Tuesday, September 22, 2015

St. Louis

We awoke very early, took down the tent, packed up the car and headed out.  Today we were on our way to St. Louis, followed by a visit/overnight with my other cousin, Gary.  (Gary and Nik are brothers).

Adrienne had never been to the St. Louis Arch before, so guess what?!  We may frequent the Golden Arches for hash browns and iced tea, but the St. Louis Arch is a once in a lifetime treat!  Adrienne braved the 4 minute ride up the side of the Arch to the top and was amazed at both how high we were and how beautiful St. Louis looked on a very clear day.

The Arch was built in the 1960's and was built as a monument to the vision of Thomas Jefferson and St. Louis' role in the westward expansion of the United States.  It is 630 feet tall, which equates to over 60 stories high.  The architect was Eero Saarinen, who won a national contest for designing the memorial back in 1947.  It took nearly 20 years after that for the Arch to be completed.  The Arch itself cost a little over $13 million to build.  Gosh, that won't hardly build 1 mile of a freeway these days.

We also visited both the "old" and the "new" Catholic Cathedrals in the city.  The older one is located right next to the Arch; the newer and larger one is further out into town.  Both churches were beautiful, inside and out.  The cathedral was given the designation of Basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1997.  The inside contains the largest collection of mosaics in the world.  They cover 83,000 square feet.

The inside of the Old Cathedral - you can see the Arch through the windows.

Old Cathedral view from outside.

New Cathedral.  The mosaics are spectacular.

After our long drive, plus touring around St. Louis, we drove over the Mississippi River and into Illinois, towards O'Fallon, a small town about 30 minutes away.  This is where Gary lives.  We had a great dinner and lots of talk and laughter and then turned in for the night.  Next morning we were up early, as we were on our way to Weston and Kansas City.

Carlos and Riley.  Carlos is Gary's son.  Riley is the sweetest dog ever.  Carlos just completed a double master's degree at SCAD in Savannah and landed a wonderful job in St. Louis.  Congrats Carlos!

The lake behind Gary's home.

Cousin Lindsey.  Gary's daughter.  She just completed her AA and has the most beautiful smile I've ever seen.

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