#Warning! long post written on a long road through corn fields. Don’t read if you don’t have the time!
After a few days of wild camping, we arrived in St. Louis, where we first met our CouchSurfing host, Leo. It was early evening, but we got to play the Exploding Kittens game, which maybe gave us a little boost. We were pretty tired after the road, but I pushed myself a bit to stay up and play Jungle Speed with him and his friends coming over for barbecue. It was a lovely first night in the city with nice people.
The next day I went straight to the office building downtown to meet my former colleagues. Lucy was instantly attracted by the City Garden and wanted to stay there. On such a short notice it was hard to find everyone at work, but we had a nice chat and decided to come again the next day. We spent the rest of the afternoon in the City Museum, which was well worth visiting.
City Museum is, first of all, not a museum. Or definitely not a traditional one, as you can see in the pictures. It’s more of a fun park, with all sorts of activities, mostly for kids, but no age restriction applies. It’s the narrow spaces that hold the adults back and tall people like me. “The caves” were the first place we went to, on the ground floor. Dark, air conditioning, nice colorful lights here and there, and lots of cement tunnels to crawl on and metal bridges to climb and crawl and exercise. That’s where I lost Lucy the for the first few times. Mainly because I got stuck in the wall (belly problems maybe).
We then went on the 10 story slide. We took the stairs up and waited in a queue to slide down. The 2 slides are one next to the other, but one is one floor shorter. It was a one-time experience, as these slides were probably used once for carts with laundry, or who knows what… but I can tell my ass is not square and didn’t go well with the curvature of the slide. It was quite fast, but not very entertaining (check the video).
The top of the old factory was an amusement park with a bus hanging over the side of the building, a couple of planes connected with metal tubes and a Ferris wheel (with a long queue of people attached to it). As much as we wanted to see all, the museum is a whole day attraction. We got kicked out at 5pm, when it closed. We’ve seen there a lot of crazy stuff, but I won’t bore you up with the details. Half a day was enough to make us wasted and to fall asleep quite fast.
The next morning I dropped off Lucy at the Forest Park and I went to see The Arch. This amazing piece of engineering represents the gate to the West – a monument built to celebrate the purchase of the western territories from the French. I took the ride to the top for $10, but what surprised me more was the little tram going up, consisting of 8 egg-like carriages where 5 people would barely squeeze in. The view from above is spectacular. Unfortunately, there were extended construction works at the ground level, ruining one really nice view: straight down.
Shortly after that, I met my very first colleagues from the company (the team name was ENO). Dan was there to welcome me and I was happy to meet them all… They were just as jolly as I remembered and I was pleased to find out that the team still holds up and works nice, as it did in the beginning when I was a part of it.
At their recommendation, we went to an unique ice-cream store nearby. They make the ice-cream with liquid nitrogen, and melt it with torches in order to mix it. This process allows you to see all the ingredients they use (or at least you believe you do). It was fun to see how it’s made.
We left St. Louis after spending the afternoon in the Forest Park, watching the penguins at the zoo, checking out the views, the planetarium, and the science museum. We liked the city quite a lot, exceeding our expectations. Spending two days in St. Louis was surely not enough to enjoy all the attractions to the fullest, but then the whole man’s life is not enough to enjoy the entire planet. However, among some new experiences, St. Louis gave me the US experience of traffic jams in the city, with the occasion of the evening baseball game.