Saturday, December 31, 2011

Gateway to the West (Christmas Part 2)

On the same day we went to the botanical gardens, we also visited my favorite piece of St. Louis: the Arch. I drag my family there every time we go - it's simply a must-see! My family usually rotates who actually joins me, so one of my uncles who came this time hadn't been to the arch in over 20 years. If that's not a shame, then I don't know what is.

First we walked to get some food. The area was so old, there were hitching posts for horses and all of the roads were cobblestone. When we were leaving, we had the "pleasure" of driving on them. In case you were wondering, 100ish year old cobblestone is quite bumpy.

This was the restaurant we ate at. It felt right to sit right next the the Mississippi river and eat fish & chips.

Ahead is many obligatory arch pictures. This one isn't black and white, it's just the wintery colors of St. Louis.

Pictures can't convey how monstrous it is.

It's so gosh darn sleek and beautiful.

Of course, when visiting the arch, you MUST go up in it. They take you up in these tiny egg-shaped trams. I imagine my dad was joking about farting or something equally mature. (Isn't my mom cute?)

We made it to the top! From l-r, top, it's Jason, me, Mom, Uncle Brian, Dad; bottom, my brother Jimmy, Uncle Mike. The sign behind us says "630 feet" which is the height and width of the arch.

I got a little dizzy looking down as I'm terribly afraid of heights. I thought about sky diving from this and it made me sick to my stomach.

My uncle Mike was a great resource in telling us about all the buildings. It's so interesting to hear from someone who's lived there for over 40 years and how he's seen it change and grow in his lifetime.

A janky panoramic (notice the uneven skyline - I didn't have the patience to make it perfect). Behold: downtown St. Louis. On the opposite side of the arch is the Mississippi river, which is much less attractive. You'll just have to go to the arch yourself to see it.

The capital building is quite lovely.

In the left picture, that's my family waving underneath the arch. When I got closer, I caught my uncle sticking his tongue out at me.

Another picture of the capital building.

This is kind of a weird picture, but it's what the arch looks like when you're underneath it.

Jason in awe.

My uncle said this church is on the oldest buildings on this side of the Mississippi. I just think it sounds fun to say that.

The winter scenery and overcast sky made for some moody pictures.

Guys, I really just love the arch.

After we took pictures, we went back inside to visit the museum and watch the documentary about building the arch. Jason was still contemplating the arch's majesty.

The most memorable parts of the museum are this bear,

And this buffalo. Seriously, I can't believe my dad hunted and killed one of those. The picture doesn't convey how ginormous it is.

The documentary was really good. It was terrifying to see those construction workers dangling at the top of the arch with no harnesses. They would hold on with one arm and smoke a cigarette in the other. CRAZINESS. Before construction started, they had estimated 16 men would die before completion. Amazingly, there were no fatalities. I can't imagine going into a job where you're predicted to die though.

And finally, one last picture of the arch. Mmm hmm.

1 comment:

  1. Can I just say that I love the picture of you with your red hat and your hands in the air?!