Find the Frank!

So after a blissful night's sleep and a hearty buffet breakfast, we moved on from Cape Girardeau (also found out this is the hometown of Rush Linbaugh, ugh). Although overcast, we thought the storm of the previous night was behind us, or well, past us anyway. After an hour and a half drive, we pulled into the parking garage in St Louis.
Not really surprising, it was a pretty slow day at the arch. We were able to walk into the museum area and get right on a tram. Can we talk about that for a second. Let's just say, you better not be claustrophobic if you want to get to the top of the arch. Check out the pictures. We road together in a tram car (the size of a commercial dryer bin) with five seats. Where the other three people were supposed to sit is hard to figure out. Again, even if you aren't claustrophobic in general I would think that five people in a tumble dryer might put you over the edge.
The observation deck is really neat. On a clear day, they say you can see for 30 miles. We were not so lucky, but we still got to see about 3 miles or so. It's really an amazing structure.
Upon coming down, we hit the museum and the two shops; bought some souveniers; and headed back up above ground. The picture in today's blog is of me and the arch. Yes, if you look closely for a white speck in the lawn area, that's me. Onto the courthouse which was beautifully restored, it was full of information about St Louis' history, who knew?
By now, we were hungry. So we stopped in the Hyatt for some lunch and headed toward Springfield. Well, we started to, but much to our dismay, Heidi (MB Navigation) and TomTom actually had their first fight. Only the two of us would bother to run both systems at the same time and then get ticked off when they give conflicting information, so we don't know which way to go. I felt like Chevy Chase in the original Vacation movie. We finally figured it out and off we went.
Well, what should have been an hour and a half turned into much longer because once again Mother Nature felt compelled to dump freezing rain on us. Although Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel assured us the front had moved on, apparently it had not. FYI, I'm coming back as a weatherman in my next life. There's no other job where you can be so wrong, so often and still have a job.
Anyway, the car handles the bad weather really well. I don't regret not having all wheel drive. Our biggest problem was the freezing rain was so pervasive that we could never get the windshield clear above the halfway point. We went through three gallons of washer fluid in about 50 miles. Ugh.
The good news is we arrived safely at the hotel; had a chance to relax; and then went to see the Gustafsons. It was great to see them and see their house (kids and dogs too). Tom mixes a mean cocktail, so Terry was nice enough to drive us in the Gus Bus to pick up Aunt Evelyn for dinner. Saputos is a great italian restaurant right downtown. Dinner was wonderful and the conversation lively. After yummy desserts, we headed back to the house and hotel for a good night's sleep.
Today, we see the Land of Lincoln. More about that later........

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