my ice cream or what?!}. Anyhoo, Ted Drewes was in a “scary” part of the city (probably not really that scary, but I was raised in the suburbs) and I would never have ventured into the neighborhood without others insisting that we go. I’m so glad we did though. If you ever get a chance to visit a Ted Drewes custard, run, don’t walk. It’s delish.

After that, we drove the rest of the day to Chicago and checked into our hotel really late that night. Next several posts will be all about our fabulous day in the Windy City.

From → Family

  1. Tami permalink

    HA! Allison you crack me up! Ted Drewes being in a “scary” neighborhood! LMAO!

    **Side note…..My husband grew up near that neighborhood. Trust me… there are many that are much, much worse. 😉

  2. Tami permalink

    Ok I take back my previous statement. I noticed the picture after I posted this and my husband grew up around the other Ted Drewes….not the one on S Grand. Sorry!! 😀

  3. Carol permalink

    You crack me up! I feel like I am having a vacation with you!

    PS: I was in Camden, Maine (you should really visit here) and I totally thought I saw you. I got all excited and started walking faster to catch up with you, thinking to myself how cool it would be to have a picture with you my blogosphere hero 🙂 Then the imposter turned around and my hopes were dashed 🙁 I am glad you are having such a great vacation! Come to Camden and Marriner’s Restaurant, the best blueberry pancakes and lobster rolls! (OK that is a commercial for my bro’s restaurant!)

  4. We live 4-5 hours from St. Louis and try to get there at least every couple years. Ted Drewes is a must-stop, of course. We also love the science museum and especially City Museum. If you haven’t heard of City Museum, you must check it out when you get a chance (

    Have fun in The Windy City!

  5. 1. I have been trying to resist the urge to comment on every one of these vacation posts but Ben lured me in with his t-shirt.
    “Homestar It’s dot com!”
    “Thanks for breaking my cow lamp.”
    Okay, I’ll stop. I could go on like that for hours.

    2. You’re right, that picture was totally worth it.
    Can’t wait until you get to D.C.!!

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