A Texan in St. Louis

Exploring My New Home

The World Series 2013!

Well, this TexanInStLouis got to go to TWO World Series games in St. Louis.  I am SOMEBODY, now!

Seriously, though.  I went to the 3rd and 5th games at Busch Stadium.Image

If I may, let me set the scene for game 3.  Cardinals fans are over.the.top already and for the World Series, after a win in game 2 in Boston, the fans were CRAZY!   Everyone had Cardinals gear for sale at special displays in nearly every store in town.  There was a HUGE pep rally before the game.  THOUSANDS of people filed into downtown who didn’t have tickets to the game.  They just wanted to be in the area to watch the game on television.

There was even a wedding!  Huh?  Yes, a wedding.Image

My husband and I rode the train downtown and we were packed in that train like sardines.  Everyone was dressed in Cardinals gear.  I swear, they must sell more Cardinals gear here than any other item of clothing.  It’s crazy.  On game days, everyone in the city seems to be wearing something that says Cardinals.  Personal confession:  I went out and bought a new Cardinals shirt to wear to the game bringing my personal collection to a whopping 2 shirts.

Outside the game, there were a few people protesting oil pipelines and hydraulic fracking.  There were also some people passing out baseball style cards with human trafficking information printed on them.  Apparently, sporting events such as the World Series are big draws for human trafficking.  I also heard earlier this month that St. Louis is in the top ten cities in the US for human trafficking.  So there were people passing out these cards to raise awareness.   The cards had kind of an unusual sponsor, though.Image

Anyway.  Back to game 3.  We sat in DH’s company seats that are close to the field.  They are almost level with the field.  Great seats. Image

If you squint, you can see the Clydesdales trotting around the field.Image

Here’s the wagon as it passed our seats.

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We’re excited to be there!

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The game was exciting, culminating with the infamous ‘interference’ play happened at the end of the game and gave the Cardinals the win.  After ‘it’ happened, everyone just kind of stood there cheering but in a cautious way as if the safe call might be taken back.  NO ONE left until the play was replayed on the jumbotron.  Then, it was like “Oh…. THAT’S what happened!”  Happy times.

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I went to game 5, too.  This cute dog was there to root for the home team.  I am pretty sure his humans did not have tickets to the game.  Where would they leave the dog wagon?  And the dog?

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We sat in a Cardinals suite for this game.

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It’s always a different feel in a suite.  (I know this because I often sit in the suites…  NOT!)    You’re at the game but kind of removed from it because you are above everyone and separated from the groups of people on either side of you.  We were two suites down from the Boston Redsox office staff suite.  That was kind of annoying.

The game was fun, though – right up until the Cardinals lost.  The crowd wasn’t nearly as animated and excited for game 5.  Every now and again a guy would get everyone ‘riled’ up but it was short-lived.  It was almost like everyone knew the Cards were gonna lose.  I had fun anyway.  I was at a photo shoot (yes – a photo shoot) beforehand so I was dressed kind of fancy.  I don’t know why, but I always have more fun when I’m dressed up.  Perhaps that is the Texan in me.  Ha!Image

Pardon my weird editing.  There is another lady in the photo and I don’t have her permission to publish her image.  :-)

Well, until next time!

Flying Saucer Starbucks

Clearly, I’ve got nothin…  BUT, I thought I’d share this place.  It’s a flying saucer shaped Starbucks and Chipotle in Midtown St. Louis, MO.  The building was kind of dilapidated but preservationists were able to keep it from being leveled and voila!  It’s a Flying Saucer Starbucks!

Here’s the building in it’s original glory!

(Photo Credit:  Save St. Louis Del Taco)

I guess it was a Del Taco at one point:

(Photo Credit:  Vanishing STL)

Save the saucer!

(Photo credit:  Michael R. Allen)

Do it for the children for heaven’s sake!!

(Photo credit: Michael R. Allen)

And here it is today:

(Photo Credit:  UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

SLAM With my Mother

My mother is visiting us for a couple of weeks.  She lives in Houston (technically, she lives in Pearland but unless you’re from around Houston, you have no idea where Pearland is located).  Last year, three of my nieces came for a visit and we went to all of the fun places that kids might enjoy.  My mother and I will go to a couple of those places this week and next, like the Botanical Garden (we went there two days ago) and hopefully up into the arch if I can convince my mother that it won’t fall while she’s at the top.  But, since my mother’s not a ‘kid’, we gotta do some more ‘grownup’ stuff.

