Our Colorado Trip–Next Stop: St. Louis

St. Louis Gateway Arch

Our first view of the arch as we walked toward it.

From Springfield, we drove for two and a half hours and arrived in St. Louis, Missouri. I had arranged for a FREE two-night stay at the Residence Inn Downtown {using a certificate that we earned when we bought new tires for our car!!} and we were thrilled with our accommodations. They even waived our nightly parking fee!

One of the best things about this place was that it offered a complimentary shuttle to anywhere within a 3 mile radius. Perfect! We parked and unloaded our vehicle and didn’t touch it again until the morning we left. A shuttle was available every time we requested one and the drivers were wonderful!

After getting situated in our room, we hopped onto the shuttle and were dropped off a short walk from the Gateway Arch.

outside Gateway Arch

This was my third visit to the arch, but it had been many years since I had been there last and I didn’t remember much about the area at its base. I’m pretty sure it has expanded greatly in the last couple of decades and now contains a small museum, a theater with a couple of informational movies about the arch and area, gift shops, a large ticketing area and unfortunately, a LOT of people. We like to avoid crowds and long lines, but since the forecast was calling for rain for the next couple of days, we bit the bullet and decided to purchase tickets and wait our turn to ascend the arch that afternoon so we would have a chance at a good view.

Our turn to form a line finally came, but unbeknownst to us, it was still a lengthy wait after that, shuffling through holding sections.

Finally in the pod–I love how this picture captured some of the anxiety on everyone’s faces.

Ready to ascend Gateway Arch

A moment later, a little more relaxed–sort of.

In the Gateway Arch pod

My cute family--going up.

My cute family–going up.

Once we got to the top, it was so incredibly crowded. We held our poor kids’ hands as they squirmed their way through the sea of people’s bottoms that were in their faces.

on top of Gateway Arch

They got to look out the windows, but I don’t think we spent more than 3 or 4 minutes up there before they asked to head to the pods and go back down. We were fine with that. I’m very glad that we all did it, but I would be ok if that was my last time. Ken agrees.

View of courthouse from Gateway Arch

View of the city and old courthouse from the pinnacle of the Gateway Arch.

Once we arrived back down on solid ground, it was quite late and the Groh family was hungry again. We started walking in the direction that we thought was the Spaghetti Factory and, fortunately, we got it right this time, but it was a bit of a stroll. My shoe buckle began bothering me from all the unexpected walking earlier in the day, and before long my ankle started to bleed. I had to take drastic measures and began walking with one bare foot, holding my shoe in my hand. Classy. Thankfully, they still allowed us into the restaurant.

I loved the decor of the Spaghetti Factory and the balloon guy made the kids pretty incredible hats.

St. Louis Spaghetti Factory

We got to see the full moon/super moon after dinner as we walked to catch our shuttle which took us back to the hotel. A good, full day.

Gateway Arch with full moon

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