Monday, February 20, 2012

Coming Up for Air in St. Louis

As a teacher I get about eight weeks off during the summer on average.  That lengthy vacation may sound pretty awesome, and while I tend to agree, it doesn't come without some catches.  For instance, I just finished my sixth straight week of working 60+ hours.  This isn't the first nor will it be the last time that I put myself through such a schedule.  To be honest, it's not all that bad when you're in the middle of it: I really enjoy my job and that helps a ton.  On the flip side, I severely short myself on seeing my family and friends, but they're really great about it.

Anyways, basketball was the time hog this time around. My girls freshmen basketball team finished with 5 wins and 17 losses.  It was a rough year and I only had seven players for a good stretch in the middle of the season after two of my better talents were moved up to the sophomore level.  We did win out last game of the year though!  The varsity basketball team started four sophomores and a freshmen in the regional championship game Thursday night and lost.  Better days are ahead for that young group!
Tom rejoicing over the fact that he gets his personal life back!

What's that? Basketball is over?  Laura and I packed up and headed down to St. Louis Saturday morning for a get away weekend, which I think she needed just as much as myself.

A little under three hours later, we found ourselves in the heart of downtown St. Louis to have lunch at the Terrace Cafe, which overlooks City Park. Unfortunately, the cafe was closed for the season, but that didn't stop us from having fun with the camera.

After doing a loop of the park, about three city blocks in size, we jumped back in the car to find something to satisfy our appetites.  

Enter Gus’ Pretzels.  For about $6 we were able to fill our bellies with pretzel-ly goodness… garlic & butter, cinnamon and sugar, traditional, and pretzel endz with dipping cheese.  Yum!

Off to the Contemporary Art Museum.  What's that?  The museum is free on the weekends?  Nice!  The art was... um... different.   I just don't understand it.  My mathematical mind had a tough time grasping the meaning of many of the pieces.   


Next!  Bowling in the heart of St. Louis University's campus at the Moolah!  This place was really cool.  Eight lanes and a bar in the basement and then a really large theater that ditched the normal seats for leather love seats!  Really cool, and I would have liked to take in a movie if we had the time.

Yes, that's a rotating moon on top of the hotel!
We checked into our hotel not too long after our trip to the Moolah.  The Moon Rise Hotel didn’t have our room ready, so we were given a couple of cards good for drinks at the hotel bar.  Score! 
After settling into our room we took a long walk around Forest Park, which is the largest urban park in the United States… yes, even larger than Central Park in New York.  This park has eight baseball diamonds, nineteen tennis courts, twenty-seven holes of golf, an amphitheater, an art/history museum, and a zoo!  Yeah, pretty big!

Blueberry Hill was our next stop.  On our way there we walked along the Loop and were able to see many celebrities' bios and stars along the Walk-ofFame.  Here is Stan Musial's star for all of my loyal Cardinal fan readers out there.

Joe Edwards

Joe Edwards pretty much founded what is known as the Loop.  He is the owner or the Moon Rise Hotel, Blueberry Hill Restaurant, Pin Up Bowling Alley, and the Pageant, which is a major music venue.  He co-founded the business district in the Loop and is responsible for the Walk-of-Fame.  Here's is Joe's bio and accomplishments.

Dinner was in the world's biggest eat-in man cave.  Seriously, this place had more collections in one place than I have ever seen. (Click this link, I dare you!)  Mr. Joe Edwards is quite the collector!  The atmosphere was pretty good, the service was average, the wait was tolerable, and the burger was just okay.  An okay place overall, but nothing special, unless you're looking for ideas for your man cave!

After dinner we headed back for the hotel to catch up on some much needed rest.  Except... uh oh... I discovered the TV had the MLB Network.  Yikes!

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