Well, we’ve really done it! On Saturday, we packed the car up (all the way up!) and followed the sunset west. What a perfect first stop in Louisville, KY to visit some dear friends and share some laughs over a couple of beers. Sunday night, we were in St. Louis, MO. What a cool city! It was Andy’s first time and (kind of) my second, given that I visited that beautiful arch when I was just a little seven year-old taking a cross-country road trip with my mom and sister.
The four hour drive wasn’t bad at all. We didn’t mind some light rain over a discussion of hypothetically-planned meals that we’d prepare if particular celebrities visited our home. Barack Obama would be served coq-au-vin with a whisky and orange cocktail; Katie Lee and the Sandwhich King from The Kitchen would get a pumpkin chili with a pear and arugula salad. We’ll see what other games arise during the hours upon hours of car time that are in our near-future.
After checking into a great Airbnb in an old building on the Central West End, we spent some time enjoying the cool, cloudy weather in the outside seating of a hip coffee shop that looked to be re-purposed from an old mechanics’ garage. The coffee shop, among multiple other cool-looking places like a bluesy wine bar and a community garden, was just a 5-minute walk from the Airbnb.
The Central West End was a great neighborhood with plenty to do and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Trees lined the streets and medians boasted plants and flowers that added a charming big-city feel. The area was reminiscent of Charleston’s East End, but with wider streets, more restaurants and businesses amidst the houses, and, of course, dominating many more blocks given the size of the city.
We had an absolutely amazing dinner at a Victorian-style Scottish pub called The Scottish Arms. Andy enjoyed the best British Chicken Korma he’d ever eaten and I went crazy over a heavenly Shepherd’s Pie. We decided to celebrate our first real night on the road and had some tasty, unique cocktails. After dinner, we went to The Gateway Arch to see the Gateway to the West! We took the tram up to the top and marveled at the scene. It was fun to see the city as we walked around before and after the Arch visit, gawking over cool architecture and reading about the city’s history. All-in-all, it was a great first official night of seeing the country!
Today, we’re off to Omaha, Nebraska, where we’ll camp out on the Missouri River’s Wilson Island. The island is asserted to be one of Louis and Clark’s stops during their expedition west in 1804. We’re excited to get into our tent and fire up our propane grill! Tonight’s menu: chicken tortilla soup and grilled cheese!
Tomorrow: The Badlands, South Dakota!!!
Our next blog post will feature an article I wrote for the Generation WV email series, UpThink! Look out for that post and please feel free to share far and wide. UpThink is an email series “designed by young people for young people around topics that matter to us.” I’m so excited to have gotten an article in the series, so be sure to check it out!
Now, onward and upward!