This was our third marriage conference in four years. We had to laugh, maybe God was trying to tell us something? The ride from Benton to St. Louis is pretty and relaxing - the green of the corn field would be interupted by the bronzed yellow of the wheat and then the green would resume. In stark contrast East St. Louis is one of the more impoverished places I've ever seen - almost ghostly.
We arrived at the Millenium hotel a day early. The hotel had several things going for it: close the arch, a great view, and a swimming pool. In the morning K went to see her good friend Lisa while I went for a jog to the other side of the Mississippi river and through the park at the base of the arch. Constructed in the 60s the arch brings to mind the ability of modern engineering and at times a cheesy sci fi movie (the skin of the arch is metal and it is a little random :)
After a little exploration which took me from the basilica on the river up through a string of parks and hotels and after the lady at the kiosk shut down my request for more informational fliers, K and rendezvoused and ate at a fun Italian restraunt cadi-corner from the court house and then hoofed it 10 blocks to Union Station in the heat . . . Our dogs were barking!
Union station was like being imported into rouring twenties. All of the opulence of the robber baron's and the grandure of the industrial revolution seemed to be encapsulated in this grand old building. When we arrived the porter informed us that on our return we could take the metro. Wish I would have known this before we walked the 10 blocks.
We wrapped up our time in St. Louis at the arch (I napped and K read). All in all St. Louis is a quiet, medium size city that looks back to a time of prominence in our nations history.