Today, we went to the St. Louis Art Museum in (you guessed it!) Forest Park(Yes…  I KNOW kids can enjoy the museum.)  It is a GRAND museum and is FREE on top of that.  My mother was almost in disbelief that we could visit the museum for free.  She commented on it several times.  It IS very nice perk.  Wait.  Is it a perk if everyone gets in for free?  I guess perk isn’t the right word. 

This is us as we were first getting to the museum.  OH, and we got a great (free) parking space right out front.  We were living right! 

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The museum has a new edition, so we started our tour in that section.  Here’s pic of the outside of the new section.

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The new addition is filled with modern art.  How shall I say this?  My mother didn’t really like any of it.  None. 

Some of her comments were: 

“My grandkids could have painted that!” (In response to a large, abstract painting using primary colors.)
“I should buy a camera and start taking some pictures.  Mine would be better than these.”
“Oh!  Look at that.  That’s just disgusting!” (In reference to a nude painting.)
“I guess they aren’t finished with this room.” (There were some large square installations that were clearly complete.)

So…  The guards were kind of amused by the comments, but just so the trip wasn’t a bust, we quickly headed on over to the less contemporary art on the ‘old’ side of the building.  She oohed and ahhhed at this stuff.  Whew…

We passed through the Asian art:

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We looked at the early American pieces that my mother really liked.  Most of it was furniture.  That section was filled with people, so I didn’t take any pictures. 

She sort of liked the African art.  We spent a bunch of time in that area because I like it.  :-)

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And then it was time to go!  I could tell my mother was ‘arted out’. 

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We had a nice visit. 

This is our view as we drove away.  This building is beautiful and I am amazed by it every time I drive by.  You really have to see it in person to appreciate it.

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Thanks SLAM!  We drove around the park a little bit and I saw a building that I never noticed before.  I THINK it’s called the Flora Conservatory.  It’s a pretty building.  I should find out more about it.

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I wanted to take more pictures of the building, but I got this:

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Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time!

Soulard Farmer’s Market

I went to the Farmer’s Market this weekend.  I’ve driven past it before but this was my first time to walk through it.  Image

 

The market is just south of downtown St. Louis in an area called Soulard.  It’s pretty close – check out this view of the arch! 

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It’s a pretty typical farmer’s market with lots of booths offering a variety of things.  Most booths had typical farmer’s market offerings. 

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Those are pork rinds.  It’s kinda farm stuff, right?

There were rabbits for sale.  All of the little kids passing by these were very interested.  The parents – not so much!

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Some of the booths were selling things that didn’t come from a farm…

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This shirt has the all important St. Louis question:

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ps…  No one has asked me this.  I HAVE been asked where my daughter goes to high school, but that is a subject for another blog. 

I don’t know WHAT this stuff is.  It could be from a farm but I have no idea.

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There were lots and lots of people at the market.  Some had bags and bags of stuff, some, like us didn’t have any.  Some looked like they were there for the drinks.  There were stalls that were basically just bars.  There were also some permanent looking stores selling clothes, jewelry, etc.

But, lots of people…

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Unfortunately, we did not find the bee pollen that we were looking for.  Oh, well.

These pics are of the surrounding neighborhoods.  I am fascinated with the architecture of the homes.  Some of these houses have really ornate moldings, really brightly colored doors and doorways and for some reason, we saw lots of lions…

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We even spotted Elvis!

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Old timey grocery store and other interesting looking shops:

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I also like this house style – there are a lot of these in this area:

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Well, that’s about it.  Soulard is a really interesting area.  It is known for it’s huge Mardi Gras celebration as well as several good restaurants and bars.  They’ve also got a new cupcake bakery but I didn’t really like any of the cupcakes we got so I won’t mention the name.

Thanks for stopping by! 

 

Until next time :-)

Forest Park – Always Something New to See

While my husband and I were driving around today he stopped in Forest Park to show me a new spot that he found while he was running one day.

