Monday, July 7, 2014

St. Louis - Day 1

Today was the first day of of our trip, and it was a very long one too. My day started at two in the morning and is still going. Much of our day was spent traveling, whether by taxi, metro, plane, or shuttle. We still, though, managed to spend some time learning about and wandering around St. Louis, Missouri.

The Chicago Cohort at Baggage Claim
 Once we got to St. Louis, we took a shuttle to our hotel, which conveniently is right beside the campus of Washington University, which we will be touring tomorrow. Tonight, I am rooming with Oyin, although eventually I will be rooming with Dani and Victoria as well so everyone will get to know each other better. After we checked into our hotel, we quickly changed into cooler clothing and headed out to see St. Louis. 

One thing about being on the east coast in the summer is how different the weather is than in California. In the Bay Area, summers are pretty tame because of the lack of seasons, but on the east coast, summers are hot, humid, and unpredictable. Thunder storms can happen at any moment.

The Gateway Arch
 Once we were more appropriately dressed for the weather, we took the metro, which I saw as a simpler version of BART, to the downtown to see the Gateway Arch. I had never heard of the arch before coming to St. Louis, but seeing it was amazing. At 630 feet and the tallest man made structure in the world, I could barely look at the whole arch without being blinded by the sun. We learned that the arch was built to symbolize the westward expansion of the United States. One question our whole cohort still hopes to find out by the end of the trip is exactly how such a huge monument was constructed. Of course, we took many photos under the arch, and then we entered a museum which had exhibits about the westward expansion. The group split up and each of us brought back a fun fact or observation, which was helpful because the museum had so much information to take in, one person would not have been able to take it all in in such a short amount of time. This was also helpful because it showed us what caught our attention and what part of this history we were interested in. 

We had never really gotten a chance to rest, so we were all exhausted at this point, and about ready for dinner. We had a reservation at a Italian/Greek restaurant, which we soon found out was in a small Italian district. As we drove to the restaurant in the taxi, Italian flags could be seen hanging everywhere, and even the fire hydrants were painted red, white, and green. We arrived early for our reservation, but it worked out well, because we just sat in the patio of the restaurant and looked at the menu. As it turns out, Aly had seen this restaurant on a food network, and we decided to order one of the appetizers that was featured on the show. We eventually were moved inside to the actual restaurant, and just on time too, because we could start to hear thunder rumbling in the distance. The meal was delicious. We started out with the featured appetizer, toasted ravioli, and then I ordered and zucchini pasta with eggplant, goat cheese, and marinara sauce. We were all full before we knew it and decided to head back home. 
The Toasted Ravioli Appetizer

It was a very long day, but we managed to accomplish more than I thought we would be able to. I am looking forward to tomorrow, when my cohort and I will tour Washington's campus, as well as have a nice dinner with alumni and admissions officers.

1 comment:

  1. It's true that the arch is very impressive -- I (Leah) saw it once on my way from Philadelphia to Guadalajara via Greyhound some years back. I was also very sleep-deprived at the time -- I think that enhances the experience. Irene says she's glad you're having a good time, and that Missouri is not on the East Coast :-). Papa says you're in the birthplace of Mark Twain -- and many famous blues musicians. Have fun -- The Rojas-Carrolls