Fall Foliage, Day 14 - Lebanon, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri
We started the day a little late, since we were up late the night before answering emails before opening the new iPhone (Christian) and finishing the t-shirt “quilt” (Elisa).
Then it was time for a tourist day in St. Louis! Our first stop after getting tickets at the Old Courthouse was the Gateway Arch, which was unfortunately under construction so the museum at the base was closed. Going during the week worked quite well though since there was basically wait and it wasn’t very crowded. It was really cool to be up that high (three times as tall as the Superman Tower of Power at Six Flags!) and to be able to see so far.
Our next stop on the tourist tour was City Museum, where I wish we had been able to spend more than the two hours we did! The story is that it was an artist’s pet project and is made using reclaimed pieces of a city, like a 10-story slide from old duct work, a pipe organ, several planes, mosaics everywhere, and a wall covered in loaf pans. It’s like a jungle gym for grown-ups, but there are also exhibits and displays that we didn’t even look at. We did lots of sliding and crawling through tunnels and tubes (some several stories above the ground). My favorite part was going into the Ferris Wheel on the roof, and Christian’s was working to conquer his fear of heights.
The Ferris Wheel:
We swung by St. Louis’ brand-new IKEA (today was the grand opening) to exchange a throw pillow and pick up a clock/thermometer and cable organization box. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that that much more crowded than usual. Also, parking was easier with the traffic control people, and we got sampled some food items (sparkling juice, crackers, Daim chocolates). I really love IKEA, getting to see all the little rooms and apartments that they set up, like getting to explore the ‘after’ in renovation shows.
For dinner, we met up with one of Christian’s friends, Blake, at The Scottish Arms for classy ‘pub’ food. I had a spinach salad with shaved fennel and apples, topped with a black garlic-fig vinaigrette. I also had an appetizer of baked brie, black garlic spread, and an apricot compote on toasted baguette. Christian was a little more adventurous and had bacon-wrapped haggis, which he described as being like “slightly grainy, earthy, sausage that was delightfully and comfortably filling - the perfect dish for a crisp autumn evening.”
On a related note - the weather today was GORGEOUS. I love wearing sweaters and boots, and at about 66º I was able to do so comfortably for most of the day (barring some of the more rigorous climbing sections of the museum). We also haven’t turned on the air conditioning in the RV since we got here, bundling up in quilts and comforters at night and enjoying the breeze all day long.
One more quick stop at Bailey’s Chocolate Bar for some hot chocolate, then it was back to the RV.