#20Things · Gateway Arch National Park

October 30, 2020

 Prior to making this list, I was unaware that the National Mall counted as a national park and thought I had never been to a national park before, when in fact I had. That being said, my intention when writing this list was to visit a national park that involved more hiking and outdoor activities. However, with ~rony~, we decided to safely go away for the weekend to St. Louis. It was an overnight trip that would revolve around a trip to the Arch, which I have visited once or twice but have been too afraid to go up in (it's kinda tall.) But, I did it, and only a few tears were shed in absolutely fear of being trapped in a box making an unsettling clunk every so-many-feet.

The parking garage near our hotel had this rooftop. I wish there were better views, but it was still a nice start to the morning. :)

Gateway Arch National Park was about four blocks from our AirBNB, so we walked over that afternoon. We had tickets for a ferry boat ride around 5:00pm and the boat was right next to the Arch. We were able to spend some time on the grounds.

Below is the view from the Riverboat Ferry we took. They offer Ferry rides that depart from the Arch, down the Mississippi River, and back around. The ferry has a large paddle on the back, and history of the places passed is announced over the boat speakers.

A part of the trip we found on a whim, but took quick interest in, was a tour of Budweiser. I'm not a beer drinker, but the Clydesdales are inside. :)
Unfortunately, it was closed due to CoVid. We passed the brew house walking around the Cardinals stadium which, for my Chicago peeps, is comparable to Wrigleyville.

Day Two!

First thing in the morning we had tickets to go up in the Arch.
I've only been around the Arch once, in a trip down to Oklahoma when I was nine, and I was way too afraid to go up. It's so thin and does not look qualified to hold people at the top. 
Due to CoVid, they had limited time slots and the windows at the top corresponded to your car number so we were social distanced. 
Speaking of the car...

Maybe you can see the little tears in my eyes because I panicked a bit when we got in. The entrance is only about four feet big and the car makes an unnerving klunk the entire way up as the car readjusts. AND they tell you how long the ride up and down is. (Up is ~4min and down is ~3min.)

After the Arch, we spent a bit of time getting food and walking around. We only stayed overnight because there isn't much else to do in STL, thus concluding our trip.

On our way back up, we passed Bloomington-Normal. Ten years ago when I was a tiny little 17-year-old starting college, I started as a theater major at ISU. 

Below, I stayed in the dorm on the left. :)

Watterson Towers:

This was the building my acting classes were held in. Surprisingly, the doors were open, so we got to get in and look around a bit. It smells the same, dust and stale coffee. I despised the people in the acting program here, a lot. It turned into a large clique of acting majors who, even worse, hung out on our dorm floor. It was catty and competitive right out of the gate. I dropped my major second semester, left ISU after one year, and have been on the up-and-up ever since. :)

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