Well, we're back from vacation, and we had a blast!!
DAY ONE-Wednesday, July 4th
We left about 10am on Wednesday the 4th and stopped in Sikeston, MO at Lambert's for lunch. Our "45 minute" wait quickly turned into only 10 minutes, which was awesome. We caught rolls and ate lots of yummy food, although our waitress was less than stellar. We hit a little patch of rain on the way there, so the boys "redneck engineered" us a way to keep our bags dry. It looked like we had a dead body wrapped in the back. We got to our hotel around 4pm, freshened up, and headed down to the arch. We got there just in time to see the firemen putting up the HUGE American flag. The traffic was crazy, but we finally found a spot and made our way to the arch landing, praying it didn't rain! There were still plenty of spots to be had around the arch so we pushed and shoved our way through thousands of people to buy the most expensive drinks and corn dog I had ever eaten (at the point). $4.50 for a 20 oz drink! We ate our stale nachos and corn dogs on the way back to the arch, staked down our tarp underneath the arch, and ate dinner. Some Aretha Franklin wanna-be was singing on stage. Her song choices included Etta James' "At Last" and Gretchen Wilson's "Redneck Woman." Somehow the two just didn't go well back to back. We played cards until Cyndi Lauper came on stage. Wow. She was TERRIBLE...and so rude to her band members! She forgot the words to songs, and Hilary and I are positive that at one point she was lip syncing b/c she was talking to her sound guy and singing at the exact same time. Her only good song was "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" which she saved for last. She called Aretha WannaBe up to the stage to sing with her in a very impromptu fashion...but poor Aretha didn't know the words. It was a bit awkward, but the chorus was fun with all the girls in the audience singing and dancing. Finally--the fireworks! They were amazing! The opening of the St. Louis fireworks was like the finale of the Southaven fireworks. It was so cool to lay underneath the arch, hear John Wayne's "You Ask Me Why I Love Her" and see the fireworks at the same time. So cool! We headed back to the hotel to finish playing cards (I believe the girls won??) and headed to bed. I was so tired!
DAY TWO- Thursday, July 5th
Six Flags baby! We got up early, ate breakfast, and headed to the park. Mr. Freeze was the favorite ride of the day. Around 7pm or so, we rode it three times back to back with no wait. It was awesome! Word to the wise: if you have a close knit, small group at the park together, get a 12 dollar sport cup with free refills and get cups of water. After you drink the water, you can split the coke between you. Drinks cost a fortune at the theme park! It was so hot on this day, but we tried to stay wet most of the time so that it wasn't as bad. Andrew and Justin rode the huge waterslides at the water park and Justin, Hilary, and Andrew rode the lazy river while I acted as Mom to hold purses, clothes, and cups. :) The Screaming Eagle was my favorite, but another word to the wise: Ride in the front! The back gets major whiplash! We ended the day with Scooby Doo's ride! We left the park a little after 9pm, and we were all exhausted!! We grabbed some pizza from Imo's on the way home and played cards at the hotel. Imo's was awesome--definitely try some when you're in town! We all slept like rocks this night.
DAY THREE- Friday, July 6th
Continental breakfast here was so good! we planned out our trips for the day. Sightseeing was the agenda until the 7:10 Cards came! We visited the Arch lawn that Andrew and I took tons of pictures of last year. It was as beautiful as always...and so peaceful.
We saw the Cathedral Basilica (http://www.cathedralstl.org/) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_Basilica_of_St._Louis) downtown which was absolutely breathtaking! It had MILLIONS of mosaic pieces of tile decorating the tall ceilings. I could only imagine what the singing in that building would be like. On the other hand, I kept thinking, "How many people could they have fed with the money used to build this place?" or "How many mission trips could have been funded to teach people about God?"
We left there and headed to eat at Rigazzi's to experience local culture! The bus wait and subway wait took forever, so when we got there at 3:00, we were starving! The food was pretty good, but we had to head back quickly so Justin and Hilary could make their 4:30 appointment to ride up in the arch. Another word to the wise: if you're in a hurry to be somewhere, don't take public transportation!
