A Slice of Life
Day 7 (Friday)
Since most of the museums on today’s list were on the west side of St. Louis I started with the Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum located at the Creve Coeur Airport. I had been unable to find their hours of operation on their website; I called ahead this morning and was told that they were only open on Saturday and Sunday. They also informed me that any other day of the week the museum was only opened to the public with a 24-hour advance appointment, which left me out in the cold. I was a very disappointed as the museum consisted of three hangers which I’m sure houses many beautifully restored airplanes. Maybe next time.
Not too far down the road was the St. Louis Museum of Transportation located in the small community of Twin Oaks. This was a fairly large museum consisting of restored cars, trains, and aircraft. The most interesting item at the museum, as far as I was concerned, was their 1/3 scale train ride. The train was modeled after an early 1900s steam engine with open train cars for passengers that circled a portion of the museum grounds. Everything associated with the train ride was 1/3 scale, including crossing safety bars, flashing lights, railroad crossing signs, and the load & unload station. I took a ride and the little kid in me really enjoyed it.
Next I headed for the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum located in Cahokia, but Greta had a hard time finding it. I reset the location three times for her but she never could get me there. Finally I stopped at a motel and ask for directions, which they printed out for me from MapQuest. I tried to follow the written directions, read the street signs and drive at the same time, but that didn’t work. So I tried a final time to input the location to Greta, and what a surprise, she took me right to it. However, when I got there the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum I saw at that location was a joke! It was one rundown Hanger with a beat-up C-47 sitting out in front with no engines, and they were closed.
(This is the sign on the gate where Greta took me)
When I got home and looked up the museum’s website. I couldn’t understand what had happened. All the photos on their website showed something very different from what I had seen and photographed. There was some information about two museum site locations (hangers), so maybe Greta took me to the other location. Whatever, that doesn’t explain her taking me to the address I had for the museum. Mysteries seem to never cease with Greta. I may have to turn her in for the GPS system on my IPhone.
(This is not the museum location Greta took me to)
Finally I headed for the St. Louis Gateway Arch. I had left visiting the Arch until last because the Internet had said their hours were 8 AM – 10 PM. I have always wanted to ride the elevator up to the top of the Arch, but today it wasn’t going to happen. I had noticed as I came across the bridge, over the Mississippi River, that it looked like there was a lot of construction going on around the base of the Arch. When I pulled into the parking lot I was told that parking was $15, and that Arch tickets might be sold out for the day.
I was a little surprised at this statement, because it was only 4:30 in the afternoon. The parking attendant was very nice and informed me that today the Arch was closing at 6:00 PM and the last tram ride was at 5:45. I hadn’t known I needed to buy a ticket online before I left home, and would have to drive several blocks to the Courthouse to buy a ticket. Even if I was able to get a ticket, the chances would be slim that I could drive to the Courthouse, find a place to park, buy the ticket, and get back to the Arch parking area and walked to the tram location in time. As I was discussing all this with the parking lot attendant, I noticed a group of at least 75 – 100 school children, all dressed in the same uniform, heading for the Arch tram location. Even if both trams were working, I just knew my chances of getting a ride in one of the small 5-person trams would be likely impossible today. That’s when I called it a day and started looking for someplace to have dinner.
After all the frustration of this day, I treated myself to a wonderful dinner at the local Cracker Barrel. I had enjoyed their Grilled Catfish so much a couple nights before that I decided to try their grilled Lemon Pepper Trout tonight. It was wonderful, and the collard greens and carrots were great. Honey on one of their famous buttermilk biscuits was my dessert. Once my tummy was full, I was ready to head for the motel for some TV and a good night’s rest.
—–To Be Continued—–