The Sweet Smell of St.Louis

Posted in Road Trip by Jacqueline Iannacone on June 6, 2010

How does a free jazz and blues concert in the Botanical Gardens where you can bring your own booze and dance the night away under the stars sound?  I’m thinking perfection.  And perfection it was.

The first night we arrived in St.Louis; Steve the person we were staying with, invited Clare and I to the Whitaker Music Festival right up the road from where he lived.  What we were in for was a lot more exciting and phenomenal then one could imagine.  Denise Thimes, “St. Louis’ celebrated jazz diva” as Rob Thurman from the Missouri Botanical Gardens described, was breath taking.  I didn’t know what was better, the little six year olds dancing on the stage to her sounds, the cross dressing flamenco dancer behind us or the fact that at one point everyone attending the concert got on there feet and began dancing and singing “… Aint gonna do for love, what I would not do…”.  For someone coming off an eight hour stretch of road, this night was beyond believe.  At one point, I stood up looked around took a deep breath and realized where I was, who I was with and how incredible this has been so far.  I came to the revelation that, this concert, these people and this night could not happen any where else but here… and I was so thankful that I had the opportunity to see such a fun loving group of people dancing, singing, drinking and laughing as if there wasn’t a care in the world.

The next day as we planned our next stop I had a feeling that nothing could top that night, and though I turned out being right, the City Museum did it’s best to prove me wrong.  Judging by the name… City Museum sounded like something I would steer clear of but I was soon corrected as Steve told me not to “…judge a book by its cover, this place is awesome.”  Turns out, Steve was wrong… this place wasn’t awesome, it was beyond and I have bruises to prove it.  It’s a place where you test your limitations, and test them I did as I scaled a cage that lined the curvature of the ceiling in the highest tower.  Needless to say, I made it to the top and I didn’t die or have a nervous breakdown, instead I had an amazing time and felt very proud once I realized what exactly I had done.

Next up was the St.Louis Gateway Arch which was a sight to see… a bit over rated but definitely something worth seeing once.  The grandeur of this structure is something to be recognized but I more so enjoyed laying on the grass talking about photography with Clare and Julia (Julia is a German photographer who was also surfing with Steve.)

Gateway Arch

Our final stop in St.Louis was Pappy’s Smokehouse.

Manager at Pappy's

Now remember… I’m a vegetarian… but for the night I crossed over to the dark side, broke down and ate some delicious southern barbeque the way locals would.  It was great and the people there were friendly as ever.  When I brought my camera in to document this southern hospitality the manager approached me wondering where I was from, how I enjoyed the food and the sights, then offered to photograph me and my friends.  He also told me about how Pappy’s Smokehouse had been featured on Food Network and TLC.  I was as impressed as I was full.

Julia, Clare and I at Pappy'sJulia, Clare and I at Pappy’s with our sweet tea and root beer.

St.Louis so far has been my favorite location… let’s see what Tulsa has to say about that.

For more on the meaning behind this journey click here.
Detroit . Chicago . St.Louis . Tulsa . New Mexico . Grand Canyon . Las Vegas . Los Angeles . San Francisco . Yosemite . Memphis

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3 Responses to 'The Sweet Smell of St.Louis'

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  1. mommy said,

    Jackie, we need to frame the arch for our hallway…having that out of the way, reading about your time in St. L takes me back to my youth. I am thrilled that you are experiencing the joy of this freedom and drenching of the senses with all this great stuff!

    Please don’t forget to call me when you can.

    I love you, have fun and hug the Brit for me.

  2. janice said,

    Sounds like “socials” w/ two finger up are going on every day. Looks like you both are meeting lots of fun people. I jealous you are heading to the desert. My favorite part of the country. Just imagine me and several other women in their 50’s taking cattle accross the desert for 3 days. (It helped have some adorable cowboys with us along for the ride) The desert looks better out of a car window, but try some hiking. I’m not able to get to LA until July, will miss seeing you there. We’ll do it another time. Have Fun and say hi to Clare.

  3. Dad said,

    Hey Kid, Sounds like St. Louis was great. The arch must have been awesome. Hope your stay in the desert is going well. This whole trip just seems so incredible… a great life experience. Actually i’m jealous, yet very happy for you. Say hello to Clare. Luv ya. Dad

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