Search Results for: label/st louis

Hot and Hungover at St Louis Zoo

For some reason, I took very few photos during my time in St Louis.

I was having too much of a good time. I was also too lazy.

So when I came home and looked through my camera slideshow I was surprised to see several photographs from my trip to the St Louis zoo, of all places, some of which I don’t even remember taking. You see, I had been very hungover when I took them. And it was a very hot day, so I blame the heat fatigue. And what else do you do when you are hot and hungover in St Louis? Go to the zoo, of course!

st louis zoo
“How did I end up in the smallest swimming pool in the world?”

Before I get ahead of myself, I’ll go back to the beginning. I had first read about the zoo in a travel blog about the city, well before I had even booked my plane tickets. I had read that considering it was free entrance, the zoo was considered one of the most impressive in the US. Now I’m a sucker for a good zoo and a few cute animals so I was already planning a visit. Added to that the fact that it was free (well, most of us are budget travellers here, after all) and I was determined to get a few hours in at the zoo at some point during my long weekend visit.

“20 sit-ups a day gives me abs of steel”

Unfortunately my planning wasn’t too great. I had planned to go on the Saturday morning and spend a while there before heading to the air conditioned haven of the shopping mall. But the impromptu all-day drinking session the day before (Friday) wasn’t really the best preparation for spending the morning surrounded by excitedly screaming children and smelly mammals.

The Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour, St. Louis

anheuser busch brewery

So, remember when I told you I’m not a big beer drinker? Well, I guess I look pretty stupid now, this being my second beer-related post since uttering those immortal words.

But seriously, I’m not really a big beer drinker – I promise.

I am, however, a budget-savvy backpacker who will never turn down the chance to participate in sampling local history, particularly when that local history happens to be free. This is where the Anheuser-Busch Brewery come in.

If you’ve read my blog for a long time, you’ll know I’ve been to St. Louis twice before (it’s no coincidence that my boyfriend is from there), yet on neither of those occasions did I manage to visit the brewery. Knowing that I was going to be in the city for several weeks this time around, I wanted to make sure that I finally made it to the original home of Budweiser, especially when I found out that it was totally free.

anheuser busch brewery

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

I have a confession to make.

Despite travelling to the US several times in the past, I have never been to a baseball game.

Shameful, I know.

So whilst I was in St Louis my host Scott decided that it was about time that I corrected this fatal error. Being one of the most popular sports in America it seemed only fitting that I finally pop my baseball cherry and it just so happened that there was a home game for the St Louis Cardinals on my first full day in the city. Add to that the fact that they were practically giving the tickets away at $5 each and it would have been rude not to go. As luck would have it Adam, who is a massive Cardinals fan himself, was also free that day and agreed to come with us, so off we set with beers in hand to enjoy in the car parking lot pre-game (you have to do as the locals do, after all, and I am all about enjoying an authentic experience).

baseball game
These two are a pretty big deal. People know them.

 

It was a nice sunny day and the beer was flowing – again, another first for me to sample Busch beer, the brewery company which sponsors the Cardinals’ stadium. We took our seats and had a great view of not only the pitch but also the Gateway Arch in the distance. Perfecto.

baseball game
Great seats

 

Despite not really being au fait with the rules of baseball, I understood the general gist of the game from having played rounders as a child at school and playing with an imaginary bat on Wii Sports. For me though it wasn’t really about studying the rules and technique of the game but more the general atmosphere and enjoying some nice cool beers with friends. I imagined it to be much the same atmosphere as a cricket match would be in England (although, again, I have to say I have never been to one. I know; the embarrassing sports confessions just keep coming today. But, I’ve watched them on TV and it looks pretty much the same…..*hangs head in shame*). The reason I say this is that everyone is much more relaxed during a baseball game than they are say during a European football match, or any more frenetic sport for that matter, where the audience are intent on concentrating on the players at all times in case they happen to miss anything important. I really liked this aspect of the sport. To be honest, any sport where I can get beer and food without leaving the comfort of my seat whilst enjoying the sunshine and not being berated for talking to my companions is all good in my book.

baseball game
Not The Big Puma….maybe The Big Leopard?

 

In the last inning Lance Berkman (aka The Big Puma) scored a winning home run for the Cardinals and the crowd went wild. It was a great ending to my first ever baseball game.

baseball game
Trying to show my support by wearing red for the day

 

If you want to read about my impression of St Louis as a first time visitor, check out my post on Scott’s website here

Soda Bottles and Spray Cans: Route 66 Road Trip (Part 1)

route 66 road trip

It was freezing cold in St. Louis as we pulled away at 5am to set off for a long day of driving. Holly the Basset Hound was squeezed into a small space on the back seat, next to some large cooking pots, a duvet and a plastic set of drawers. Having taken back ownership of her only a few days before, this was probably the last thing she’d had in mind when she pictured quality time with the two of us.

We were going to be driving from St. Louis, Missouri, to Pheonix, Arizona over three days; a trip which could easily have been done in two, but we wanted to make the most of our time and feel free to stop at some typical Route 66 road trip roadside attractions. Plus, we figured the already panting Basset wouldn’t appreciate such long days in the car. As it turned out, she didn’t appreciate shorter days in the car, either.

The reason most of our (few) remaining belongings were in the back of the car was because we were going to spend some quality time in Scott’s sister’s house and essentially brave out the winter in Arizona, something most people long to do due to its infamously dry and sunny days. Having only a limited time in the States, we wanted to enjoy as much of the country, and the weather, as we could.

Little did we know that a Polar Vortex was soon to engulf the Midwest and leave us thankful that we left when we did.