Andrew and I went shopping for Cardinals gear while they were towering in the air. After turning down multiple places with $30 t-shirts (!!!), we headed to Target. Bingo. We got Andrew a Cards shirt from the Men's section and me a Pujols shirt from the boys section because the sexist company doesn't carry Cards gear for women!! How crazy is that?? We got to the game about an hour early, and boy was it hot!! It was this day that I encountered my most expensive drink. $4.75 for a bottle of water. WATER! Andrew and I split a hot dog and a bottle of water, and each drank a 20 oz coke. Total cost= $20!! The new stadium was awesomely huge! We got to see Barry Bonds bat 4 times...and walk to first 3 times! No homeruns for him that night. Our group picture was taken courtesy of a nice man who had never used a digital camera before. It was like pulling teeth to get him to figure out how to push and hold the button down. lol! The cards were losing 4-1 in the 9th inning. Then we made 2 runs and were 4-3! Taguchi (Ta-goosey!!) was up to bat and hit the first pitch thrown to him, popped it up, and got the 3rd out for the inning to end the game. We were so close! Afterwards, we went out to eat near Chesterfield. It was very yummy, but we had a snobby waitress whose pants were 3 sizes too small. ;) We went back to the hotel and hit the sack!
DAY FOUR- Saturday, July 7th
No one wants to leave! We eat breakfast, pack our stuff, and head into town again. Justin and Hilary went to see the Jewel Box (which they said wasn't that fabulous, so you might wanna save your time if you travel to St. Louis) and we headed to the History Museum in Forest Park. It was awesome. Andrew especially enjoyed the Lindbergh museum. When we all caught up again, it was lunchtime. We headed downtown to eat some Masterpiece BBQ. We found a parking spot in a parking lot with shade. There was a man sitting in the shade with his shoes off collecting the 5 dollar fee. We pulled in near him in the shade, parked, unloaded our stuff from the bed into the cab, and went to give him the money. He tells us we can move our vehicle to the other side of the parking lot (there were a total of FOUR people in this huge lot) in the last spot available in the sun. I got SO mad. We said no, we wanted the shade. He said, "All this for some shade?!" We were like--yeah!! And so all our crap in our bags don't melt! He made this look with his face as he pouted his big duck lips out and turned his head and handed us our money back. Gladly. I wished diarrhea on him...in a portapotty. We found a parking spot in a garage for 4 dollars. There. Take that Mr. Stingy. The BBQ was okay...Memphis is definitely known for better. We stopped just outside of St. Louis at a big outlet mall that had a Cabela's. Hilary and I hit up the Gap outlet while they were looking at guns. We said goodbye to St. Louis and headed back home. What a trip home! We got to stop and take a picture of the Abortion Cemetery on I-55. Being a huge pro life person, I think it is so awesome that someone took the time to make such a huge statement. Here are a few of the pictures.
Back to the more comical note...We laughed the entire way home! Scratch n' Sniff, Operation, Reading, Sound Effects!! So much fun! We stopped at Gordman's and Sportsman's Warehouse on the way home. Andrew bought me a battery operated electrocuting flyswatter. Of course we all had to try it out when we got home. It was so cool. The bugs actually fry, sizzle, and make smoke when you hit them. Gross, huh? We played cards that night and the girls won by a MILE! I think it was because we annoyed them so badly they couldn't concentrate! We finally went to bed around 2am...
DAY FIVE, Sunday, July 8th
We got up and went to class and church. It was Goodman Oak's 20th Anniversary. Afterwards we ate at Dale's Restaurant on Stateline Rd. Talk about some good Sunday cooking! Soooo yummy! I ate until I literally felt sick. Then it was time for the Greshams to head home. :( I was so sad to see them go! It was fun hanging out like old times! On a positive note, we're planning on going camping around October so that should be a blast! Overall, awesome trip to St. Louis with the best of friends where lots of fun memories were made!!