It’s tucked behind some tall plants and trees.

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When you walk down the pathway behind the trees, there’s all of this beautiful stuff that you wouldn’t even imagine would be back there!

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Well, that's it for today. I just wanted to share my find of the day. I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Here's my last one (almost). I am fascinated by these things. I don't know why. They just look interesting to me.

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Until next time!

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Happy Fourth of July!

I live in a small neighborhood in the City of Clayton, Missouri called Hillcrest.  Most of the houses here are around 100 years old.  Many of my neighbors had relatives living on these two streets or knew someone growing up who lived here.  It’s steeped in a lot of tradition – some of which I am sure I know nothing about.

One tradition is the Fourth of July parade and neighborhood party.  It was one of the first things that we heard about when we bought this house last year.  2012 was our first year to experience what a neighbor today called a ‘special’ parade.

Last year, the weather was HOT and HUMID, but this year, there was a cool breeze and it was 20 degrees cooler thank 2012.  We sat out on the front porch and waited for the parade to pass.

It came in a couple of spurts.  The first car was way ahead of the majority of the parade ‘floats’.

Take a look: 

Okay, so it’s not a huge parade.

Alright, it’s not even a small parade.  It’s teeny BUT the kids seem to get real excited about riding their bikes around the block and ending at the party.

Here’s a few pics of the party.

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We just walked through.  It’s more interesting for parents with small children or tweens interested in the dunking booth.

Happy Fourth of July, people!

Rock Chalk Jayhawk and a Drag Queen or Two

This Texan in St. Louis left St. Louis this weekend and headed for the border into Kansas.  It was a decent drive.  There was lots of snow on the ground but thankfully, the roads were pretty clear.  We drove through a few areas of snow and there was a lot of snow on the roads but there wasn’t any accumulation on the highway.  Image

And just in case we were driving too fast…

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We made it to Kansas City!

These are some random shots as we drove through town headed toward Lawrence.

This stadium is where the KC Chiefs play football.

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downtown KC:

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Lawrence, Kansas is about 45 minutes from downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

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You can see KU at the top of the hill.

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This is the main street through Lawrence where all of the bars, shops, restaurants, etc. are located.

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We had some new and interesting experiences this weekend!  The first was attending a NCAA basketball game in Allen Fieldhouse.  I really had no idea it was even a big deal.  —shrugging—  Who knew?  So anyway, here’s my daughter and me at the game.  Notice the wall behind us.  That is the top of the arena.

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Allen fieldhouse is named after Forrest “Phog” Allen who coached the Jayhawks basketball team for 39 years.  The court is named after Dr. James Naismith. He invented the game of basketball while he was teaching P. E. at the University of Kansas.  Lots of history in the place.  There is a sports museum next to the fieldhouse that has a lot of interesting displays about athletes from KU.  They’ve also got all of their earned trophies and stuff in the museum, too.  It’s a nice place and a neat experience.

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The basketball game was crazy!  KU played West Virginia University and it was not exactly a competive match-up.  WVU got killed.  It was, however, a very exciting game.  The KU fan base is really into their team and the team is very talented. There were lots of 3 point shots, alley oops (or is it ali oops?) and just all around great basketball.  Did I mention that the fans are really, really into their team?  They yelled, cheered, chanted and occasionally boo’d.  The student section was probably the most active.  At the beginning of the game, when the WVU team was being introduced, they had a newspaper sized picture that said “Mountain Ears” – making fun of the WVU mascot the Mountaineers.  They also had confetti that they threw in the air when the home team was being introduced.  Everyone had a good time except maybe the WVU players and their few fans in attendance.  We had seats in the third section in the upper part of the arena but we still had a pretty decent view of the court.  KU is very proud of their basketball team…

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Here’s a video clip of the end of the game.  I was hoping to hear the “rock chalk jayhawk’ chant, but it never really got going.   It was kind of disappointing to not hear it.

Our semi-nosebleed seats were $100 each.  Perhaps that’s the going rate for college basketball games, but it seems kind of expensive to me.  Thankfully, our seats were sponsored by my husband’s job.  Yay!  It could have been a really expensive family outing.

