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Meet Me In St Louis

Go West, Back In Time Venture on the Shores of Mississippi.Intrinsically woven through time, the old and the new, St. Louis abounds with rich color, flavor and taste. Whether you are passing through on historical Highway 66, or visiting on business, St. Louis will whet your appetite for more. More rich, mouth-watering entrees.

From southern to soulful. Satiate your appetite with historical finds like Lewis & Clark. Top it off with dozens of cultural and sporting events.Grab your walking shoes, sunscreen, bottled water and camera. You can walk through the botanical gardens, ride on a horse drawn carriage or fly in a vintage aircraft.

The Gateway Arch is an inverted, three-sided catenary curve, gleaming, historical monument which commemorates Lewis & Clark's expeditions. A quick four minute tram ride to the top gives a spectacular view of the city and the mighty Mississippi River. America's freedom and explorations into Western Territory are methodically illustrated here. Underneath the Arch is the Museum of Westward Expansion featuring 100 years of human history with murals depicting scenes along Lewis & Clark's "journey of discovery." Dozens of national treasures including handwritten journals, maps, equipment and other artifacts are displayed here.

After the advent of the steamboat, St. Louis grew into a thriving river city. Then came the railroad and in the 1930's an ambitious local movement led to the purchase by the Federal Government of a large riverfront area and plans were begun for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.

Due to its industrial and engineering capacity, St, Louis emerged as a leader in aviation and automotive production after World War II and the Korean War. St. Louis began as a fur-trading outpost on the site of what is now called Laclede's Landing. Named after the French fur trapper Pierre Laclede who began the first settlement, The Landing, is an interesting assortment of shops, galleries, offices and restaurants.

At night it comes alive with music and entertainment; Blues, Jazz, Opera, Cabaret, Symphony and Rock 'n Roll can be heard on the streets.Music, dance and theatre are plentiful in and around the city. St. Louis launched many talented actors, musicians and writers.

Playwright Tennessee Williams lived in St. Lois, as did poets T.S.

Eliot and Maya Angelou. Actors; Betty Grable, Vincent Price and Buddy Ebson from the Golden Age, to current favorites, John Goodman and Kevin Kline have all called St. Louis home. From comedy and drama, to Shakespeare, a cultural experience is offered for any age.

( (One Lewis & Clark Trail Hartford, IL 62048, Phone: (618) 251-5811, URL: www.campriverdubois.

com) Museum of Westward Expansion, Under the Gateway Arch, St. Louis, MO 63102, Phone: (314) 655-1700, URL:

htm).Sports & Recreation.The International Bowling Museum stands proudly adjacent to Busch Stadium endowing the public with a century of history and colorful memorabilia. This is the only bowling museum in the world and offers more than 5,000 years of bowling history.

A team of archeologists from the University of Pisa, Italy, found the oldest bowling alley in a city called Medinet Madi. The Italian team has unearthed an open structure dating back to the Ptolemaic age. The floor is composed of a single large block of limestone with a groove 10 cm deep and 20 cm wide. In the middle there is a 12 cm-square hole. They also found two balls of polished limestone, one of which fits the groove and the other the square hole.

The structure is like no other found in the ancient world. Earlier versions of pins are on display at the museum.Until medieval period, sports were steeped in pagan rituals. Denounced by priests, a ban was placed on bowling in 1443 and 1447, and was permitted again in 1468.

Bowling was popular at festivals, dances, and baptisms with variations. One variation of bowling is Quilles De Neuf (ninepins). Bowling was first mentioned in Rip Van Winkle, by Washington Irving. Pinsetters in the 19th century earned .03 to .

05 cents per line. The sport prospered in the 1930's and '40's. The poor image was upgraded by the 3 A's; automation, architecture and air conditioning. In the 1950's, television turned regular people into heroes. The Women's Professional Hall of Fame is on the third level.

And on the lower level, a bowling lane is set up for visitors and enthusiasts to enjoy a few frames with their admission. (Across from Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO 63102, Phone: (314) 231-6340).Shared Heritage.

A candy apple red convertible given to Mark McGwire, has been donated to the city and is on the display in the St. Lois Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum. A plethora of leather worn gloves, home-run tattered bats and printed tickets adorn the glass cases. Young and mature athletes started their careers in St. Louis and leave behind a legacy. Heroes were made from honest, hardworking down-home lads who have a passion for baseball.

Sports are an obsession in St. Louis with active sports centers, loyal fans and professional athletes. St. Louis is home to: Cardinals (baseball), the hockey Blues, and the NFL Rams. St. Louis is one of the few cities to host the summer Olympics, 1906, in conjunction with the World's Fair.

The U.S. Senior Open draws crowds from every state in the union. A single admission price of $6.00 for adults and $4.

00 for children ages 5 to 12 covers the entry fee for both the baseball and bowling museums. A joint museum/stadium tour ticket costs only $9.50 for adults and $7.

50 for kids. The museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

, Monday through Saturday and noon until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Hours are extended to 6:30 p.m. before Cardinal home night games.

Plenty for Kids.Forest Park offers a Zoo, (, (, Art Museum, Science Center, History Center, skating and more, at little or no cost for the little ones.

Petting farms, botanical gardens and butterfly gardens ( also bring young ones up close, presenting educational opportunities as much as fun! Wild rides, cool waves and family fun at Six Flags St. Louis. The Spirit of Thrills! (www.sixflags.

com) Explore rivers, caves (caves will be in another article) and wine, Mount Pleasant Winery , 5634 High St. , Augusta, MO 63332, Phone: (636) 482-WINE Toll-Free: (800) 467-WINE, URL: as you tour charming villages from Louisiana Purchase territory, vintage Cathedrals and unique historic towns.

Visit Mark Twain's historic boyhood home, museum and a live imitation, in Hannibal. Cruise on nostalgic riverboats. Picturesque, sun-drenched rolling hills can be toured by bike, skates, car or canoe, Trailnet - Hiking and Biking Trails, Various Trail Locations, St.

Louis, MO 63125, Phone: (314) 416-9930, URL: Chain of Rocks Bridge, on of the world's longest pedestrian and biking bridges and a Route 66 landmark, offers breathtaking view, with occasional spottings of bald eagles.

Another roadside attraction is the Wax Museum, in LaClede's Landing. More than 150 life-size wax mannequins dressed in period costumes, depict their culture, our history. Beware of the shop of horrors in the basement. The noble Budweiser Clydesdales are the most recognizable symbols of Anheuser-Busch. Known for their size, strength and beauty, they can be seen at the flagship brewery of Anheuser-Busch.

Witness state of the art technology and historic architecture at the corporate office and brewery; open for tours daily, year round. Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tours and Gifts, I-55 & Arsenal St., St. Louis, MO 63118, Phone: (314) 577-2626, URL: www.budweisertours.

com.Shopping, golf, theatre, dance, music, museums, sports, day trips, fine dining and recreation are abundant and worthy for the whole family in St. Louis, Missouri.


Loretta Lynn is a freelance writer, editor and publisher residing in central Florida, yet keeps her sanity with frequent excursions.

By: Loretta Lynn


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