Sunday, November 1, 2009

Biking in St. Louis

The hubby and I travelled to St. Louis this weekend for a friend's wedding.  The trip on Friday was under clouds and rain.  Despite the weather, after several hours sitting on planes, the hubby and I decided to take a walk in Forest Park before getting ready for a wedding rehearsal in the evening.  The fall colors were still beautiful.  We discovered a little nook called Turtle Park.

Pondering the life of a giant turtle.

It was a fierce battle, and in the end...

...the hubby conquered...

...but I was eaten.

We awoke Saturday morning to a lovely, sunny day in our Old English style hotel called the Cheshire Lodge.

The bear makes an effective security guard, don't you think?

One of the rooms contained a display of photographs from St. Louis history.  I was particularly excited about this one.

The caption reads: "1932 6-day bicycle race at the Coliseum"

After exploring the hotel, I left the hubby to prepare for his best man duties and met the bride and bridesmaids for breakfast.  While they were getting their hair and makeup done at the salon, I decided to take advantage of the beautiful day.  I found a bike shop next door to the salon that rented bikes for $5/hour.  I got myself a road bike and headed to Forest Park.

After about 20 glorious minutes of coasting down leaf-covered, curving trails, I realized that my rental car key had fallen out of my coat pocket.  Oh no!  I turned around and began back tracking to look for it.  After the first pass, I hadn't spotted it.  I was beginning to wonder how much Alamo would charge to bail me out.  But on the second pass, I saw that precious little white key tag at the side of the trail and did a little dance of relief.

The park was wonderful to ride through!  It seems like St. Louis has a pretty strong cycling community - at least in the area of the park.  There were lycra-clad roadies, families with kids, young people on mountain bikes...a great mix of folks getting outside and active.

The Jewel Box

At The Muny opera

I didn't have time to see the zoo, the museums, the Worlds Fair pavillion and the many other fun sites of Forest Park.  But the hour and a half on the bike made me feel so good!  Except next time, I'll rent a bike with a more jeans-friendly saddle. ;)

After that, I returned my rental bike to the shop and headed downtown to the Hilton on the Ballpark to help the wedding party get ready for photographs.  There were some great backdrops for pictures.

The Old Courthouse and the Arch

The hubby and I under the Arch, glowing in the sun

The wedding ceremony was very nice and the reception was fun as always.

Finally, this morning we left the Cheshire, filled up our rental car and headed for the airport.

This has to be the biggest AMOCO sign in the world.  At a BP station.

I thought that St. Louis was a cool city with what appears to be a growing cycling community.  I'll have to read more about it.  It was fun to visit, but now it's good to be home in Grand Rapids.


  1. I want to visit the Turtle Park! The photo of the turtle eating you is hilarious :) Looks like a beautiful city.

  2. Hi Missy! I love your travel logs! I always feel like I vacation with you and have a great adventure....exploring parts of the country I have never travelled to.

  3. that's a very interesting shot of you 2 under the arch! i like how it washed out into white.

  4. *whew* about that car key. I betcha that was heart stopping. Glad you found it!

  5. It's been nearly 20 years since I lived in St. Louis. Interestingly, my appreciation for the city has grown greatly since we've been gone, but a lot has changed in that time as well. It's a much nicer place now.

    Or maybe it's like grandkids are said to can like them better when they can go home with their parents. It's nice to enjoy the city when you know you can go home after the weekend!