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After the game, we headed back into Missouri to spend the night in the Country Club Plaza area of Kansas City.  It is a really cute area with lots of great shops and restaurants.  There is a nice park and lots of swanky condos, apartments and lovely homes.  We had dinner at Trio and I believe I found a new favorite side dish:  collard greens.  No, before you go thinking there’s nothing new about collard greens, let me assure you that these were different.  I’ve been cooking collard greens for my husband for years… years…  I cook them, but I do not eat them.  They taste like wet leaves.  Oh, wait.  They ARE wet leaves.  But back to these greens at Trio.  They were bathed in some kind of broth with bacon and roasted red peppers.  They. were. delicious.  I also had snapper but I enjoyed the greens the most.  Here’s their website in case you are ever in KC and want to try it out:  http://cafetriokc.com/wp2/?page_id=182

We are old, so after dinner, we went to the hotel and went to sleep.  It had been along day.  We started the day at 5am and it was 10pm by the time we got back to the hotel after dinner, so yeah…  We went to bed.

On Sunday morning, we got up and out and stood in line at Hamburger Mary’s waiting to be seated for the Drag Queen show.

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My husband and I have been to a DQ show before so this new experience was for our daughter.  We didn’t tell her about the show and it was kind of funny to see her see the DQ’s and try not to react to them.  This activity probably won us the “Bad Parent Award” for the day.  Our 16 year old was with us and after about 10 minutes, it was kind of awkward.  The host told lots of risque jokes that she assured parents would go over the head of the kids.  I suppose that would have been true for those parents of 10 year olds and younger, but our daughter ‘got’ every one of them.  It was fun and awkward all at the same time!  The ‘queens’ sang and danced for dollar tips.

Sorry for the fuzzy pictures!  They were moving and it was hard to take a good photo with my phone.

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We ate our food, which was okay.  We had our fried Twinkies and Fried Snickers.  The fried Twinkies were the better of the two, by the way.

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We ran through our little stack of 1 dollar bills right at about the time that we needed to go so we ducked out for a very quick shopping trip and started our trip back to ‘The Lou’.

So – I never mentioned what “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” means.  That’s because I don’t know. 

Here’s a site where you can read about the chant and also hear it as well as the school song:  http://www.ku.edu/about/traditions/chant.php

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Yoo Hoo… Is anybody here?

I’m still here – reluctantly though.  It is cold.  But that’s no excuse for abandoning my blog.

I need to do better.  Be on the lookout for a super exciting post next week.

Alright – so maybe ‘super exciting’ is an exaggeration but hopefully, it will at least be interesting.

Until then…

A Priest, A Rabbi and a Pastor walked into…

Happy Halloween people!  I’ve experienced another first in “The Lou”.

 

Neighbors had me all pumped up and excited about the HOARDS of kids that would be visiting on Halloween night.  I was sure I’d run out of candy and disappoint all of the late-comer princesses, mummies and Elmos.  I’d have to turn out the porch light and hide inside and hope no one took out their candy anger on us with toilet paper or eggs or shaving creme.

I bought some candy and other treats and at dusk, I headed out to the front porch to greet all of the trick-or treaters.  It was about 50 degrees (F), no wind and no rain.  (I thought early on that it was kind of okayish but as the night went on, I got cold.  My feet were frozen by 7:30.)

 

The first couple of groups of kids that came to the house were all fresh and new – hadn’t been walking long and were still looking giddy about getting the candy.  I wasn’t sure what was going on, though.  One group of kids – like 6 or 7 of them, all told me a joke.  They were cute elementary school aged jokes.  Some of the kids had great delivery, though, and they made me laugh.  A couple of them were so deadpan looking as they told their joke that it made me laugh.

 

Another group of boys came and acted out a skit.  It was a Batman against two bad guys scene.  At first, I thought they were actually fighting and I got a little nervous and was all like “Okay…  That’s enough boys…”  Duh!  Then I realized when one kid fell in the grass and pretended to be dead that it was a skit.  Ha ha!

 

I was a little confused about the jokes and the skit until the neighbor across the street came over and explained that it’s a St. Louis tradition to tell joke for the candy.  Ah!  Got it!

