Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Long Weekend in St. Louis

For the past 4 years, since we've been together, I've taken Todd on some sort of adventure for his birthday. In 2008, we went ziplining in Hocking Hills and in 2009, we went to Geneva-on-the-Lake for a long weekend of wine tasting. Last year for Todd's 30th birthday, a group of our friends went on a weekend trip along the Bourbon Trail in Kentucky. In keeping with the theme of his previous birthdays, this year we took a trip to St. Louis to tour a brewery and sample beer at some microbreweries.

We both took Friday off of work and left early in the morning for the 6.5 hour drive from Columbus to St. Louis. We made a quick pit stop for lunch and arrived in St. Louis around 3:00 PM (with the 1 hour time change).

I was so excited every time we saw the arch

Before checking in at the B&B we were staying at, we drove over to the Ulysses S. Grant National Historical Site. Another thing I should note about Todd, besides enjoying alcohol-related trips, he also likes to go to National Historical Sites and National Parks to get stamps in his National Park Passport. We try to make stops at these sites whenever we can since there are hundreds across the country. The historical site, known as White Haven, commemorates Grant's life in the military and his presidency. White Haven was a plantation worked by slaves when Grant married his wife and this is where his wife grew up and they later lived together as a family.

White Haven

After a tour of White Haven, we went stopped by our B&B, Brewer's House Bed & Breakfast, to unload our bags and freshen up. The B&B was really neat because it was a Civil War vintage home. The innkeeper, Rick, also made a fabulous breakfast each morning!

Brewer's House B&B

Our room

Wood-paneled walls and it even had a fireplace

We went to dinner in Laclede's Landing at Morgan Street Brewery. The food was nothing special but Todd enjoyed his first taster flight of beers of the trip.

Morgan Street Brewery

Big smile on the hubby's face with those beer in front of him!

Todd & I

And we might have stopped at a casino where we lost $11

We ended Friday night at Ted Drewes for frozen custard

I had Reese's cups in mine but Todd had apple pie which was AMAZING

After a great breakfast cooked by Rick on Saturday morning, we were out the door to head to the Soulard Farmer's Market, which first started in 1779, and is one of the oldest & largest farmers markets west of the Mississippi.

We bought some pastries, including a Gooey Butter Cake, one of St. Louis's specialties

Tons of vendors selling fresh fruit & veggies as well as sweets and meat

Our next stop of the day was the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, which included both the Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse. I was excited to head up to the top of the arch and Todd was excited to get a few more stamps in his passport.

The Arch

The Old Courthouse

Standing underneath the Arch was a little intimidating

But we made it to the top, all 630 feet

View of where the Cardinals play

View of the Old Courthouse

Todd & I before we headed was really windy on Saturday so the Arch was shaking and I wasn't feeling very well because of it

Next stop was lunch at Schlafly Tap Room

Taster flight #1....

and #2

Our last stop on Saturday was Anheuser-Busch for a Beermaster Tour. There is a free tour but we decided to splurge and spend the $25/person to go on this more in-depth tour. We've been to a lot of breweries and been on a lot of tours and Todd said this was by far his favorite. It didn't hurt that we each got 4 beers to drink and since I don't really drink much beer, Todd actually got 8 beers.

Waiting around before our tour

We loved all the old buildings


The Mash seemed so fancy in here with the chandeliers

Todd & I with the mandatory hats & headphones we had to wear

Freshest beer we'll ever drink, straight from the tank!

Bottling & packaging lines

I was happy we got to see several of the Clydesdales

Stocked fridge at the end of the tour that was just for the Beermaster Tour guests

So you do the math....Todd + 8 beers + 2 hours = passed out by 6:00 PM

We actually ate a ton at lunch and were hoping to go to a late dinner in the Hill at a good Italian restaurant but after Todd got a couple hours of sleep, we still weren't really hungry and just hung out at the B&B the rest of the evening.

Sunday morning, after another fabulous breakfast, we packed up for the drive home. We stopped at Ram Restaurant & Brewery in Indianapolis for a late lunch/early dinner and arrived home around 7:00 PM after an awesome weekend!

One last taster flight at Ram Restaurant & Brewery to cap off the trip

No comments: