If you count driving through a state, then this is my second time visiting Missouri. However, I'd actually call it my first because this time I actually got to experience it.
For New Years, my boyfriend and I drove to St. Louis to visit his family and do a little sightseeing. We stayed for six days and made sure that we did everything we could.
On the first day, we drove from Norman to St. Louis to shorten the drive. When we got into town, we ordered Imo's pizza for dinner and hung out with his cousin, Alex, who let us stay with him for the week. The pizza was honestly pretty good, but the provel bites were even better. Since we got in so late that night though, we didn't plan any adventures until the second day.
The next morning, we got up and explored the science center. We made Mars rovers and played giant games, as well as learned about agriculture and took a ride in the coolest flight simulator. When we were done, we headed over to Hi-Pointe Drive-In. While it wasn't actually a drive-in, we had some pretty good burgers and sandwiches, along with the best s'mores milkshake I've ever tasted. After a much-needed nap, we drove back to the city for some pasta at The Old Spaghetti Factory. Some advice: make sure your navigator knows what they're doing, otherwise you'll end up in Illinois.
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Giant MarioLogan Morrow
S'more's ShakeLogan Morrow
For our third day, we got up early and went to the zoo. Unfortunately, it was too cold and most of the animals were elsewhere for the season. We did get to enjoy the company of a polar bear and some penguins though! The reptiles and insects were also very lively, considering their habitats are inside. The coolest part was when it started snowing. Being from Texas, I'm used to most places shutting down when it starts snowing. This is NOT the case for St. Louis. After we'd turned into human popsicles, we left the zoo and headed to Lion's Choice for roast beef sandwiches. I'm not the biggest roast beef fan, but their sandwiches were pretty good! Our day ended with some TV and relaxation back at the house.
St Louis ZooBryce Worley
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Bryce's family flew in the next morning, so we started our day by heading to the airport to pick them up. Once they got settled into their hotel, we grabbed Imo's for lunch and headed to The Gateway Arch. We killed some time at the museum under the arch, learning about the history of St. Louis. When it was time to go up in it, our tour guide explained how the pods that you ride in work. Fun fact: they're spheres because no other shape will travel up the arch and remain upright. Once we got to the top, we could see all of the city. And once again, it started snowing. That was honestly one of the coolest sites to see.
Arch snowLogan Morrow
Logan and Bryce in the podsKristi Worley
After we returned to the ground, we went and spent some time at Sports and Social by the hotel for a few drinks. We eventually returned to the house and spent the evening eating burgers with a few more of the cousins.
The next morning, we found ourselves back in the city, ready to tackle the City Museum. Bryce's mom described this place as a McDonald's playplace on steroids, and honestly, that's a great way to put it. This is an old 10-story shoe warehouse turned into a playground for all ages. We climbed through places I honestly didn't even think were part of the playground and we slid down some insane slides. The museum also had a pinball room filled with all kinds of old pinball machines you could play for free. It was a blast.
City Museum 1Kristi Worley
City Museum 2Logan Morrow
After that, we made our way to Union Station. We wandered our way through a mirror maze first and then had milkshakes at The Soda Fountain before exploring the St Louis Aquarium. I would honestly say the aquarium was my favorite. We saw all kinds of sea animals, talked to an animated otter and even got to pet sharks and stingrays.
Mirror MazeMaze Cashier
We wound up back at Alex's for one final night. Our crazy New Years Eve plans included ordering Pad Thai and watching Forged in Fire on Netflix. It was a great night, even if I'm a wimp and the food was too spicy for me. Not long after midnight, we said goodbye to Bryce's family and headed to bed. We thanked Alex and his girlfriend for letting us stay with them and we started the drive home the next morning.
Overall, it was a pretty cool experience. I loved getting to see one of Bryce's favorite places and broadening my horizons.