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Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
You can't really live in St. Louis and not be able to talk Ozzie Smith. With that in mind, Tony and I decided to try out his restaurant downtown and watch the Saints Monday night football game.
I loved the cascading baseball backdrop.
Hanging lights leading to the second floor.
A little dramatic, right? The 13 Gold Gloves surround the tv on the second floor. This area is often rented out for private parties. The stadium seats in front of the tv are from the now gone Busch stadium.
What a sight.
The frames of Ozzie doing his famous back flip stretch across one wall of the restaurant. I love how the old school Astros logo is clearly visible in each frame! The booths along it each have their own tv. We sat on the other side of the restaurant right in front of the two big screens.
In total, the restaurant has 42 flat screens and 6 big screens. Definitely a great place to watch games!
Soulard Farmers Market
We finally made our first trip to the Soulard Farmers Market. It is the oldest famers market west of the Mississippi. The first structure was built in 1843 by a private corporation set up by famers and vendors. They sold shares into the company to help with construction costs.
I visited the website for the Famers Market to learn more about its history. One interesting fact that I found was that during the Civil War, it was used to house pro-Union soldiers that helped to enforce martial law here in St. Louis.
Tony and I sat out on the little deck and enjoyed the guitar playing singer while eating our breakfast.
We both started laughing when we saw this sign! And then immediately bought an order of beignets.
I'll give them credit, the beignets were actually pretty good. Not exactly Cafe du Monde, but not bad. Although, I will say that I've never seen them served with strawberries before! Our biggest complaint was that they had been overcooked.
In addition to the produce stands, there were a couple of really nice flower stands as well. We got a great deal on mums for our back patio. We didn't get a picture of perhaps the neatest thing that we saw at the market. It was a little machine that made tiny donuts. We sat there and watched it drop and fry the little tiny donuts for several minutes! Once they were taken out, they would either glazed them or coat them in some type of icing.
I have no idea what type of flowers these are, but they were gorgeous. The petals looked like velvet.
One of the many produce vendors in the market. Our plan is to start shopping here for fruits and vegetables. Everything was very fresh and they had great prices.
Some things were a little too fresh... This was sitting on the counter next to a refrigerated case filled with turkey and chicken. The kid in the picture is leaning against a stacked cages that contained roughly twenty chickens. Yeah, I can't see myself ever buying meat from them!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
The Real Pirates
The St. Louis Science Center has been ranked as one of the Top 5 science centers in the country. It's an absolutely beautiful facility. Unfortunately, we don't have any photos of the building to show you since they have somehow disappeared. We're not entirely sure what happened.
Regardless, you first walk into the large main area of the building. My favorite part is the bridge over an 8 lane interstate system that connects the main building to the planetarium across the street. The bridge is an all glass structure which allows you to see the interstate beneath your feet. There are also radar guns positioned along the walking bridge so that you may see how fast the cars are traveling.
We visited the museum on Labor Day to see The Real Pirates exhibit before it left from Houston's HMNS.
The exhibit tells the story of the short life of the slave ship Whydah. Not long after leaving her namesake port filled with slaves, it was attacked by "Black Sam" Bellamy and his band of pirates including an 11 year old boy. After a three-day chase, the ship was surrendered to the pirates. "Black Sam" entered piracy as a way to quickly make a fortune. He wanted to marry a woman in Massachusetts, but her family refused to allow the marriage saying that he was too poor. His plan was to acquire his fortune and return to her. In 1717, while returning to his beloved, the ship encountered a strong storm and sank off the coast of Cape Cod along with the treasure of more than 50 ships on board.
270 years later, it was found by a "history hunter." It remains the only authenticated pirate ship complete with treasure ever found. I'd love to talk more about the exhibit itself and how it uses special effects more than any other exhibit that I've ever seen, but I do know a few people who plan to see it in Houston and I would hate to ruin some of the dramatic elements. I will say that my favorite parts were the ship's bell, the weapons room, and the chests filled with gold found on board the ship. In fact, there is a previously unknown design of canon featured in the weapons room. The earliest known collection of Akan gold jewelry was also found on board.
It's an extremely interesting story. I've only given snippets of it here and highly encourage you to either attend the exhibit or google the story.
One really neat fact that I can't help but share here is that John F. Kennedy, Jr was on the original dive team that found the wreckage. He lost a compass while on his dive that was later recovered by the excavation teams and is on display.
