no matter where you go, there you are

Friday, March 18, 2011

feeling hot hot hot

Finally in St. Louis, a little less than half way across the country from our homes in Massachusetts, there wasn't much we planned to do besides visiting with my family who live there. Probably the most famous icon of St. Louis, and maybe even the Midwest, is the Gateway Arch so we pulled off the highway and headed through the park along the Mississippi River to see the massive architectural wonder up close. Depending on the line and price to ascend to the top, we weren't sure how long to spend but after just the short walk from the parking garage the one thing we did know was that whatever we did should be INSIDE! Except for Death Valley, I think our day in St. Louis was the hottest of the entire 5 weeks. I can sustain a lot of heat since I don't sweat much, but depending on humidity and breathability level, there's only so much I can handle. And this day was just on the edge of being unbearable.

The wait to get into the arch was at least an hour so that was now out of the question. We gazed at the arch, walked to the top of the hill to look over at what I think was the State House and then strolled down to the waterfront overlook. The sun's reflections on the arch were pretty spectacular especially with all the Arch's unique lines and angles. I had some major flashbacks to being around 12 years old and seeing the Air Show on that very same lawn during one of my summer vacations.

At my grandma's house we dropped our bags off, grabbed a bite to eat and pondered what to do next. Our evening plans consisted of dinner and then taking my cousins to the Muny's production of "The Sound of Music." But since it was only early afternoon there was time to kill. My aunt suggested the zoo since it was free so we headed into Forest Park and into the zoo. We didn't last very long though. Between the excruciating heat of the day and being terribly tired from driving 1200 miles in a day and a half, it was hard to stay on our feet and interested in the animals. The animals also decided it was too hot to be out so almost all were hidden somewhere in their habitats.

After the zoo, I took Molly to Ted Drewes, the famous custard place in St. Louis. We got some to go and then spent the rest of the afternoon at Grandma's house. She treated Molly, my cousins and I to dinner, then we headed over to Forest Park (again!) where the Muny is located. The Muny is the largest outdoor theater in the United States seating 11000 people with about 1500 being given away for free every performance. Each summer they perform 8 professional musical productions, each for a week. Throughout my time visiting my family in St. Louis during the summer I've seen a handful of shows there so I thought it would be something fun to show Molly. Our week was "The Sound of Music" with Ashley Brown, the original Mary Poppins on Broadway, playing Maria. The sets and costumes were wonderful but without binoculars you can't see too much detail from the free seats. The people on stage are teeny-weeny. The show was pretty well done for the most part, but the movie will always surpass the stage version in every way.

We arrived home late and couldn't fall asleep fast enough. It had been a really, really long and HOT day. I don't think I've ever fallen asleep faster than I did that night.

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