Sunday, July 8, 2012

6.30.12 St. Louis

Our tour of baseball parks took us to St. Louis. We combined the ball park visit with visiting two great friends and their families. Friday night we had a proper St Louis barbecue with pork steaks with homemade bbq sauce, corn on the cob and handpicked blackberry cobbler.
Saturday we set out for the ball park. It was one hundred degrees. My eye lids were sweating. The ball park was beautiful.

We loved how it was a sunken field so you had a great view from the sidewalk. Plus the view of the Arch was terrific.

We made it to the 7th inning. After the game, we headed up to check out the view from the roof of the hotel across for the park. It was a great overview of the park.

Our hotel was a nightmare. We had to wait for everything and then we didn’t even have towels when we checked in. It became the running joke of the weekend. We were finally able to get ready and we headed out to the West End for a tour of restaurants. We started at the Drunken Fish – which had a fantastic Saturday night happy hour: Half Off Select Martinis and Sushi. YUM! Then we went to Sub-Zero. It was the most incredible martini selection I have ever seen. We sampled a couple and had the best plate of nachos I have ever had. Then we walked over to Salt. Salt is in an old funeral home. I love restaurants in old houses. We shared some small plates and great wine. It was a wonderful night out.
Sunday we got up and met for lunch at Duff’s.

Then Glenn and I headed out on our own. We tried to ride up to the top of the Arch, but the line was just too long for the sweltering heat. We stopped by the Morgan Street Brewery.

 I liked the Black Bear the best. Then, we were lured in by the air conditioning and promises of loosest slots at the Casino Queen.  After cooling off our wallets and ourselves, we tried to visit the Schlafly brewery, but it was closed for renovation. We went to Blueberry Hill to sample the best hamburger in St. Louis. Glenn also had his first toasted ravioli.  I loved the inside of Blueberry Hill.

 It was blanketed with photos and display cases of memorabilia. The burger was very good. We headed back over the highway to The Famous Bar – a fantastic bar that’s been around for decades. We joined the locals at the bar and shared a beer before heading to the airport.

Our flight was delayed for four hours. The upside was that it meant I randomly met up with one of my friends from college who was connecting through St. Louis through the magic of Facebook!

Overall, we loved St. Louis and look forward to many future visits.

6.15.12 Southern Illinois and Nashville

In June, one of my dearest from college got married in Southern Illinois. We flew into Nashville and then hit the open road for a 3 and ½ hour drive to Anna, Illinois. We had booked a night at the Davie School Inn . We booked the Black Suite. I loved this bed and breakfast! It is an old school house renovated into large suites with king size beds. The room was huge.

We loved all the antique touches in a modern environment. The bathroom had a large soaking tub and double sinks. We headed out to the wedding. It was a beautiful outdoor wedding. It was great to catch up with friends.

 Sunday we went on the search for breakfast. We hadn’t taken advantage of the breakfast part of the bed and breakfast because we weren’t sure what our schedule was going to be. Big mistake. It was nearly impossible to find a restaurant open Sunday morning for breakfast. The only one we could find online was a diner at a casino 43 miles away. The best discovery was that this casino was in Metropolis – home of the Superman statute and museum!

Great roadside attraction stop. We made a deposit at the casino and headed toward Nashville. We pulled into Nashville in time to get a late lunch at  Mondells.

Mondell’s is family style. We were seated at a table of twelve. The food just starts coming: biscuits, corn bread, potato salad, green beans, fried chicken, beef, pork, corn pudding, mac and cheese and on and on! It was delicious! I loved the environment and the food. A great way to end our trip.
We will definitely go back to spend more time in Nashville and explore more of Southern Illinois.