Saturday, July 5, 2014

Dating my Husband in St. Louis

To follow along on our St. Louis adventures, click the photo below!

 photo Day5StLouis-June1826_zps7af02c7c.jpg
We were checked out of the hotel and on the Orange Line train by about 8am! We had to go back to Midway Airport to get our rental car.
 Once we picked up our rental car, we began our four hour road trip to St. Louis!
 Okay...ready for some hilarity? We had a couple fast food restaurants on our "try" list. Whitecastle and Steak'nShake (neither of which we have ever seen or eaten at). The first one we found was a steak'nshake (which actually originated in Illinois in the 1930's) and we just had to try it! I had a steakburger (I originally ordered a salad and the woman raised her eyebrows and smiled at me...when in rome, right? Twist my arm, why don't you?) and hubby had a steakburger and shake. Goodness that shake was good. It definitely wasn't a gourmet fast food restaurant by any stretch of the imagination - but it was worth crossing off our list (I think it's like coming to California and trying In-N-Out - although I think they now have it in other states)!
 After our lunch, we drove a couple more hours and went straight to St. Louis and checked into our hotel, The Crowne Plaza Riverfront at the Arch! This was the view from our room:
 After meeting up with Mr. Howard's parents, we headed right over to the famous arch! Obviously we needed an arch selfie!
It really is beautiful.
Mr. Howard with his parents
The arch is 630 feet tall and 630 feet wide. Even though it looks very thin, it has a full museum underneath the bottom of it and you can go up into the top.
After exploring the arch (we didn't go up in it yet), we decided to go to Pappy's Smokehouse for some Memphis style BBQ. We had met some people in Chicago that live in St. Louis and they told us no trip to St. Louis would be complete without a visit to Pappy's. It's actually been featured on Man v Food (HERE's the episode if you want to watch!) and Food Feuds and the whole restaurant is lined with famous visitors' signatures, so we knew it wouldn't disappoint. Apparently, they also regularly sell out of food (WHAT?!?) because it's that popular and often have to start turning people away as early as 4pm on some days. We had to wait an hour or so, but WOW, the food was DELICIOUS! I had a salad with pulled BBQ pork. Hubby had ribs and beef brisket with baked beans and slaw and I totally can't remember what my inlaws had. I really wanted someone to order the frito pie, just because I have never seen a frito pie on a menu. Ha!
 I was snapping a photo of Mr. Howard out in front of the restaurant and my mother-in-law asked if I'd like one with me in it! I'd love it!
 Afterwards, from the same friends we met in Chicago, we had heard that we MUST go to Ted Drewes Frozen Custard. Ted Drewes has been around since 1931 and I had to look up what frozen custard was, because I had never heard of it. From Ted Drewes Website: "By definition, frozen custard must have at least 10% butterfat and 1.4% eggyolk. The amount of air truly separates frozen custard from traditional ice cream. Traditional ice cream has as much as 100% overrun, which causes ice crystals to form. Frozen custard has 20% overrun or less. This reduction of air is what gives frozen custard its silky smooth texture. Bet you didn't know you were going to get a custard lesson when you clicked over to the blog. Did you? Ha! My husband is the BEST sport when it comes to posing for photos. He never says no to me.
 I had butterscotch custard (OMG!!!) and hubby had a sundae. I am pretty sure I'd be willing to fly to St. Louis for that butterscotch frozen custard.

Afterwards, when it was dark, we headed off to the arch. Mr. Howard really wanted to go up in the arch at night, and since they are open until 10, we went as late as we could go.
 And the other Mr. and Mrs. Howard ;-)
The view from the top (baseball stadium on the left):
 This is what it looks like in the top. It's actually pretty big inside:
 Wasn't the view amazing?
 Here we are with Mr. Howard's parents:
The little pod that you have to ride up in was TINY. If you had been claustrophobic, I don't think you could have handled it. That was actually the hardest part about it for me. Here was Mr. Howard and his dad in there:
 Here's what the inside of the pod looked like:
In the museum, they had pretty cool exhibits. This one talked all about how the arch was made!

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