As much as Emily and I have traveled together in the past several years, my summer roadtrips have generally been on my own. In fact, the last long roadtrip we took together was ten years ago, the first time I ever took her out to Colorado. This year, thanks to the comp time she built up while working in Africa for two months, she was finally able to join me again. Now we just need to find a way to pull this off every year without her having to leave!
Usually I get on the road and go west as fast as I can, wanting to maximize my time in the mountains. This year we did things a little differently, spending a full day in St. Louis on the way out. Ever since Emily had gone there for a conference a few years ago, I had been intrigued by her stories of a magical place called the City Museum.
That's the outside. Yes, that's a plane at the top of the tower, and yes you can walk through it. The inside of the museum is just as fun, maybe even more, with traditional museum exhibits wrapped around a seemingly endless series of mazes. I won't spoil the experience with photos from the inside, but I highly recommend the visit. For those of you without kids, go on a Friday or Saturday night when the museum becomes an adults-only playground.
With the forecast rain holding off, we went over to the Missouri Botanical Garden to walk around for a while. Even with three hours left before closing, we still had to rush through to see almost everything, and I could easily have spent an entire day there.
Wanting to check out some of the local brewery action, we went to the Schlafly Tap Room, and were happy to find that their food was just as good as their beer. The people made us feel right at home too, and the couple at the end of the bar even gave us the rest of their gift card, more than covering our entire meal! At the bartender's suggestion, we finished the night with visits to 4 Hands and The Civil Life, where the live bluegrass on their patio was a perfect addition to their already delicious beer.
I'm not much for cities, especially when there are mountains to get to, but St. Louis did it right. I'll be back for sure.
We got an early start the next morning and drove to Kansas to see my grandparents. The visit was nice as always, especially with my grandfather having finally retired (quitting, according to him) after 57 years at the same plant. I hope I look that good when I'm 85!
Another day of driving across the plains, and then... mountains!!!