St. Louis, MO was our last major stop on our incredible honeymoon. To see the start, check out Honeymoon Roadtrip: Baltimore/Richmond. We also went to The Grand Canyon and California. To see all our stops, check out Big Adventures. At this point, after 3 1/2 weeks of galavanting across the country, we had to boogie back home to get back to work. So, we did a lot of driving and just finding places to crash for the night, which was actually a welcome change from planning day trips EVERY DAY. But since we were in the area, we decided to check out the St. Louis Arch – the gateway to the West. The arch is an incredible piece of engineering and design. It’s massive and really impressive, much more than I was expecting. Doesn’t it always seem like that? When you least expect something to be, it’s amazing. Naturally Mr. Smith was drooling all over the thing and I had to drag him away when it was time to go :).
Here are a lot of photos of the Arch, because that’s much of what we spent time doing, marveling in it’s massive glory. We also went inside and checked out the history museum that lies beneath the arch, which contains lots of artifacts and real facts about the pioneering days of America (evidenced by the FANTASTIC photo of an enormous country steer just over my shoulder). I love that kind of stuff. The entire trip out west, I kept talking about how interesting it must have been to be a pioneer and travel across all the different American landscapes – places you had never seen before or maybe even imagined in your dreams.
After a couple of hours reading about history, we got hungry. So, we decided to look for something in the area to pick up to go, as we still had a couple of hours of driving to go before we made it to our pre-booked hotel the next state over. We were in the business downtown area, and there were surprisingly few choices, and even fewer that were open at the time, so we hit up a St. Louis pizza place. We were thinking pizza: easy, quick, ready to go, and tasty. What we got was not what we expected. The pizza dough is made without yeast, so it is cracker-like in consistency and thickness. The pizza is usually shaped as a rectangle, cut into small squares, and topped with sweet tomato sauce and a blend of provolone, Swiss, and white Cheddar cheeses (known as Provel). Given our Northeast upbringing (and mine especially close to the NYC-style pizzerias), we were not prepared for this AT ALL. Maybe it was the long day, or the hours of driving still ahead, but we were not fans (but who knows, maybe we just got a bad version of it). I thought the sauce was too sweet; it reminded me of ketchup. The cheese tasted too processed, like cheese-whiz. And the crispy cracker crust was not our favorite. So, be forewarned if you’re in St. Louis looking for pizza – it may not be what you expect!
Look an arch!
We also finally got an up-close look at some country cows! Seeing them from the highway and seeing them up close and personal are way different. They’re actually a bit creeping the way they can stare at you. But, beautiful amazing creatures.
Something we’d been doing consistently on the trip was leaving a small parting gift at almost every stop. We call it a Love / Light Jar, and it’s a gift from our wedding. The wedding theme was Love / Light. We made the gifts by hand, taping and spray-painting mason jars, and adding candles and string to each. Classic Pinterest. We gave them out to individual people that we thought were truly good people. Some were hosts, some were hotel employees, some were waitresses. We even gave out one each to three folks our age that stopped at the same bar as us in the middle of NO WHERE to watch the US Mens Soccer team in the World Cup (guys you’re reading this, it was great meeting you!).
Our last road trip post is coming! It was a fantastic summer.