Jan 22nd
  • Login
  • Create an account
    Captcha plugin for Joomla from Outsource Online
    Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
  • Search
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Meet me in St. Louis

E-mail Print PDF


Meet me in St. Louie
...from the journals of CW Bryant

June 22...
    The towering 630 foot Gateway Arch swayed against the blue Missouri sky.  Below rushed the swollen, muddy Mississippi River,
dragging with it huge fallen trees, branches--anything unlucky enough to be swept from shore.
    St. Louis--“Gateway to the West” is where our adventure is to begin...  Two days from now mom and I will meet the 32 foot yacht  Karey Lou, her Captain... Grandpa; first mate Karen; and Noka, their German Shepherd, life jacket-pack
ing side-kick!
    The Gatew
The ride to the top of the Gateway Arch is super fun.ay Arch is just amazing, it looks like it’s from outer space--a shiny, streamlined metallic form, engineered almost beyond belief!  The tram to the viewing area at the top looks like small rocket capsules--each just fitting 5 people.  Instead of zooming into space, it slowly chugs, with an occasional clunk and groan up the curved legs of the arch.  You can see for miles and miles--eastward beyond the Mississippi River and, west to St. Louis with its Old Courthouse, Busch Stadium, and on to what mom explained, “this was an unexplored frontier in the early 1800s.”  
    Under the arch is The Museum of Westward Expansion with exhibits that show the American West --diaries, photos, paintings, and artifacts.  Scruffy old trappers, tired settlerViews from the Arch.s and proud American natives come to life, sharing their own stories of adventure and hardship.  It was neat, they looked and sounded so real! 
    Before leaving we stopped in the gift shop and e-mailed a postcard back home to Nanna.
    We walked along the levee past the riverboat casinos to Laclede’s Landing, named after Pierre LaClede, who founded St. Louis in 1764.  It’s fun with its cobblestone streets, shops, restaurants and horse drawn carriages.  Planet Hollywood was lots of fun, good hamburgers, too!

June 23...

    Today, we woke to the sun reflecting in the Arch; the Mississippi still running fast and furious; and plans to see the Zoo and Science Museum.  The MetroLink (light rail) is a fun way to get around St. Louis.  For a dollar we rode it to Forest Park, then jumped on the Shuttle Bug (a black spotted red mini-bus) to the Zoo.
    My favorite at the Zoo was watching the momma elephant and her calf, Raja play in the watering
Raja is very entertaining. He loves to tease his mom.hole--no doubt trying to stay cool in the summer heat.  The Living World has lotThe Science Center has many great displays.s of interactive exhibits and the apes are always fun to watch!  There’s one baby Chimp that has lost all her hair, her skin is all white.  She likes to tease the adult chimps.
    We jumped on the Shuttle Bug again and headed for the Science Center.  Wow! Double wow!  This museum goes on forever, like up and over the freeway, where you can use a radar gun to clock the speed of cars racing by below.  And, so much that’s fun!  I liked the Med Tech, full of surgical equipment from the past--pretty spooky; Aviation Center, from planes to shuttles; and Human Adventure with puzzles and games.
    On our way back to the hotel we hopped off the MetroLink at the Busch Stadium exit just in time for baseball game.
    “Let’s go s
ee a Cardinal game!” Mom suggested
    We had “nose bleed” seats, but I really liked it way up there!  I ate hotdogs and hot pretzels and cheered for the Cardinals--especially when Mark McGwire was up to bat!  Wow--what a fun day!

June 24...

    The cabbie dropped us off at what looked like a bunch of metal and driftwood caught on the river bank.  We grabbed our bags and walked along a wobbly make-shift plank onto a large barge.
    “Hello... Hello!” Mom yelled.
    From the d
We saw a Cardinal's game at Busch Stadium.ark we heard a friendly voice... “Can I help you?”
    “Hi,” said mom, “we’re here to meet my dad.  He’s coming from St. Charles by boat and should be here around noon or so.  Jack is expecting us.”      
    Ray, an old tug boat operator shared some neat stories with us while we waited for Jack, the owner of this metal island.  It made more sense now... Supply St. Louis offers docking like an RV campsite except for boats!  They also repair barges, like the one anchored along side.  And, caught among the docks were huge log piles from the recent flood.
    Ray showed u
s around. “Watch your step, son,” he cautioned, “The river is up 32 feet and the current is very swift!  It’s supposed to crest tomorrow.”   
    Larry, a tug boat pilot, his wife, Charlene, and their dog, Max all live on a houseboat.  Larry fired up one of the tug boats to pull a huge log loose from the drift pile--it was rubbing up against Jerry’s houseboat.  He writes "Quimby’s Boating Guide."  Wow, could Larry ever maneuver that tug, it was pretty amazing to watch him work the jammed log loose.  
    “It’s in their blood--the love of the river and tug boat piloting!” Charlene exclaimed, then she asked, “Cody, where are you and your Grandpa and I cruising the Mississippi going with your grandpa?”
    I told her that we’re headed down the Mississippi river, up the Ohio and Cumberland rivers to Barkley and Kentucky Lakes.  Then, returning back up the Mississippi, past St. Louis to Burlington, Iowa, to Grandpa’s farm just in time to shoot off fireworks on the 4th!
    “That is, if we can navigate this flooded river!” mom added.
    Just then Grandpa pulled up in the Karey Lou--a really cool boat!  While we filled up with drinking water, something we would do quite often in the next 2 weeks, everyone got acquainted.              
    On this trip I would soon discover that boaters are a really tight family--from talking story to lending a helping hand.
    Catch back up with me on the Karey Lou as we navigate flooded rivers, search for gas and water, pilot through locks, encounter egrets, turtles, and spoonbills, and come bow to bow with enormous river barges--it’s all in the next CW’s Journal.
    ...from the helm,
    CW Bryant
St. Louis Vacation Details...

• Jefferson National Expansion Memorial is a 97 acre park that runs along the riverfront. (314-982-1410)

• MetroLink & Forest Park Shuttle Bug (314-231-2345);

• St. Louis Zoo and the Science Center are located in Forest Park--admission to both is free.  Zoo (314-781-0900); Science Center (800-456-SLSC);

• Busch Stadium (314-421-3060)

• Planet Hollywood (314-588-1717)

• Regal River Front Hotel (314-241-9500)

• Supply St. Louis (888-273-0995)

• St. Louis Visitor Center (800-916-0092), 


Where was Solomon born?

This is Solomon, a new born Humpback whale. He provided hours of entertainment for our group of whale watchers. Where was Solomon born? Click here to find out.

Tips, Tricks & Tactics

...ideas to consider 

Tips on how to safely play under the summer's sun
and in the winter's cold.



Get 10 great family vacation ideas each month - free! Subscribe to the Talk Story Newsletter.