Roadtrip 2012 Recap: St. Louis and Memphis

The road trip ended a little over a week ago, so I figured I should probably get around to doing the blog!

In July Sally, Michelle, and I embarked on a 3 week road trip around the US. We drove through 14 states, totaling over 6000 km of driving.

We left Niagara Falls bright and early on Sunday (July 8) and headed south/west towards St. Louis. We crossed the border in the US without any trouble (everyone got their visas beforehand) and off we went! We drove for about 10 hours on the first day driving through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and stopping just over the Illinois border.

Sally at the PA border

We spent the night in Marshall, IL, which was as small town as you can get!

On Monday we were left with only about 5 more hours of driving, and made it in to St. Louis without any trouble. We stayed at the Millennium Hotel, as it was where Sally’s conference was being held, and it was very nice. It was downtown, just next to the arch, so a perfect location!

That first evening we were invited out for dinner by St. Louis native, Liv. We went to the famous Imo’s pizza, which we were all excited about. Sadly, we were not impressed. Like, at all. We’re thinking it might be something you needed to have grown up with…

On Tuesday we tried to go to the zoo, only to find there was no parking left. We drove around for about 20 minutes trying to find a spot, but eventually gave up and went to the St. Louis Children’s Museum instead. After that we headed to the mall. We had a lovely meal at The Cheesecake Factory, went to get Sally a SIM card for her iPad (that story’s a whole blog in itself!), and went to see Ted at the cinema.


The Magic House – St. Louis Children’s Museum


Sally in the museum

I then came down with some kind of flu, as trips usually go for me. As such, Wednesday was spent in bed.

Thankfully the bug passed quickly and I was feeling up to entering the world again on Thursday. Michelle and I walked around the city and visited the City Museum.


The Old Courthouse and The Arch

I thought the City Museum deserved it’s own post, which you can read here.

We also visited City Garden which was really neat!

It was also so hot that we had no choice but to run through the fountains that can be seen behind Pinocchio.

On Friday Michelle and I took a day trip to Memphis to visit Graceland. It was about 4 hours each way, and took us through Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee.

We stopped in at the visitor’s centre in Arkansas where the woman at the counter asked where we were headed. We said Graceland and she got very serious. She then said something to the effect of “As a mother and a Christian, I need you to promise me that you when you finish at Graceland you will be right back in to your car and leave. You can not be in Memphis after dark. Please, promise me you will leave.”

So, that didn’t completely freak us out!


Me in Arkansas

Way made it in to Memphis where we headed to the city visitor centre, Sun Studios, and finally Graceland!


Memphis!


Myself and Michelle at Graceland


Front of Graceland Mansion


Fun day!

I’m not a huge Elvis fan. I like his music and movies, but never went past that. I found Graceland really cool though. The house was gorgeous and they told lots of interesting stories. I definitely recommend it to anyone in the area!

We finished up fairly early, and decided to drive to the Mississippi border as it was only about 10 minutes down the road. After that we headed back to St. Louis.

Saturday was our last full day in St. Louis. Sally was still busy with her conference, so Michelle and I headed to The Arch. We got a package that included the Arch, a riverboat ride down the Mississippi, and a National Geographic Imax movie.


The Gateway Arch


Lewis and Clarke


The pod that takes you up the Arch. So small!


St. Louis from the top of The Arch


Riverboat Cruise


View of The Arch (and our hotel) from the river

That evening Michelle and I went out for Italian food and to stock up on road trip munchies at Target. The next morning Sally finished up her conference, we packed up the car, and we hit the road once again!

St. Louis City Museum

I haven’t blogged on here in while! To catch you up – I am currently in week 2 of a 4 week adventure. Week 1 was spent with Sally in Niagara Falls/Toronto. At the end of last week Michelle arrived in Toronto, and we set off on a 3 week road trip shortly after. We drove from Niagara to St. Louis on Sunday/Monday, which was quite the experience! We’ve been busy the past few, and I will post about that later. But right now, I need to discuss something very important.

Today Michelle and I visited the St. Louis City Museum. And it was the most amazing museum I have ever seen!

It’s enormous. When we purchased our tickets we asked for a map, to which they replied: “We don’t do maps. Just go explore!”

And explore we did! We started on the first floor with the caverns, which ended in us climbing 10 stories through a maze of caves and tunnels and winding steel staircases. At the top we reach the entrance to a slide, which we hopped on and took us back down. What?! I know! It was amazing!

After 1.5 hours in the caverns we grabbed some lunch (a whole meal in a museum for $6, which was insane to both of us!)

Next came floor 4 (floor 3 was a children’s aquarium, which was an extra cost, so we passed on), which had the most random assortment of exhibits, including a collection of working carnival games, ancient stone work, insects, rag doll making, a vintage clothing shop, and a trapeze school.

Now we headed outside to the 10 story all-age jungle gym. Which was absolutely amazingly awesome. You climb through tunnels and cages and stairways and tree houses up to airplanes and firetrucks and towers and it’s just so far beyond fun that I have no choice but to ramble on and on and on!

Our final stop was on the rooftop, which contained numerous slides, a dangling school bus, an observation tower, and a working ferris wheel.

So, basically, if the City Museum in St. Louis isn’t on your bucket list, add it now! These pictures don’t do it justice, but it’s the best I could do!

We are loving St. Louis so far. Everyone here is so, so nice, the museums are fantastic, and the downtown area is pretty mellow, clean, and easy to navigate.

Tomorrow Michelle and I are off to Memphis to visit Graceland. Woo! Sally is at a conference this week, so we’re filling our days until it finished and we head off to our next stop: Boston!