Saturday, July 03, 2010

St. Louis, Day 1

We decided to go on another long weekend in St. Louis, as we did four years ago on the Fourth of July weekend. (This was before law school...was there such a world?) The drive down was much simpler, being that our tire didn't explode this time.

Being that the downtown was closed off due to a parade, we proceeded directly to the St. Louis Zoo. This was something we missed last time, so I was eager to go.

St. Louis has a nice little zoo - many animals are represented, and aside from the $11 parking fee, the zoo is free.

We saw the African animals, including some lions, zebras, and giraffes. One giraffe, at left, came right up to the crowd. (That head is exactly as close as it looks, maybe closer.) Some annoying parents were having their kid feed the giraffe grass by hand. I got really mad at them, loudly criticizing them, but I won when the zookeeper yelled at them directly.

One of my favorite habitats was the prairie dog colony. These little guys were so social, scampering around, chasing, kissing, and munching. And, at any given time, at least two were standing guard.

They were so fun to watch; I definitely could have sat there all afternoon.

Next were the bears and penguins, and I knew the penguin exhibit must be good because there was a big line. Indeed, it was awesome. You basically walk through a freezing room (welcome on a 95-degree day) with a bunch of penguins about two feet away from you.

One was about a foot away from my head, and there was a mass of emperors. One of them even sounded a cry while we were in there, which was pretty cool.

On the way out, we hit the African river exhibit, which was shady and simple to follow, and you got to see hippos, elephants, anteaters, and other stuff. Then we stopped by the insect house. The insect house definitely made my skin crawl, what with all the millipedes, tarantulas, scorpions, and other creepy-crawlies. But the butterfly greenhouse all made up for it.

Yeah. That's my photo. Wooooo!

On our way back, I got a nice photo of downtown St. Louis, and we headed to our hotel, the Omni Majestic.

We had dinner at a lovely French restaurant near the downtown area, Franco. I had a nice piece of fish with purple potato gratin, and Dave got French onion soup and a pork chop. Oh, and then we had an epic chocolate mousse dessert. Gah!

We waddled over to the fireworks display in the park, reading our epic books as we waited for dark to fall.

I am currently reading Gone with the Wind, and Dave is reading Lord of the Rings. So here we are, a couple of dorks walking around downtown St. Louis with some phone book sized novels. The fireworks display was awesome, as usual, and we got to bed early so I could do a training run the next morning. So that was day 1 of our long weekend away!

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