Happy Valentine's Day From St. Louis

This year for Valentine’s Day I decided to venture to the land of Bandanna’s to celebrate the heart shaped event. My pretty little Valentine and I decided that we wanted to travel out of town for the weekend. We wanted to go to go somewhere within about a three to four hour driving radius and had thoughts of Chicago, Cincinnati, and St. Louis. We chose the latter of the three and drove off into the morning sun (there really wasn’t that much sun) to share the weekend together.

We began our trek at the local Speedway with some free gas and some free coffee. I chose to forgo the coffee because it was not out of a machine yet a burning pot sitting near the entrance. It simply seemed out of the questions. I chose Mt. Dew (which I have been drinking way too much of) and traveled back to the car. After a three hour (OK, it was not actually three hours) Sheryl came back to the car to begin the conversation filled car ride. We drove four hours to the land of arches and hills. The entire time, however, we were stopping and going in traffic. One car would slow down, going the same speed as the car beside it, and it was like that for four hours. I was not driving so it was only making half of us mad, but yeah, silly.

When we finally arrived in the city we went straight to the Budweiser brewery for a tour of the grounds. I mean, why not start your vacation off with a tour of a beer factory? And of course, at the end, there was free beer. I had actually wanted to begin at the end, but they did not allow that.

The brewery is cool. The entire thing is made of old red brick. And as this is not my first trip to a brewery I knew what ti expect but it was cool to see it so close to home. It was huge, too. The grounds were on what seemed like an entire side of town. Buildings here, buildings there, and beer everywhere.

After that we traveled to the St. Louis contemporary art museum. And I must say, the artist that I am, can not even begin to tell you how disappointing that was. When we first walked in I was excited to see the concrete floors and the white walls. But the more we got into the “art” the more I was ready to leave. There were only two artists in the entire museum. Now correct me if I am wrong but a museum is to have more than two artists. This is simply a gallery. The building was cool, don’t get me wrong. But come on, two artists. And one of the two artists had work that looked more like a construction project than art. For all you out there that think anything and everything can be art then this is for you. But for the rest of the world, do not go there.

After that we went to the hotel to check in. We stayed at the Omni Majestic right down town near the casinos and the river. We pulled right in, parked, and checked in with a very friendly man that swings from the opposite side of the plate. We checked out our room and then headed to the city museum. Yeah, there were a lot of museums on this trip if you could not tell. And that was awesome. So we decided to walk to the museum because it was so close. Yeah, well, it was not that close. And it was don a bunch of back end alleys and homeless parking lot attendants. But we finally made it.

The entrance to the museum was $10 which was basically the only thing we had to pay for all weekend. And I can not begin to tell you how freaking cool this museum was. I will not go into too much detail but there were walls made of glass Coke bottles, rooms filled with big plastic balls, a pedophile circus, and the world’s largest pencil. It really is the world’s largest pencil. I walked on it. There was even a 15 story spiral slide that Sheryl was too chicken to go down. She is a wuss. I didn’t go down either though. So, yeah, that makes me a wuss too.

After we left there it was time to head out for our first Valentine’s Day dinner. We headed to the Hill where the tour guide at the Budweiser plant told us to go. She said this was like little Italy and there were plenty of places that we could go to. So we went to a place called Fafaza’s (correct me if I spelled that wrong. I can not pronounce it either.) The wait was only an hour and a half (which ended up being much less) and we got our table in the corner. It was not as nice of a place as we had hoped, but we were so hungry from an insane day that we didn’t really care.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel to get her glasses and to have the guy at the front door offer to call us a cab. We were acting silly and being our normal happy fun selves and he thought we were drunk. I thought it was pretty funny as he was asking for our safety! The people at the hotel were all very nice. Sometimes they were too nice. There is a certain level of nice that you should live your life by and this is one that I am glad Indiana does not partake in. Regardless it was a fun weekend being told hello and how are you and this one is a toe tapper all weekend.

We headed out after that to the casino where we ended up getting lost. We ended up almost back in Indiana before the GPS told us where to go. It seemed like forever before we finally made it to the casino. We went in, checked it out, and lost some money. It was all my money of course! But she lasted longer as I just throw mine away on a red or black situation. After that we were both so tired that all we wanted to do was fall asleep. We headed back to the hotel for yet another fun day on Sunday.

We woke up around ten and checked out to have out left over Italian in the car. I had a great story made up too that said we had lunch on the Hill (which we did) at the BPPL restaurant. And of course, if you consider plastic forks from the British Petroleum gas station and eating it in their parking lot the BPPL then yes, we did have lunch there. After that we headed to find some dessert at a place that Sheryl was told had incredible sweets. They were of course closed since everything in that city is closed on Sunday, so we headed to the Science Center. This was maybe one of the highlights of the trip. We went in and it was like I was six years old again. We were in the middle of kids, and parents, and couples playing with hands on experiments and everything you expect form a museum like this. Not five minutes into the building though, I saw someone I knew. I ran into a kid that I used to hang out with and went to school with. Yeah, can I go anywhere and not see someone I know?

We played and toured and walked around fora couple of hours and had the idea of heading to the art museum. We never made it because the zoo attracted us first. We went to the zoo and just simply walked around in the cold for about two hours. There were very few animals out. However, the animals that were out that I enjoyed were the so close you can touch me penguins and the blind seal that was looking for food well after the trainer had left. I wish I had pictures because it was quite funny!

After the zoo we decided to skip the art museum again and eat some Cold Stone Creamery. This was by far a better decision. I had me some birthday cake remix with added cookie dough and gained about seven pounds. I had the special, actually, that was the Me, Myself, and I Valentine’s Day special. I got a double dipped chocolate covered strawberry and a waffle cone for only $6. You can not beat a deal like that!

We then headed back to Collinsville to have dinner at a current client of mine. Bandanna’s BBQ, a southwest BBQ joint located all over the Midwest east of St, Louis, was located just outside of St. Louis. We stopped to
have dinner and the photo opportunities were priceless. I had some chicken, Sheryl had a Wet Bandanna, and we ended up filling ourselves with garlic bread and french fries. It was a great way to end an awesome weekend.

All in all the weekend was everything I wanted it to be and more. I spent the entire weekend with a girl that means a lot to me and one that I can not thank enough for planning all of this out. There was nothing I would have rather of done on this Valentine’s Day than be with her. Sheryl, thank you for everything. It was a weekend that was worth every second.

I highly suggest the city of St. Louis to anyone that wants to have a cheap and fun weekend. We paid next to nothing for the entire trip and it was some incredible fun.