St. Louis, Denver, and back to Portland

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St. Louis, Denver, and back to Portland

After leaving Pennsylvania, we headed west in K’s car, which we still needed to get to Denver. On the way, we planned a visit to St. Louis, Missouri.

My gracious coworker V and her husband S put us up in their home for several days. V also set up a dinner at Ruth’s Chris with several coworkers so we’d get a chance to see each other and socialize. It was so nice seeing all of these great folks I’d worked with, but again, a bit surreal! 🙂 We’d been on the road for awhile, yet it was just as easy to pick up again as if I’d just flown into town for work. Wouldn’t you know it though, both V and I remarked that we didn’t think of getting a picture until afterwards. We were just too busy talking and eating delicious steak.

We went to lunch with coworkers at Bogart’s Smokehouse, which along with Pappy’s Smokehouse are the two must go to BBQ places in the city. K mentioned that Bogart’s may have been some of the best BBQ he’s ever had. We also checked out several of the microbreweries and brewpubs including Urban Chestnut, Four Hands, the Flying Saucer, and had dinner at the Schlafly Tap Room with S and A and were later joined by Z and J when they came into town to spend a few days with us.

As far as touring the city, K and I visited the arch, the “Gateway to the West” and took the ride to the top, where the view of the city is very impressive, and also looked directly downward to take in how high up we truly were. We watched one of the movies which details exactly how the arch was built, and it really showed what a massive undertaking it was. We found it especially impressive how they took two massive cranes and brought them up either side of the arch on rails. In the end they had to push the two sides of the arch apart several feet to fit the last piece in snugly. It was estimated that 13 lives would be lost over the course of the project, but thankfully none were. There is also a museum underneath the arch which we visited.

We went across the street to check out the Old Courthouse.

Later, with Z and J, we spent a day at the zoo.

And, saving the best for last, we spent a day at the City Museum. From its name, you’d never guess what the place was actually all about. Basically, it’s a giant playground for kids and adults. The founder collected all sorts of items, putting them together in neat ways, all connected with ladders, crawlways, and slides. There were 5 and 10 story slides. There was a dome that you could climb on metal rungs through the top and onto the roof where there were more slides and even a Ferris wheel. Outside there were airplanes and, more slides! We would definitely come here again, and once we have kids I think a road trip will be in order.

On our last evening, we went to a restaurant called JFire’s with V and S. This is their favorite place and I could see why. The owners and staff were friendly, the food was good, and best of all was the ambiance created by the outdoor patio area covered with a large trellis and grape vines. All of a sudden, K looks over at the side of the trellis and says, “Look! It’s a baby raccoon!” It turns out there were four baby raccoons climbing over the trellis, probably eating grapes. They were super cute, but of course they are not so cute once they grow up, so of course they’ll have to go. But it was definitely entertaining while it lasted!

From there we again drove west, finally arriving in Denver after an overnight stop in Kansas. We only spent an afternoon here, checking out some neighborhoods we might want to live in and storing the car, before flying out the next morning back to Portland, Oregon.

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