I had forgotten just how much I loved to visit new places and take pictures! It seems like it has been forever since I went somewhere new, even though it hasn’t. I had a few days in between my gig in Hattiesburg, MS and South Haven, MI so I decided to spend them in St Louis, MO. I think the only time I’ve spent in St. Louis was for a connecting flight. In any event, I so enjoyed my time at the Gateway Arch on August 4th, 2014.
The Gateway Arch is 630 ft high. Construction on the arch started on Feb 12, 1963. It was completed October 28, 1965, then opened to the public on June 10, 1967. The tram ride up and down is 3-4 minutes, and in a little car with 5 seats. Being a solo traveler – I could hop on any time. I shared my ride up with a guy and his 3 kids, ages 4,6 & 9 I’m guessing. Halfway up, he asks the kids what are they going to do if the tram gets stuck. And then he decides to point at each of his kids and say stuff like “not enough meat on your bones.” “You’re going to taste sassy.” Oh great! Being stuck in a little tram car with a potential cannibal is not exactly how I envisioned my day. And then I realized – if our tram does get stuck…I’m not “family” and could easily feed all three of them. Thank goodness we made it to the top! At the top, you find yourself stuck in a narrow hall way with 100 people all fighting to look out about 20 teeny tiny windows. There are ledges to lean on to take your pictures, and when you look down the hallway, all you see is a gaggle of butts from all over the world. My icy, cold heart went out to the poor park ranger, who probably became a park ranger to save wildlife and prevent forest fires, but found himself inside the top of a national monument for hours on end looking at asses all day. After 10 minutes of this non-sense, I got the perfect selfie and 2 decent shots of the 30 mile view, then headed back down. I shared my tram car with a lovely Turkish couple and their 2 sons. Luckily, they didn’t offer to feed me their children should the tram get stuck.
At 4:30, I hoped on The Riverboat Tour, which was enjoyable as well. My boat was The Tom Sawyer, and I enjoyed hearing the history of the site told by a St Louis native in his midwestern drawl. The boat staff was taking pictures of every one as the got on the boat, which is awkward when you travel by yourself. What am I going to say when I show that picture to others? “Oh…This is me, traveling by myself, AGAIN, because I’m a stand up comedian, didn’t get enough love as a child and thought I could make a living getting drunk strangers to like me in 30 seconds or less.” It’s all the creepy narcissism of taking selfie…no need to add the pathetic Love Boat pre-cruise selfie to it. Anyhow – I enjoyed myself, and St. Louis immensely. I’ll hit a few more places today, before my next stop this evening…sleeping in a refurbished silo in Bloomington, IL.