Monday, June 25, 2012

day 13: sweet dreams are made of these who am i to disagree

we woke up from our KOA and rolled down the road to Meramec Caverns just to check it out. after looking around we headed down the road and stopped by the Jesse James Wax Museum because the Meramec Caverns had been Jesse James hideout at one point. we wandered in but didn’t go into the actually exhibit part because wax people are a little freaky to dad. so we hit the road to head up to St. Louis where the bulk of our day would be spent. 

we absolutely had to stop by Ted Drewes Frozen Custard. They have served frozen “concretes” to travelers since the prime days of the route. so we each got a different concrete, for those of you that don’t know {like we ddin’t} a concrete is like a blizzard but with a custard base {I think} so when its container is flipped upside down it doesn’t even budge. it was so good! as we were standing there and enjoying our treat a lady and her son came up and starting asking us about our trip and giving us advice on where we should go in St. Louis. it’s rather amazing how friendly and talkative complete strangers can be! 

after we finished our yummy treat we moved just a couple blocks down the road and found the old Donuts Drive In! we couldn’t just leave without having a donut so we bought a dozen to enjoy as snacks and breakfast the next day. the people there had more than enough suggestions of good eats that would have kept us there a week! 

one place was called Googy Louie which was just on the next block so we did stop by there and picked up one of their famous butter cakes. in that short span of time we picked up so much sugar! 

after that influx of sugary goods into our pantry it was time to navigate our way to the Gateway Arch! we made it successfully down to the water area but then we had to figure out where to park! we managed to get down by the water and find the free rv parking. it was a nice walk past the park and then up the steps to the arch. we walked across the lovely green lawn and saw a ramp to go beneath. 

so we went through security and found a whole underground area. we got tickets to ride the tram to the top but we had to wait about an hour and a half to ride it so we walked through the really big museum that covered from 1800 to 1900. there was also a shop with delicious bread and pepperoni sticks that we munched on for a late snack. finally it was our turn to go to the top! we had to wait for our turn to go onto the trams and when they finally said we could go we were at the front of our grouping. mom was the first to attempt to go through the turnstile ... attempt is definitely the right word! she managed to get her leg stuck somehow in the machine and couldn't get moving! the rest of us were cracking up because there was no way to help her. i don't think any of us stopped laughing for a couple of minutes. 

we finally made it to the top after a 4 minute, 630 feet tram ride up and this was the view we had. 

that is a long way down

we were at 630 feet up. that is 25 feet taller than the top spike of the space needle. 

looking out over st. louis on one side and illinois on the other.
it was amazing to be up there and see so far out! i usually hate heights but i was pretty good! until i would realize just how incredibly high up we were and how far over you had to lean to look out the window. suddenly there was a feeling that the whole structure was swaying but we just didn't think about that :) 

back down at the base we walked along the mississippi river to get back to our rv. 

another view of the arch
we hit the road and crossed over the bridge into illinois! 

we had a long ways to drive until we got up into springfield just before 8pm. in springfield there was the home of the Cozy Dog Drive In. brooke couldn't wait to try a cozy dog so we ordered a bunch for dinner. as we were getting our food there were about 3 different groups that tried to come in but they had just closed. we got in just minutes before they closed! 

we enjoyed our food and then left to head to our KOA for the night. the trip was almost over!

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