Tuesday, August 21, 2018

It’s been a while since I’ve thrown my dart. My Miami trip was a trip I chose. My dart didn’t choose it for me. I chose it. And I’d choose it everyday after that too. (As you can tell, I still haven’t gotten over Miami.) Anyways… I haven’t thrown a dart in quite some time. Things come up. Work travels happen. And then before you know, it’s pretty much September! Where has this year gone? For real though? This is a serious question. How is it already September? Well it is. The only good thing about it being September is that we are closer to October baseball! And I’m looking at you Dodgers. Finish strong!

Welp… back to St. Louis. My dart actually hit Perryville, MO. But if you’re like me, you’re thinking, “where the heck is that?” Same. Same. So I Googled it and turns out it was about an hour or so from St. Louis. One of my rules I have set with my whole adventurous Follow Your Dart gig, is that I’ll go to the next largest city. Because let’s be honest, I don’t want to be going to somewhere that is population 500 and be the lead role in the next installment of the Hills Have Eyes franchise or something (if you catch my drift).

So St. Louis! Yay! I was actually a little hesitant at first, to be honest. But then as I started to plan my trip, I was getting more and more excited about going! Breweries, baseball, good food… uhhhh ya! So that’s what this trip consisted of. Alongside some personal epiphanies  and lots of thinking. This trip was just what I needed to get away and get back to why I wanted to start throwing a dart at a map in the first place. Pure adventure and to get out of my comfort zone. Which, I must say, I’m accepting more and more. I love living out of my comfort zone and not caring about the littlest things anymore. There’s so much more going on in the world to care about dumb things like the terrible traffic I’m about to sit in come 5:30pm. But hey- whatever, right?

I knew I was going to St. Louis for about a month. Threw my dart on 7/21/2018 (day before my birthday…now you know!). But because I have this thing with commitment, I actually didn’t book my hotel until 11 days out from check in date. My flight to St. Louis was booked 8 days out from departure. And returning flight was booked 5 days from  when I was leaving to go to St. Louis. Ya, basically, I booked it the Sunday before my flight there. Hey… what do you honestly expect at this point?

Flew the usual. Early Friday morning flight. Meaning I had to pack my own road sodas because my anxiety requires liquid courage. Layover in Denver. Landed in St. Louis at 1:45pm. Perfect. Got to the hotel to check in and was instantly off. My first stop was Fitz Root Beer. Cute little old-fashioned looking diner. But they're known for their Root Beer and Cream Soda Floats. So I’d recommend if you fancy those. It’s located in The Delmar Loop which is a cute little street of restaurants and shops. After walking around, headed back to the hotel to get ready for the baseball game.

I stayed literally right across from Busch Stadium, so that was quite convenient. The only thing separating the hotel and the stadium was Ballpark Village (where the old ballpark once was) and oh, what an inconvenience that was. Ha! Not. Ballpark was nice. Seats were nice. A little awkward moments at times. But I strive in awkward situations. And there was an awesome view of the city. But Ballpark Village is where the nightlife is after a game for sure. Giant sports bar scene with a live band. It’s funny that I can catch the Dodger game in St. Louis but not at home. Real cool Spectrum. Real cool.

Next morning was rough.., not going to lie. Who thought it was a good idea to go to the 360 rooftop bar of my hotel after the Ballpark Village? Cool view from the top. You have a bird's eye view of the ballpark (see what I did there...?) but it was just okay. If you're into the frat boy rooftop scene, then this would be ideal for you. Made some friends and was invited to join a birthday party for people from Milwaukee. Got the usual "what brings you to St. Louis?" You know the usual. But that was fun. LOL But like I said... next morning was rough. The drinking the night before isn't a problem, it's the whole staying out late and getting up early that's a terrible idea. I had tickets for the Gateway Arch at 8:10. Struggle was real. Although I managed to get there only 10 minutes late. The tram to the top was claustrophobic. I don’t like feeling constrained or trapped. And I felt trapped in there. You are literally in this tiny pod with four other people and it felt like there was zero air circulation. Once you get to the top it’s pretty cool. I spent all of 5 minutes at the top and took a little pod back down to the bottom. This time, there was only three of us in a pod (ha! Story of my third-wheeling life, right!LOL) They say you can stay at the top of the arch as long as you want, but for me, being the person who has an attention span of a five year old, I saw what I wanted to see in a matter of minutes. It was cool to look out through the tiny windows and see the land from above, though.

Next up was Anheuser-Busch Brewery. And besides the ballpark, this was my favorite! So. Very. COOL. I did the Brewmaster Tour, which was the longest tour. But you got to go pretty much everywhere on the campus. The best was the Clydesdale’s stables. They were such pretty horses and I basically want one now. Our tour guide also tapped a tank of fresh brewed beer (23 minutes old) and we got to pour our own and drink it. I was told I have a great pour... but what'd you expect? That was another highlight… drinking while on the tour. I mean, it was Budweiser. But I guess when in Rome, right?

Next stop was The Hill which is a neighborhood where a lot of Italian Immigrants came when they came to America. Ate a good sandwich spot, however it still had nothing on Claro’s or Capri Deli. But the people were nice. The lady taking my order was the cutest little Italian woman. I felt like she was family... like an aunt or something and was so sweet and nice. Oh, and I just liked the sign of Guido's because Guido's. (Becky emoji.) Then it was back to the hotel because game #2 and first pitch was at 6:15.

FYI, Cardinal’s Club is where it’s at. Seats behind home plate. Unlimited alcohol including liquor. I’ve sat Diamond club seats before at different ballparks. Most of them include unlimited alcohol but only beer and wine. Except Dodger Stadium. It’s not included. But Busch was liquor too. I stuck to beer though. Well, I did do a Miami Vice first. Then it was beer the rest of the night. It was a good game too... if you’re a Cardinal fan. After the game I ventured back to Ballpark Village for a little bit and thought I’d call it an early night at like 12:30.

Departure day! Brewery hopped a little then I got  a notification saying my flight was delayed two hours. Yay. So it being a day game and all… why not, right? Bought a last minute ticket really quick to catch the first few innings before I had to go to the airport. Even with the flight delay, I surprisingly did not miss my connecting in DFW. Granted, I was the last person to board. And they closed the door right after me. Luckily my connecting terminal was literally right next to my arriving. But hey- at least I made it!

All in all, St. Louis was pretty fun. Not somewhere I’d actively seek out and go but I’m glad my dart took me there. There were still a few things that I really wanted go to and try, but just didn’t have the time. Like Pappy's (specifically). And now reflecting, I also feel like I didn’t eat much this trip. Which has also become my norm. Liquid diet, ya’ll. Welp... until the next one! 

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