Friday, March 30, 2012

Retirement Ain't Easy!

Sounds odd, but it's true...retirement ain't easy!  Take this morning.  I had to decide whether to read a little, work on the yard, or go to the gym.  Of course, I chose sitting by the pond with the fire going in the firepit.  Sipped on my coffee and communed with the birds.  It's a tough life indeed!

Last week we visited St. Louis.  There are still things on our list of "STL to-dos" that we need to accomplish.  First off was Meramec Caverns.  It's about 75 minutes from our loft so we headed there early Saturday morning.  It was a beautiful day...and Mona drove while I took pictures of the scenery.

We got to the Caverns just in time to link up with a tour.  The first part of the cave is cool (about 68 degrees) and has where Jesse James and his gang hid out with loot they stole.  They were never found by law enforcement, but I can't figure out why...the hideout was well marked!

The latter part of the tour was where the cave really showed off its splendor.  Lots of formations and very neat lighting.  Really love how they've lit this cave to show it off.  The final part of the tour is a sit-down experience where they play Kate Smith singing "God Bless America" and they dazzle you with a light show on a curtain of stalagmites and stalagtites.  It definitely how the "wow factor"!

As we exited the cave we saw people ziplining across the Meramec River.  Tried to get Mona to do it with luck.  Anyone wanna try it with me?

When we got back to the city we went straight to the Old Cathedral...another stop on our list.  This was the first cathedral west of the Missippi and dates back to the late 1700s/early 1800s.  It's not a glamorous cathedral but it has a simple grace to it that makes it beautiful in its own way.

Ragtime on Player Piano
After the cathedral we head six blocks west of our loft to visit Scott Joplin's home.  How could we have lived here for seven years and not visited this place before!?!?   The home is on Delmar and is a modest two-story walkup.  Joplin only lived here a couple of years but he composed many of his most famous works here.  Of course, Joplin is well known for his Ragtime, especially "The Entertainer", but did you know he also wrote all kinds of music including an opera!?  With admission, you get a tour of the home and a great little introduction to ragtime music.  Definitely worth the $4 and an hour of your time.

Jumpin Jupitor!
Later Saturday evening, we hit another place on our list....more music, including some that might have been written by Scott Joplin.  This visit was to Jumpin Jupitor!...a burlesque nightclub in the Webster Grove area.  It's an intimate little dinner club with lots of tables for two, facing the stage.  The meal is awesome...who knew they had a highly rated chef formerly from Sleek!?!  The show is...well, its burlesque.  Lots of Art and fun!  This is definitely a do over!  They have a Moulin Rouge show coming up in April...can't wait!

We started our Sunday meeting up with friends Gina and Liz at Cielo...the restaurant on top of the Four Seasons.  It's time from brunch, bottomless Bloody Marys and catching up on all the news.  Great time with great friends!

Campbell House Living Room
Then off to another item on our list - The Campbell House Museum on Locust Street, about two blocks from the loft, yet another little treasure that we had neglected.  This house dates back to 1851 and was lived in by the Campbells until 1938.  The Campbells were wealthy from fur and textiles and they were very influential in their day.  U.S. Grant visited them, along with many other notable names from St. Louis.  This is another place worthy of a few dollars and an hour or so of your time.

Battle of the Bulge Memorial

Monday we hit one more item on our list:  Jefferson Barracks.  This former, and current, military base has been in use by the U.S. military since the early 1800s.  Several limestone buildings are still standing and are available to visit.  Adjacent to the park is the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetary with the graves of over 150, 000 veterans from every way since the Revolutionary War.  This is a very somber reminder of the price so many have paid for their country.

We love traveling all over the world to see sights and to learn new things.  But, we also love to really get to know where we live.  St. Louis has so much to offer and we have truly loved living there and we're definitely not done with the Lou yet!

NOTE:  Will post this edition of the blog on Facebook, but won't be doing that regularly.  If you want to read these blogs sign up for email notification or Google +.

1 comment:

  1. The zipline wasn't open when we visited last spring before we moved here. Jim is ready to go with you, Marvin! Also, have you visited Cahokia Mounds? That is a must see, although you'll have to go across the river for that. Oh, and don't forget the Robert Wadlow museum in Alton.