A July 2002 trip
to St. Louis by Coach Bear
Quote: One of life's pleasures is returning to one's home area after many years in absence. I took my wife to visit St. Louis and we had a great time.
We were broiled by the sun for four days, but loved every minute. In fact, my wife is asking that I find a job in the area so that we can move there. That will be a change from the south (Georgia). This is a very "happening" city and area. Everyone should visit St. Louis.
As in any city, the traffic can get pretty hectic at times. If you are driving, be prepared for stop-and-go traffic during rush hours and around game time when the sports teams are in town.
Our first stop along the tour was to the stables for the Clydesdale horses. We saw the trucks which transport the horses, the traditional harnesses, an old-fashioned beer delivery wagon, and (of course) the World-famous Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales, themselves. We spent about 10 minutes listening to the history of the horses and getting close to see them. Then, we were off to the famous Aging House.
Anheuser-Busch is the only major beer manufacturer that still uses the beechwood aging process. We were shown the containers which are used for this process. Each of the four containers that we were shown held 210,000 six-packs of beer, and there were four more sets of four of these containers in the building. That was only the aging tanks. We found out that the St. Louis brewery puts out more beer each day than all other beer companies in the world, combined.
One of the historical landmarks on the poperty is the Malt House. It is over 100 years old (as are many of the buildings on the property). We were shown how the grains and hops are added to make the wort, which is used in the brewing process. This is the famous building with the "A" and Eagle and the Clock on the tower that many see in the commercials. We spent another 10 or so minutes in this building. Then, on to the packaging plant.
During prohibition, alcoholic beverages were not allowed to be made or sold. The busch plant made baker's yeast and a non-alcoholic drink called "Bevo". The packaging plant was the famous Bevo building from this time, with carved granite figures of the Bevo character on the four corners of the outside building and beautiful mossaics on the inside. We were shown three of the 16 botling and packaging lines that run 24 hours per day.
Finally, after about 40 - 45 minutes of a downhill walk, my wife and I joined the other 40 or 50 people in our group on a three minute ride to the hospitality room. There, we were treated to samples of the different variety of beers made by Anheuser-Busch (and pretzels). We finished the tour back in the souvenir shop. It seemed as though everyone passing through the place had to have one or more mementos of there journey, so the shop was crowded and busy.
All joking aside, this tour is one of the finest available anywhere. The history of the company and the area, the famous landmarks and historical buildings, and the samples of the product all make for a wonderful experience. This is a must for all ages.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 9, 2002
13th St And Lynch St
St. Louis, Missouri 63118
+1 314 577 2333; +1
Attraction | "Missouri Botanical Gardens"
My wife, Anna, and I decided to visit on a hot July afternoon. Other than the heat, the visit was luxurious and beautiful. We toured most of the areas of the park during our walk. There were different styles of gardens in each of seven different sections (maybe I missed one or two sections). The water lily pond had varieties of flowers from all parts of the world. I didn't realize that there were so many different species of that flower. Then, we went into the climatron. There were two large sections, one for the rain forest and one for the temperate. We spent more than 45 minutes walking through this one large building.
No visit to these gardens can be complete without looking at the Japanese Garden. This Japanese Garden is named Seiwa-en, which means the garden of pure, clear harmony and peace. It was designed with great care by the late Professor Koichi Kawana to ensure authenticity. We were told that this 14-acre garden is the largest Japanese strolling garden in the Western hemisphere. There is a four-acre lake, which is complemented with waterfalls, streams, water-filled basins, and stone lanterns. Dry gravel gardens are raked into beautiful, rippling patterns. There are four islands which rise from the lake to form symbolic images. Several Japanese bridges link shorelines to the islands. My wife was delighted in feeding the giant "koi" (Japanese carp). We were enthralled by cherry blossoms, azaleas, chrysanthemums, peonies, lotus, and other flowers as we walked through this beautiful area. We could have spent longer, but the heat was really getting unbearable.
Not only was there a Japanese garden, but there were Chinese gardens, an English woodland garden, and a Strassenfest garden in the international area. There was an area for experimental gardening that we saw with beautiful examples of how home gardens might be planted, an area with a vegetable garden, a children's garden, and an aroma garden. We walked through several other areas as we returned to the front entrance. Some of the areas have slipped my mind.
