The second part of our summer travel, also known as, Planes, Trains and Automobiles 2012 took us to the US, where our first stop was St. Louis, MO, the destination for many family trips when I was growing up.
My family made biennial trips to the Midwestern city from Los Angeles to visit my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I remember flying the now defunct airline, TWA and arriving at its main hub, the St. Louis Lambert Airport, where a replica of The Spirit of St. Louis hung in the terminal. I also recall being around Miss P’s age when my parents and teenaged brother alternated driving duties in our orange VW van, getting our kicks on a 3-day road trip along the famous Route 66.
My visits to St. Louis have been much less frequent in my adult years, but a family reunion took me back for the first time in nearly a decade, allowing me to get reacquainted with aunts and cousins, meet the younger generation and introduce Miss P and Miss V to dozens of relatives.
Despite having been to St. Louis countless times growing up, there is a lot of the city I hadn’t seen. So while I got reacquainted with my family, I also used the time I was there to get better acquainted with the city where my family’s roots are so deeply planted, letting St. Louis “show me” some of what it has to offer.
|A statue of the city’s namesake in front of the St. Louis Art Museum.|
|The St. Louis Zoo|
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
This memorial park pays tribute to Thomas Jefferson and the explorers – including Lewis and Clark-who played pivotal roles in the western expansion of the United States, the centerpiece of which
is the nation’s tallest monument, the 630-foot Gateway Arch. The little ladies and I took the tram to the top of the Arch and got a bird’s eye view of St. Louis.
|Miss V and Miss P at the top of the Arch.|
We also got an American history lesson at the Museum of Westward Expansion, which is located beneath the Arch. We continued the lesson at the Old Cathedral, the oldest church west of the Mississippi, and the Historic Old Courthouse, where slaves Dred Scott and his wife Harriet sued for their freedom.
The visit to the Old Courthouse provided a professional de ja vu, since the Dred Scott case was one of the first I studied in law school.
|Statue of Dred and Harriet Scott in front of the Old Courthouse.|
Budweiser Brewery Tour
|Photo credit: Budweiser Brewery Tour|