 

So, for the next hour and a half, I heard a plethora of knock knock jokes, jokes about mummy breakfasts, chickens and skeletons crossing the road, graveyards and Cardinals.  There was a group of 4 girls who sang Lady Gaga songs, a little girl who recited a poem and a boy who made up a song about Halloween candy.  It made sitting out in the cold giving away candy to kids kind of fun.  (Confession:  I don’t really get into Halloween.  I only gave away candy because my own 15 year old child was out trick or treating.)

 

There were a lot of kids.  I almost ran out of candy.  It was an interesting night.

 

Happy Halloween!

Mizzou/SEC Football – Go Tigers!

Let me start by making a confession:  I am not really what you’d call a college football fan.  I like going to games and the whole tailgating, hanging out experience.  I even yell and root for the home team and all, but I couldn’t name more than a couple of players on any given team, I have no idea what their stats are, I don’t know their hometowns and I still kind of struggle with the positions and their functions.

With all that said, I DO enjoy going to football games.

So, my new experience this weekend was going to a University of Missouri home game in Columbia, Missouri.  Confession #2:  I wasn’t all that jazzed about being around ‘Mizzou’ fans.  I don’t know why.  I just imagined a bunch of annoying people screaming and walking around looking like bumble bees all over the place.

I don’t own a yellow shirt and forgot that I could have worn black so I wore a blue shirt and khaki shorts.  Oh, well.

The drive from st. Louis to Columbia took about 2 hours.  It was uneventful.  Not too much traffic so we went straight there and parked.  We were in Lot O.  That won’t mean anything to you unless you’re a UM fan who frequents games, but to me, it meant we were relatively close to the stadium.  That is always a good thing!

Alright, so we’re here.  Nobody looks crazy – just a lot of devoted fans with their tents, campers, TVs, stereos and grills set up to have some fun.  We milled around a bit before we met up with the people that my husband works with and their customers.  I think there was an extra ticket – which is how I got to go to the game. :-)
Off we go to the stadium!

We had seats in the ‘TOSTITOS Touchdown Terrace” which included food and drinks before and during the game.  It was set up so that you could see while you were there eating.  As you can see from the ticket, you pay a little bit of a premium for these seats, but it was a really nice setup.
We walked around the stadium before the game – just to look around.  The band came out onto the field and performed – not sure what for.  All I could think about was how small the band looked because in the back of my head, I kept thinking of the Allen High School Escadrille (We moved to this area from Allen, Texas).  The first picture is Allen HS.  The second two are Mizzou.

Anyway.  They looked nice – kind of quiet, but nice.
Now for some football!  We had really great seats on the third row at the end of the in zone (or whatever the place where you score a touchdown is called… don’t judge me!)

Here’s a little bit of the view of the full stadium from our seats:

Fans were regular old college football fans.  They cheered on their team but were not obnoxious or annoying as I had imagined they would be.

The announcer even led one cheer after each 1st down.  He would spell out  “M  I  Z” and then everyone in the stadium yelled back “Z  O  U”.

There were some acknowledgements after each quarter – after the first quarter, they presented something to the family of the first African American to receive a football scholarship.  At the beginning of half time, they presented a check to the Susan G. Komen foundation.  When they did this, the section of fans who were all wearing pink shirts, turned over signs to reveal a pink ribbon.  It was nice.

The band played in the stands just like any other game:

The dance team named the Golden Girls danced.  (The name made me think of Bea Arthur and Betty White, though.)

The mascot  – Truman – revved up the crowd:

And the governor – Gov. Nixon – even showed up!  My husband helped me flag him down from the rail to let us take his picture.  He was very nice about it.  Sorry, if he’s ‘someone’, but I have no idea who ‘the other guy’ is!

We had fun.  I even cheered and yelled for the home team.  I also got a pic of UM’s first touchdown!

I had a good time.  It sure didn’t hurt that the seats were so close, there was free food/drinks, the parking lot was close and everyone in the group was really nice.

My daughter went to her first high school homecoming dance that same night.  We had to leave Columbia shortly after half time to pick her up.  Mizzou DID hang on to win the game 24-20, though.

Fun times all around!

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