STL for Easter: The Arch

Over Easter I was able to spend some time with my parents and sister in STL.  I had off work the Friday before and Monday after the holiday so it was a nice long weekend visit.  I got in early Friday morning.  My mom always asks me if there is anything I want to do while I'm there.  I'm all about being lazy with no plans but really wanted to go up into the the arch this time.  I usually travel with my husband to see the family.  He would have no interest what so ever of ever going up in it so I took full advantage of the solo trip.

I saw the arch for the first time in person one my first trip to STL back in 2006 but haven't made any effort to go back.  It is a common scene driving around the city and seems so small when seen from a distance.  You can't really appreciate it's size until you are really close up.  It's size impressed me in 2006 and again my last trip.

My mom ordered our tickets over the phone (definitely recommended) so she dropped me off to get in line to get in while she parked.
I got this while we were waiting at a light to let me out. 

I took full advantage of the few minutes I had to kill waiting for my mom to park the car and meet me in line.  

The line to get into the museum under ground was just ridiculous.  All because of security.  If you do pre-order your tickets (because the line inside to buy tickets was INSANELY long) give yourself some time before your lift time.  I think we had tickets for a 11:45 lift time but didn't get there until 11:30.  Needless to say, we missed our time but fortunately they didn't seem be too strict about letting us on the next one.  

So, I am not sure what I expected to take us up to the top but was utterly horrified when I saw this small egg-shaped space.  And it's supposed to fit FIVE PEOPLE in there.  Luckily for my mom and I we had two kinds and their mom in addition to us (who are also small) riding up with us.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to ride up with anyone too large.  And let us face it; this is America so I'm sure that happens more often than not.  The egg-shaped space shook and creaked the whole way up.  One of the kids jokingly said, "this sounds new."  I very much appreciated the sense of humor to distract me from having a panic attack.  If you are claustrophobic in the least, this is a "ride" I do not recommend.    

We jolted to a halt, exited our ride, walked up a few more steps to check out the view from above.  

helicopter ride over the Mighty Mississippi.  
We lucked out for our ride down as well.  There was only four of us this time.  Our ride mates were young thin girls who we struck up a conversation with.  They were super sweet.  The conversation was another great distraction.  Once we got to the bottom my mom told me that last summer something happened with the electric and people who were on their way up/down were stuck in those terrifying small egg-shaped rooms for a few hours.  And of course there is no air conditioning.  Thankfully Mom waited to tell me this little story (although she started to share it with me half way down) after we landed arrived safely.

Would I do that again?  No.  It's kinda like the Statue of Liberty.  Once you get up there you look around for a few minutes, see all you want/need to see in that time, and are ready to return to land almost as soon as you get up there.  It's one of those things you do to say you did it.  Even if going up is not your thing I still recommend seeing it in person.  There's also a museum underneath too (for free) if you are interested in learning about the arch.  

One of the draws to going to see the arch in person is the park area to hang out underneath it.  I could see myself having a picnic or bringing my book to read there.  Although, it might be difficult to really enjoy it with the constant traffic of people.  The day we went, it was a gorgeous Spring day in the 60s and relatively windy.  There was an adorable family flying a kite.  It may have been this kids first time flying one because he needed some help a couple of times from his parents.  Sweet though.  

I really liked this one of a family overlooking the Mississippi.  I also kinda makes me laugh.  Doesn't it remind you of traveling with your family when you were young to those not so fun places.  You know the ones where your Dad/Mom/Grandparent tried so hard to explain the history behind something but all you really wanted to do is be at the beach or in a pool?  Looks like these kids are being good sports though.  

To get where my mom parked her car we walked along such a nice tree-lined path.  Unfortunately, it was so crowded I really wasn't able to get any shots without people.  So green.  LOVE! 

I am kinda obsessed with reflections.  I love the reflection of the city buildings in the first one but was disappointed with the lovely trash in the second.  I love (I know I used "I love" to begin two sentences in a row) how you can see the reflection of the arch in the second one but the trash kinda takes away from it.  Silly, dirty,  and littering Saint Louis-ians (?).  Ruined an awesome photo-op.  Once I figure out photoshop perhaps I can edit them out.  

Have you ever been to STL?  Have you seen the arch?  If my parents hadn't moved there in 2006 I doubt it would have been a place I'd ever consider visiting but am so glad I have.  It truly is a hidden gem and I highly recommend visiting the city.

Okay, now it is time to get my sweating bum downstairs for a glass of red and dinner before I melt! (i LOVE the warm weather though;))

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