Yesterday was a bit hectic because I was trying to use my memory to navigate around St. Louis, MO to get to the Science Center. Some things sound so easy in theory, but turn out to be otherwise. (See https://sandrabranum.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/so-simple-not/ for reference.) Anyway I was navigating from the car’s back seat and couldn’t see the road signs. Now under normal circumstances this is difficult enough, but you add the St. Louis traffic — or imagine any really big city for that matter, i.e. Chicago, Atlanta, etc and you know my dilemma. So, once again what should have taken about 40 minutes at most turned into at least 1 hour; maybe more because I was too busy trying to get us to the Science Center to look at my watch. We made it, and then decided to forgo any more St. Louis traffic until the next day. Zoo here we come; or maybe I’ll just show my son and daughter-in-law the Metro Link stop at our fancy riverfront hotel and say: “Have at it!”
When we arrived at The Casino Queen in E. St. Louis, IL early Friday morning we had driven through cold pelting rain that we found about 5 miles into KY. We had avoided rain until then, but the weather had been damp and cold once we entered TN. The drive through Nashville, TN had been exciting (because Moi’ drove it, but also because we took a wrong turn and had to rewind through part of Nashville). The weather was so cold and damp, and surprising although we had been checking the reports for all the major stops along our route from Dothan, AL to St. Louis, MO.
I had told The Kids as I call them that the trip should take about 12 hours, but once we found the rain in KY that changed. We had left out of Ozark, AL (just north of Dothan) about 9 am and didn’t arrive at our hotel until after midnight Friday morning. There were times we wondered if we would make it at all. The rain pounded the car so hard about 20 miles from Mt. Vernon, IL that we pulled off I 57 and waited it out. When we left the gas station/mini mart we lost I 57 and my son traveled the back way into Mt. Vernon which turned out to be a blessing because we missed all the semi trucks that thought we were driving too slow on the interstate as they barreled by splashing water across the car’s windshield scaring the crap out of my daughter-in-law.
We accidentally wound up in downtown St. Louis when we missed the exit for The Casino Queen due to highway construction, and possibly because roads had been renamed
again since I was in the area last April. So we took a scenic tour of the St. Louis Downtown close to the flooded riverfront while I tried to get my bearings so I could direct us back across the river. Believe me if I had been able to see, I would have been driving and saved us all from some of the stress of navigating downtown St. Louis, but I think The Kids had enough of my driving in Nashville!
Anyway I digress. We drove around until we found the downtown entrance ramps to what the locals call The Poplar St Bridge (I think the maps reference it as the Bernard F. Dinkman — or something like that — Bridge). We crossed into E. St. Louis, IL and found the Barack Obama exit (which if I remember correctly was once called Third St) and wound around until we found The Casino Queen. Imagine our surprise to discover that Ead’s Bridge which is right next to our hotel had been open and we could have crossed it instead of winding around for a half hour
or longer trying to find Ye Old Poplar Street Bridge.
It has been quite a trip so far, and just think we’d have missed all this if I hadn’t wanted to drive up here to see my cousin whom I haven’t seen in at least 30 years. The Kids are thinking about moving up here. I told them not to worry about me if they do. I’ll come visit — if I’m brave enough. Onward…