Sunday, July 04, 2010

St. Louis, Day 2

For our second day in St. Louis, I began with a 25-minute jog on the hotel treadmill (training for my 5K), which was pretty rough after all the walking at the zoo the day before. After taking a quick glance in the Old Cathedral downtown, we decided for some reason that more walking was in order, so we headed to the old fairgrounds in Forest Park.

There is a lovely basin there in front of the art museum that always reminds me of the Palace of Versailles, and I've never walked around it until now. It was lovely.

Then it was time to get in line for some epic barbecue at Pappy's Smokehouse. This is supposedly some of the best barbecue in St. Louis, and, having sampled the fare, I have to agree.

We got in line almost when it opened, and we were about 7 or 8 people back. By the time we sat down to eat, there were 30 people in line behind us. My pulled pork was amazing, and Dave's ribs were also very good. Even their bread was soft and delicious, and I almost had to go slap somebody for those amazing sweet potato fries. Gah!! By the time we left, there were probably 60 people in line. Wow.

Next was the Missouri Botanical Garden, which is another thing we didn't get to do last time. They had a neat little thing going on with this artist that does glass bulbs, so the cherub sculpture at right was adorned with little floating glass bulbs. Other exhibits had twirling glass bulbs that looked like something out of Venice's Murano island.

The Japanese garden is the largest in North America, and because the whole botanic garden is much smaller than Chicago's, we were at least able to walk all the way around it!

The Japanese garden had a cool little bridge that we got to walk around on, and I got to feed some fish.

And fish weren't the only wildlife we found...

OK, so these are fake sheep, but I thought they were pretty funny, and I did have to wait for some kids to leave in order to get this picture.

After the Japanese garden (and the sheep), we visited the Chinese garden, which was very lush and tranquil, and also some rose gardens. They had a neat dinosaur exhibit going on, and one of the dinosaurs kind of reminded me of our bunny. Is that bad, when you have a bunny so large it reminds you of a dino?

After we finished walking around the botanic garden, we were pretty pooped, because it was another 95-degree day. We rinsed off at the hotel again and headed out to dinner at a famous bar, the Morgan Street Brewery.

I didn't realize how crazy busy this whole street is, and we had to wait a few minutes for a table. Still, it was worth it, because we got to try their Golden Pilsner, the 2010 World Beer Cup winner. I had the andouille and chicken pasta, and Dave got a delicious hamburger. There was actually a really cute kid at the table next door - one of the only acceptable children we met in St. Louis.

On our way back to the hotel, it was raining, so we decided to skip the fireworks because we didn't have any blankets or anything to put on the wet ground. Still, we stopped by the park, which was as crowded as the night before.

Somehow, I think all of these people are in line for Chinese food.

We went back to the hotel and watched bad TV and read our epic books, then went out for some gelato nearby. The crazy crowd was back again for the second night, but this time we were going against the crowd. Still, we made it back to the hotel alive, to travel another day!

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