Jan asked about the zoo, and Ronda asked about the movie, so I thought I’d give a quick run-down on what we saw and what we thought about what we saw:
This post has taken me a lot longer to write than I expected, and I’m running out of steam. I apologize for the lack of pictures…..
Way cool. Way. Well, maybe not if you aren’t a baseball fan. The boys have decided that (at least for now…) baseball is their sport. I suspect I’ll be learning a lot about baseball over the years, so I might as well embrace it (can’t beat ’em…join ’em…)
Again, way cool. The site on which the Arch stands is a beautifully landscaped park right along the river in downtown St. Louis. In order to visit the Arch, you have to go down underground, and I was just astonished at what was underground: 2 theaters, 2 museum stores and a huge Museum with exhibits about the expansion of the US to the West. We bought our Tram tickets along with tickets to see the movie about the building of the Arch. While we were waiting for our tram ride, we wandered around the museum. It was very interesting: but there were about a gazillion people, so it was hard to linger and really enjoy.
The trip to the top was the best part of the experience. Again, way too many people, so we didn’t stay nearly as long as the boys (Mark in particular…) would have liked.
Baseball game #1
Yahoo, the Cards beat Arizona! We enjoyed the game, but wished we had purchased water outside the park: yes, we’re cheap, but $4.50 for a bottle of water? Egads.
You have to pay to park, but: general admission to the Zoo is free. There are things you can pay extra to do (like the Railroad, or the Sea Lion show), but the Zoo is big enough and there is enough to see for free that we didn’t feel like we missed out on anything. The boys like the snakes and lizards, my favorite was the Penguins! And not just because that was the coldest place in the entire Zoo — the penguins were so close that you could touch them — of course, you weren’t allowed to touch them…and we didn’t….but there they were! It’s a big zoo, with lots to see. It was so so hot the day we were there — and because it was a holiday weekend, there were a bazillion other people, too. All in all, it was worth the trip.
Again, pay to park, but general admission was free. They have an IMAX theater, plus a couple of other things that you could pay extra for, including the Planetarium show. They also had a Lego Mindstorms activity that you could do (Lego robotics…), and my 3 boys were lucky enough to get some of the very few tickets available for that activity. We enjoyed the Science Center quite a bit and wished we had gotten there earlier in the day. Again, bazillions of people, but at least it was inside and COOL. The Planetarium show was disappointing. We chose to lay on mats and by the end of an hour in the dark I was half asleep but totally uncomfortable and totally uninterested in the cheesy story-telling show they were doing.
Baseball Game #2
Darn it, the Cards lost to the SF Giants — Barry Bonds was there but either walked or struck out, no home runs.
For our first game we had Standing Room Only tickets — which was OK, we found a decent place to watch from and were able to sit down later in the game in some seats that had been emptied. For this game, we were able to stand in line in the morning and buy something called First Pitch Tickets. One voucher per adult for $11 — at game time you turn the voucher in at the gate and receive 2 tickets that could be anywhere in the park. I got some pretty decent seats, Mark got Standing Room Only. I checked the prices of the tickets later, and for $22 total, we ended up with about $138 worth of tickets. Not bad! And he and the boy that had to go with him managed to find some unused seats, so nobody had to actually stand the whole time.
I wanted to mention the hotel we stayed at: it was a Drury Inn, right in downtown St. Louis — we were only about a block from the stadium, and a block from the Gateway Arch. It was a great place to stay — we only paid about $110 per night for a 2 queen room — I thought it was pretty reasonable for a hotel downtown during a holiday weekend. It had a pool, 2 whirlpools, happy hour each night, plus free popcorn and soft drinks every night. And: a free HOT breakfast. Scrambled eggs, sausage, pancakes, biscuits and gravy: yum. We saved a ton of money on food by filling up at breakfast and then only eating one meal later in the day.
I also wanted to mention that wherever we went: hotel, Busch Stadium, Zoo, Science Center, Gateway Arch, etc, etc…everyone we encountered was friendly and helpful. Even on those really hot days when there were a bazillion people, the staff we interacted with were very pleasant. Sometimes you go to a big touristy place and it seems like the workers just hate that they have to deal with you: we didn’t feel like that at all during our trip.
When we got home we went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. I enjoyed it. Yes, it was overly long, and a trifle hard to follow at times, but none of that interfered with my ability to just enjoy it for the spectacle that it was. Johnny Depp was marvelously funny, Orlando Bloom was appropriately gorgeous….
Phew. This turned out to be a lot longer than I expected.
I’m a little stuck on my applique project: one of the motifs is giving me fits and I’m goign to try to redo it differently. Busy day tomorrow, and the next day, so I don’t know when I’ll actually get to it.
I think that’s all I can think of to ramble about. Yak at ya tomorrow!