Cathedral Basilica of St Louis

This Cathedral is absolutely amazing and is part of the Roman catholic Church.  It has the largest mosaic collection in the world containing 41.5 million glass tesserae pieces in more than 7,000 colors and covers 83,000 square feet.

It is a very overwhelming place to visit….

City Museum – St. Louis

It is practically impossible to describe, characterize or explain the City Museum in St. Louis. The short version is that it consists largely of repurposed architectural and industrial objects in an old 10 story shoe factory along with a 10 story cave/labyrinth that has one way in and one way out.  The out happens to be a 10 story slide back to the first floor.

Humongous Chain
Humongous Chain in the Parking Lot

I had come across the City Museum searching the web for things to see and do in St. Louis, but I did not grasp what we were getting into. We pulled into the parking lot which also served as a holding area for parts and pieces that had not yet found a place for in the museum and piles of salvaged stone work.

I was informed when we bought the tickets that there was no map nor were we given any idea where to start or what to do, just a sly “Good Luck”

Different Ways to get Between 3 Floors
Different Ways to get Between 3 Floors

The first thing we say was this large staircase and slide that spanned 3 floors and old refrigeration tubing with children crawling through them.  This place suddenly looked like the love child of Willy Wonka and Caractacus Potts.  It was magnificent!

We started walking around the first floor and found a huge whale that was made of painted concrete, a barfing pig (this was an old tank, painted like a pig, that would fill with water, fall over and spill in a pond) and this incredible inside treehouse. … Continue reading

Gateway Arch

38 years ago, when we moved from Michigan to Texas, I first encountered the Gateway Arch as we drove though St. Louis and recall with a young mind of 12 how awe-inspiring this structure was.  Ten years later I found my self at the top of the arch for the first time and was again captivated by its architecture and innovative engineering.

This trip I again marveled at this structure with a new perspective and 30 years of engineering under my belt.

Visitors Center
Visitors Center

They are renovating the entire riverfront around the Arch which made buying tickets and getting to the Arch a little complicated.   Having purchased our tickets we made our way through a maze of streets and construction barriers to the Visitors Center located underground beneath the 630-foot, stainless steel monument.

Tram Cars
Tram Cars

We were ushered into 5 seat pods that are part of a 8 car tram that would take us to the top.  These claustrophobia inducing pods then make a 4 minute journey to the top along the interior of the Arch and shifting every few moments to stay horizontal.  The pods basically swing like Ferris-wheel cars as they ascend and descend the arch.  Luckily, they have small windows so you can see the structure and the 1,076-step emergency stairs which included many landings and sets of spiral stairs.

Inside the top of the Arch
Inside the top of the Arch

At the top there is a narrow room with a floor that curves and 16 small windows on each side.  The windows are such that not only can you look straight down, you can also see to the other-side.

The views are incredible from the top and the good news is the ride down is only 3 minutes….

Budweiser Clydesdales

Outside of St. Louis, we stumbled upon Grants Farm where we saw a fenced-in paddock on the side of the road with several Clydesdales quietly grazing.  We pulled off the road and walked up to the fence and this gentle giant came promptly over to visit.

Many of the Clydesdales owned by Anheuser-Busch are raised here. Theses Stables house about 35 mares, stallions and foals.

The Gateway Arch

These photos were taken in 1988 on a real short weekend trip to St. Louis.  The Gateway Arch is a magnificent structure with awesome views.  The elevator itself is quite the adventure.  It rotates in a jerky fashion as it maneuvers the curve of the Arch.