Beyond that which I have written, there are many other parts of this delightful place. Two hours are plenty to get a start, but I know that we need to visit again on our next trip to see some of the other areas of this huge estate. Those who want to visit this place need to be ready for a floral overdose. It is worth buying the yearly membership, just to visit here often and see all that there is to offer.
Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Boulevard
St. Louis, Missouri 63110
Attraction | "Fair St. Louis 2002"
Held on the riverfront on the grounds of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (Gateway Arch), a National Park, this festival was once a true part of the St. Louis heritage, entitled the Veiled Prophet Fair. This is a major tribute to the Armenian populace of the area and their festivals. But, it has transformed into something that we all, as Americans, can feel part of and enjoy. This is held in cooperation with the city of St. Louis and the National Park Service. The entire park area, including the Old Federal Courthouse, is included in the festival, as well as several surrounding city blocks.
We arrived at about 10:00 local time to walk around the area. There was a large air show, interpretations of different cultures (one was a Navaho flute ceremony), concerts by local and national entertainers, tours of the Arch, festivities and speeches at the Old Courthouse, an evening entertainer (Smokey Robinson was there this year), and then the World's largest fireworks display. We really had a huge day, especially since we decided to attend a Cardinal game in the early evening. The weather was sweltering, but there were lemonade, beer, and soft drink stands everywhere. Many local non-profit groups spent their time at the booths to earn money for what they do. My wife and I spent over $100 getting things that we wanted. There were roasted corn vendors, beer vendors, meat and turkey legs, candies, and many other things that people wanted.
Finally, watching the fireworks through the Arch at night gave an ethereal feeling to the crowd. The Arch seemed to float in the evening, as though it were only a computer graphic in a movie. Yet, it was real. The fireworks added to the spectacle, and we left wanting to return soon.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 10, 2002
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
11 N 4th St
St. Louis, Missouri 63102
We entered the base of the Arch through a heavy security checkpoint. After entering, though, we were able to view two movies, take the tram to the top, look through the large museum, and shop in a nice gift shop. Many comment that there is little of interest in the Arch, but those who recognize the symbolic and historical connotations can see that this is a major part of the fabric of mid-American culture.
The monument is 630 feet high, making it the highest standing man-made monument in the world. Everyone should take the tram to the top at least once. At $8.00 for an adult, it is relatively inexpensive. The views of the city, the river, and the surrounding areas are marvelous. I have a picture of my wife (as seen in the photos) standing at the top (inside) of the Arch. She was thrilled to be there.
We enjoyed the views, the movies, the museum, and everything we saw while at the Arch. I am eager to return to see what is new this autumn.
St. Louis Riverfront 707 North First St
St. Louis, Missouri 63102
(877) 982 1410
Attraction | "St. Louis Cardinals"
On July 4, we visited the Fair St. Louis, then extended our time in downtown St. Louis by watching the Cardinals play the Dodgers. What a thrill for both of us! We entered Busch Stadium and walked to our seat. The crowd arrived early to see the hometown heroes as they prepared for the game. Sports broadcasters describe the crowd in St. Louis as a "sea of red," and that it is exactly what we saw. Most of the people in the large crowd wore red to watch the Cardinals. In fact, so did Anna and I. We watched as the Cardinals won the game by a score of 3-2.
Unlike other ball parks that we have visited, the staff of Busch Stadium treats every customer as though they were honored guests. People speak with the fans, there is a friendly atmosphere. The crowd is supportive of everything that the Cardinals do. I have not seen that in other places. Of course, Busch beer is sold by many of the vendors. You can easily be reminded of baseball at its purest, back in the 1930's with the Gas House Gang and the 1940's with Stan "the Man" Musial. Just as the old song says, "Take me out to the ball game. Take me out to the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks. I don't care if I ever get back." Watching the Cardinals is exciting.
My wife was speechless as the evening progressed. Everything that I had described to her about the facilities and the crowd response was as I had told her. We saw the great Diamond Vision scoeboard, heard Ernie Hayes on the organ, watched the 'Redbirds' as they went battled their way to victory. We bought the beer and peanuts and hot dogs, kept score on the Cardinal scorecards, and cheered with the crowd. I truly believe that everyone who visits St. Louis should watch at least one game. But caution needs to be advised. Once watching a game at Busch Stadium, you will never be satisfied anywhere else.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 15, 2002
St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium
250 Stadium Plaza (Busch Stadium)
St. Louis, Missouri 63102
314 421 3060