We spent the night in St. Louis and awoke ready to take on the day!
Our hotel didn't offer breakfast so I brought oatmeal cups (full of flax seeds!) to eat. The kids scarfed them down along with yogurt, apples, and orange juice. I was so thankful for kiddos who do not complain about me packing food and not eating out. I am one blessed Momma, indeed!
After breakfast we drove to the arch and spent some time driving around. I always wonder if everyone does this or not but we always have to go and look at the edifices and the pediments and the whos and doodles. I guess this is the weirdness of being married to an architect. But I love history and he loves buildings and like I always say, it's a marriage made in heaven!
We parked and made our way to the historic courthouse where the Dred Scott decision was made. We had just studied this case a couple of weeks before so to stand in the courthouse where the decision was made that Dred and his wife would continue to be slaves was quite sombering. I didn't know I could feel any sadder until we went out the other door of the courthouse and stood on the steps where the two were sold in a slave auction to two different owners.
We walked to the arch which, just so you know, was frigid! Brrr. A seven minute walk feels neverending in the icy wind. I could not wrap my hear around how this was going to go but you purchase a ticket with a time that you can go up into the arch. Then you wait around until they take the tickets for your time. Then you go down into the ground and wait and wait. After that you are shown a movie with the crowd of people you are going up into the arch with. After the movie they assign you a pod or "tram" as they call them. There are five seats in each one so they put people together according to how many you have in your group. We had four and no one was riding solo so we had our tram all to ourselves. After that you wait for your tram to come back down from bringing people down, you get in and go up.
We were surprised at how small the windows are at the top of the arch. But the views to the east and west were spectacular. It was a really good place for conversations as we had learned this year about the Louisiana Purchase and how much land that brought into America.
After the arch we hit the road and headed towards President Ulysses S. Grant's home. It was a beautiful home and was really interesting. They had a museum about him too in a barn her had created to raise race horses. It was fascinating to learn how, during the war, so many people disliked him due to so many reasons: they thought he was a drunk, they called him the Butcher because he killed so many people, and they had derogatory names for him because he didn't like to speak to the press or be in the public eye. But in the end he ended up becoming President.
After the Grant home we went to lunch at Five Guys. Calvin had been begging to go to one so we fulfilled his wish and took him to one last stop for his "birthday". It was really good food and with happy bellies we started back on the road.
We started driving from the St. Louis area and in about seven hours we arrived in Oklahoma City. The only part of the journey I was sad about was that it was so dark by the time we reached Oklahoma. But the stars were out in the masses so we were able to look at those through the sunroofs. So fun!
When we got to Oklahoma City we were so tired! We ate some dinner of leftovers and went to bed!