Weekend Road Trip: “The Gateway to the West”

Before leaving Jellystone, Kyle and I had to get a photo with Yogi Bear. Remember the good old day when cartoons were actually good? Yeah, we had a great time reminiscing. You will probably take note that we were in dress clothes after camping. We happened to be just minutes away from our favorite place, the temple. There, we were able to make it to a session, and to meet up with one of my favorite cousins, Taniel, and her hubby, Isaac. It was so nice to be able to spend time with them as they have been living in Illinois for the past year. It was also so nice to be in the temple with them, as they weren’t able to make it back to Utah for Kyle and my wedding.

Kyle and I have recently started watching the show, “Man vs. Food“. In case you haven’t seen it, it is a reality show that showcases one man’s travels according to where he eats, most of which have an eating contest of  some sort. As we were planning our trip out to St. Louis, we saw an episode where he had visited our destination. He went to three different food locations, and at all of them he was given a delicious item of food. Since we were already trying to decide where to go, we took his advice and planned to go to all three. Unfortunately, we only were able to make it to two, but we thoroughly enjoyed both of them.

The first of these was Pappy’s Smokehouse. Taniel, Isaac, Kyle and I pulled into the parking lot to meet a long line of people waiting outside of the entrance. We considered leaving for a moment because the temperature was staggeringly hot, but were quickly persuaded not to by large grill parked nearby and the smell of fresh BBQ. Thankfully, there was cold water, fans, and a bit of shade to help with the heat.

After waiting in line for what felt like hours, we ordered our meals of brisket and pulled pork sandwiches, ribs, and a variety of sides. It was like heaven in food form. From the first bite to the last we enjoyed every minute. Not only that, we were talking about it the rest of the trip saying how we should go back and enjoy it again. And I know we would have, had we the time.

After our fabulous lunch, we took a drive over to the “Gateway to the West” which is more commonly known as the St. Louis Arch or Jefferson Monument. Isaac and Taniel hung around on the ground but Kyle and I decided to travel to the top. Once again, we were met by a long line to get into the building, and another to get up into the arch. Unfortunately, we weren’t so lucky to have shade, water, or fans this time. But the wait was once again worth it.

Getting up to the top of the arch was quite the experience. You and four other people were loaded into a very small, circular tram, that couldn’t have been more that 5 feet in diameter.  There were seats around the perimeter of the tram but if you were any taller than 5 feet tall, you had to sit hunched over for the 6 minute ride up. It then becomes a claustrophobic person’s nightmare as you shakily rise the 630 feet to the top. In the end, the view is fabulous. Not to mention being able to see an air show while being on the same level as the airplanes.

We were told that if we were going to St. Louis, we needed to go to a Cardinals baseball game. They happened to be out of town but we decided to go to a Grizzlies baseball game instead. For a minor league game, I found it very entertaining, though that might be because of a mixture of the game, the people around us, and our interesting food choice. The Grizzlies stadium happens to be the home of another one of “Man vs. Food”‘s destinations; and an odd one at that. They have, what they have named, baseball’s best burger and after trying it, I have a good idea why. It is actually a bacon cheeseburger that is sandwiched between a halved Krispie Kream doughnut. Weird? Yes. Delicious? Oh, yes. It may sound disgusting, but all I can say is that you will have to try it and decide for yourself before you can judge just from the idea.

Our evening at the ballpark ended with a lovely display of fireworks. We then headed back to a peaceful nights rest at an air conditioned hotel. (Thank goodness. I owe so much to the person who came up with the idea of air conditioning.) Just when we thought that we were settled in, we started noticing how dirty our room was. Kyle had booked this particular room because it had an unbelievably low price, but we refused to stay in a room that looked like it hadn’t been cleaned since the previous occupant had been in it. Not to mention that it still had remnants from that same person; unwanted body hair on the toilet and in the shower. Eww. Kyle talked to the front desk about our situation and they gave us a new room, only to find out, as we walked into the new room, that it was actually a suite. For the same price as the dirty room. We slept very well that night.


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