Monday, July 25, 2005

Boys Weekend: St. Louis

What a great weekend. On Friday afternoon Jason picked me up in Zeeland and we headed off to St. Louis to visit Darren for the weekend. We had some rather long delays in Chicago (stay away from 80!) but finally rolled into SL around midnight. Now road trips are definately not all about the destination, often the best part of it is the journey. It was great just driving and chatting with a good friend. We reminisced of good old times, discussed our present lives, talked of future endeavors, and solved most of the world's problems, all from the front seats of Jason's car.

After getting to SL we didn't waste any time hitting the town as we met Darren and a bunch of his intern buddies at one of their local hang out hotspots.

Saturday morning I insisted we continue my big city running tradition. It is my goal to do a 10 mile run through downtown of every major city I visit from now on. So far I've done Chicago and San Francisco. Unfortunately this weekend was horrendously hot in the midwest. I checked the weather online before we left and the temperature was 84 while the heat index was 91. An hour later we began our run (he lives a ways outside the city) and could immediately tell that this was going to be difficult. We were in the sun most of the time and there wasn't much of a breeze. It was rough but we did OK to Arch, which was the 5 mile mark. After about 2 miles back toward the car we all decided we couldn't go the rest of the way without walking. We managed a run/walk back to the car but it was brutal. By the time we made it back to Darren's apartment the temperature was 96 with a heat index of 104. Here is what we looked like before and after.

While the run wasn't easy, it was still worth it. We got a great workout and could see a lot more of the city than just driving through it.

To recover from the run we had some quality time with the xbox. It wouldn't be a boys weekend without video games!

Then in the evening we made our way to the Gateway Arch. It was very fascinating to see how the constructed it although we were all pretty disspointed with the exibits they had at the arch. Besides the movie we watched before going up, they basically didn't have any information on the arch, just exibits on the expansion of the 1800s out west. While that stuff was kind of cool, us engineers just wanted the technical information on the arch...none of this wishy-washy history stuff.

After quite a bit of waiting we finally went to the top. It is a very impressive 630 feet tall structure with some sweet views.

On Sunday we went to another famous St. Louis landmark: Budweiser. Their tour was really cool. They told us a lot about the history and gave us a good tour of the plant. As a chemical engineer this was right up my ally but I am also very surprised, too. We were allowed to go right into their production facilities and some of them were running at the time. With all the OSHA requirements it seems like we must have been breaking some rule.

After the tour we were allowed to have two complimentary beers. I tried the "Budweiser Extra" which has caffeine, gensing, and guarana as additives. It was gooood.

Unfortnately, all good weekends must end. Erin comes back from upstate NY tomorrow.


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