Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Meet Me at the Fair
Now where were we in our adventure? It was Wednesday afternoon and we had just finished with the grottos. Driving back into St Louis (cause the grottos were in the middle of nowhere - Eureka! i found 'em) i stopped for a snack at Ted Drewes. Recommended by both JP before i left and the Southwest magazine on the plane this "classic Rt 66 attraction" serves frozen custard so thick it is called "concrete." I love the Interstate, but miss the adorable little places like this that you would have driven by on smaller highways. I had a yummy concrete with caramel, took a picture and was on my way. Not only is it one of my favorite Judy Garland vehicles, Meet Me in St. Louis shows us what Hollywood thought the 1904 World's fair would have been like. The World's Fair was built and housed at Forest Park just west of Downtown. The park is where i spent the rest of Wednesday because it was vast and amazing. This is where the Zoo, Science Center and Planetarium, Art Museum and History Museum are all located. I spent the afternoon at the St Louis Zoo and I saw probably about half of it because it was so huge. It was well laid out, had cool exhibits and was educationally cutting edge. This place had a two-level educational pavilion and exhibitry throughout the zoo that you didn't even realize was educational. Plus, there were incredibly fun details in everything. The carousel had all endangered animals on it instead of horses; part of the tickets sales to ride it went to conservation efforts. Even the pennysmash machines (which you know i love) had animals inside that "helped" you smash your penny: One of the big attractions of the St Louis Zoo is the elephant family. There have been two elephants born in the park in the last 8 months. Here in one nursing as Mom tries to find some privacy: Besides the cultural institutions, Forest Park has gardens, an ampitheater, golf courses, tennis courts, athletic fields of every type, rinks, playgrounds, picnic ground, educational trails, ponds and the Grand Basin, shown below with the Art Museum in the background, where people come to read, dine, nap, hang out, practice juggling and just enjoy life. It was beautiful and I stayed till sunset. The last part of the Park I visited before i ran out of sunlight was Turtle Playground. Yes it is a playground filled with turtles - great big turtles that you can climb and play in, on and around. No matter how cool it sounds, it was cooler than that. Pictures do NOT do it justice! If you are ever in St Luis you MUST devote at least an afternoon, if not a whole week to Forest Park!