Thursday, May 29, 2008

St. Louis Sight: Honorable Mentions

For the most of my 3 full days in St. Louis, it rained off and on. When it wasn’t raining, the sky was overcast. The weather, however, did not dampen my spirits, especially when I was in good company. My friend Seana took extremely good care of me and I can’t thank her enough.

This is Lily, Seana’s 6-month old Boston terrier. Lily is very charming and cute…when she’s calm and asleep on your lap. She also fetches and chases (2 things that Pargo doesn’t do). Seana may come to visit later this summer and I am looking forward in having the kids meet.

The Gateway Arch rises 630 feet above the Mississippi River and is the symbol of St. Louis, much like the Golden Gate Bridge is of San Francisco. The Arch is located on a big grassy area and we took a few pictures here. We also went beneath the Arch to visit the Museum of Westward Expansion. We did not venture to the top though.

Bit and pieces of the arch because my camera couldn't capture it all.

I don't drink beers, but we went on the Anheuser-Busch brewery tour regardless. I can now add beer-making to my knowledge bank.

The tour was roughly an hour long and ended with free beer. Since I don’t drink, I used Seana’s as a prop for pictures. This tour is definitely worthwhile, especially since it is FREE. Speaking of free, except for the Missouri Botanical Garden, all the attractions we went to did not have an admission charge. St. Louis is great for families; all the museums are hands-on and interactive.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is too beautiful for words. It is among the top three public gardens in the world, full of elegant garden designs and amazing sculptures. If I lived in St. Louis, I would get a membership and go there every chance I get.

The focal point of the Missouri Botanical Garden is the Climatron, which houses the tropical rain forest.

The irises are knee-high.

Being artistic with the beautiful landscaping.

One of the highlights of the garden is the Japanese garden, which is the largest traditional Japanese garden in North America. It is much larger than the Japanese Tea Garden I went to in San Francisco. On a perfectly sunny day, I think I can walk around the pond for hours, but unluckily, just as we were walking this part of the garden, the rain came.

The rain stopped by the time we arrived at the Chinese Garden, which is also my favorite! I especially like the gazebo.

This picture is totally posed- I asked Seana to sit in and look far away. She was great!

Details of the Chinese garden included several ponds, a bridge, and other Chinese-y landscaping.

The Forest Park is a gigantic playground full of scenic boat lakes, fountains, and bike paths. Not to mention an outdoor theatre, picnic areas, and athletic fields. On TOP of that, it is home to these world-renowned, free cultural attractions: St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri History Museum, and St. Louis Science Center.

Here is the Emerson Grand Basin, which, in my opinion, is the prettiest location in the park. The building in the background is the St. Louis Art Museum.

The St. Louis Zoo is top-notch. It is hands down the best zoo I’ve ever visited. Come to think of it, I think the only other zoo I’ve visited is the one in DC… But regardless, the St. Louis zoo rocks! It is beautifully landscaped and well-labeled (I knew what animals I was looking at). I had as much fun walking around as taking pictures of the animals. There are lots of activities, such as hand-feeding parrots, riding the tram, and catching a 3-D movie.

Ready for some animal pictures galore?

Did you name them all?

The St. Louis Art Museum is not terribly big, with only a few collections, which suited me just fine since I am not an art museum person. The only piece I remember now is the Monet’s Water Lilies – which conveniently I also took a picture. Honestly though, my parents had this painting displayed at home years ago and I always liked it. As much as I like bold colors, I like soft pastel colors just the same!

The Missouri History Museum overflows with fascinating objects from three centuries of St. Louis lifestyles. Truly kids-friendly! Seana and I started the routine of taking our pictures whenever we walked pass by a mirror. Check out our collection.

Hmm...so what did I learn from the history museum? That at one point St. Louis was the 3rd largest city. Yup.

The St. Louis Science Center offers a universe of hands-on discovery. A real kids’ paradise! There were kids running and screaming everywhere. It was worse than Disney. The place was filled with science-based fun. Unfortunately, the sight of all those kids wore us out and we left for home to hang out with Lily pretty quickly.

The next 2 pictures are grainy because the ISO setting was set on too high.

My friend Yi-Ju was just asking me how tall I am in centimeters yesterday. I told her 166cm. Ha! I guess I didn't pay much attention at the museum . =P

The best part of St. Louis isn’t the fantastic places I visited, it is that in the midst of visiting these fantastic places, Seana and I squeezed in good conversations, shared laughs, “trained” Lily, and named her beloved GPS (which I must have one now) Lucy. :)

My most fond memory of the trip is simply the time spent with Seana and Lily. Funny story: So Lily was being rowdier than usual and Seana decided to teach her “no” by spraying her with lemon water using a spray bottle. It turned out that the little bugger actually likes to be sprayed and we ended up giving her a squirt of lemon water for good behaviors. Seana and Lily – looking forward to your visit and I will have the lemon water ready!

Related Post: St. Louis Food: Honorable Mentions

1 comment:

  1. blah blah blah, making more memories without me. I see how it is. If I wasn't half dead, I would've gone to visit my friends too. Yeah, I have friends all over the place who would want to have me over. I just prefer to be a loner. Alone with my fish and doggy. Alone with my PS3. Alone with my pills and kleenex. ...sniffles...

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