Sidney and Gene dropped me off at the airport this morning and off I went to St. Louis, MO for my solo vacation. A very loud mother and two daughters sat behind me on the plane making it a not 100% enjoyable ride but it was enjoyable and short enough. After the flight I made my way to the metro station where I hopped on a train towards the city. A legit crazy man got on towards the beginning of my trip and sat right in front of me. Thankfully, he didn’t talk to me but focused his attention on two people sitting across from me. I wish I could remember all the insane things he said, because he spoke as if he was all there, but his words clearly indicated he was not. I do remember him saying it was 1999 and he knew because he was getting his driver’s license back in September 2018. He was safe enough and left after a few stops so it was all good.
I got off the train at the right stop but got a little confused about where to go to catch the bus and ended up going the wrong way. Oops. Oh well, this trip is a lesson in flexibility. I decided to not stress and got myself some lunch instead at nearby Shake Shack. I’m pretty sure my cousin, Sean, mentioned this place, as he used to live in the area, so I figured it was a good place to stop. The burger was good but the fries were a bit too crispy for my taste, I like them mushy. The lemonade was decent too. It was nice to get out of the hot day and sip lemonade and eat a burger. Turns out I sweat a lot here in St. Louis.
After lunch I tried finding the bus stop again and this time – success. I rode the bus to Tower Grove Park and walked through the park to my airbnb. The park is full of a variety of trees and this one tree with gorgeous, giant white flowers really called to me. All of these large, tall trees are what I imagine most of the world thinks of when they think of the US. I miss these kinds of trees in Denver, we don’t have many of them there so this was a really nice treat.
I made it to the airbnb and relaxed for a bit as I cooled off once again. Then I headed out to Aldi, a nearby grocery store. I’m pretty sure that Martha, Gene’s sister, had mentioned she liked this store so I wanted to give it a try. This one was a smaller store but they had more than enough food choices. I ended up putting a few things back as initially I got a little over excited about trying new brands. I did get myself blueberry bagels in reminder of my trip to Madison, WI with Gene last year.
I dropped off my groceries and then walked to dinner. The restaurant I planned on going to was closed so I found another one nearby that also sold the fried ravioli I wanted to try. Sadly, I did not like the ravioli as much as I had hoped. Perhaps partly because it was full of meat and not cheese.
I stopped at a different grocery store on the walk back to pick up a bus pass for another day and I also grabbed some gooey butter cake as I heard it was a classic dessert to try. I walked back to my airbnb through the park and a block away from my building I saw fireflies. I haven’t seen fireflies since I was a child so imagine my giddy surprise and joy when I saw the first flicker. It was an almost instant recognition. I then spent the next 10 minutes trying to chase them down to snap a picture of them for my housemates. I got a few pictures of a yellow line, so I’m counting it, but it’s definitely not the picture I was hoping for. It just means that my housemates will have to come back with me so they can see fireflies in real life.
Now I’m sitting in the airbnb, snacking on the gooey butter cake (aka chess bar!) and strawberries, watching Coco, and getting drowsy. It’s bedtime soon and tomorrow I shall go to the Botanic Gardens!