While we were there, we also watched The Hubble show in the OMNIMAX theatre. It is a high-fidelity, 70MM motion picture system that delivers the highest quality image and sound quality in film. The screen itself is wrap-around instead of being flat like an IMAX. This is only a small section of the machines needed to show the film.
Both of us were looking to seeing Hubble and it did not disappoint. If it is playing near you, go see it. The imagery is breathtaking. It takes you a journey with the astronauts as they work on the Hubble while in space. It's a powerful movie and probably my favorite
IMAX-type production ever.
This is the grand hallway at the entrance of the science center. This is what is above your head when you first walk inside. It takes up the entire length of the building and goes up approximately 3-4 stories in height. It's
JT and Aidan, both are you are getting Christmas presents found in the museum gift shop. Just FYI. :)
Friday, September 17, 2010
Gumbo in a Stew Cook Off
Tony's office is hosting a stew cook-off today. After submitting several definitions of stew, Tony was granted permission to enter his (really my Dad's) gumbo into the competition. Last night, Tony spent hours cooking the gumbo. He even got up around 5 a.m. to start making pots of rice! No really, he got up at 5 a.m. He didn't stay up all night. I know. I was shocked too.
Don't worry; Tony made an extra pot for us at home. We even taste tested it last night and it was delicious!
Wish Tony good luck today!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
9 p.m. Mass
Tony and I finally made it to a 9 p.m. Mass here at Saint Louis University. We've been talking about it since we moved, but typically don't remember until 8:50 p.m. Finally, we remembered early enough to attend this SLU tradition. Founded in the early 1990s, the 9 p.m. Mass has become a staple here. Until this year, it was actually 10 p.m.. It is a completely student led Mass with more than a 1,000 attending each Sunday making it standing room only. You definitely don't want to arrive late!
There's definitely a more contemporary message in the sermon along with more emphasis on spirited music. I really enjoyed it. The only downside is that aside from the priests, Tony and I were one of only a handful who were over the age of 22ish. Also, they often serve Ted Drewes after Mass, but not the night that we attended. Tony was disappointed that he missed out on his ice cream.
The best part came when 5 seminarians sat in the pew directly in front of us. Tony leaned over and said "I guess God knows that I need a
little extra help."
Monday, September 6, 2010
Even More from the Brewery
The Budweiser trolleys take you to get your free beers at the end of the tour. The rest of the tour is a walking tour.
E, this is just for you. Budweiser just wants to be your friend.
The Budweiser packaging plant. Beneath this building sits an enormous storage facility that runs all the way down to the banks of the Mississippi. If the production lines here were to ever shut down, it would only take the Midwest 18 hours to clean out the entire stock in the storage facility. The Midwest claims the title for highest consumption in the United States. Tony's response to that? He said that it's only because the deep South favors hard liquor over beer.
A scene depicting Bevo the Fox is depicted all along the top of the
walls on the first floor.
After taking five million sets of escalators, we finally arrived at the viewing deck to see one of the production lines. Unfortunately, it was the day
that this particular line rests.
The tour guides were kind enough to take us out on the floor to see an actual production line working.
Due to the ever-increasing popularity of Budweiser, the beers on this line are immediately loaded on to trucks for distribution. They aren't even sent down to the storage facility.
Bevo the Fox sits atop his perch at the packaging facility.
More from Anheuser Busch
It was freezing cold in here!
These are the beechwood lagering tanks are the last stop a beer makes before it is bottled up and shipped out for distribution. Here, it spends several weeks over a bed of beechwood chips to enhance its flavor. This step is unique to Budweiser.
These tanks are absolutely enormous. In order to drink an entire tank, a person would have to have a 12oz serving of beer every hour for 137 years. The Beechwood Aging Cellar houses 375 tanks with a capacity of 3600 barrels. Each of the tanks holds enough beer to fill approximately 200,000 six-packs. That's a lot of beer.
A few of the things that we learned during this part of the tour:
1. Yeast is a very important part of beer making. The yeast used by Budwesier is a direct descendant of the yeast culture first used by Adolphus Busch in 1876. It was even frozen during Prohibition to ensure that it wouldn't be lost. Only five people in the history of the company have had a key to where it is kept.
2. Budweiser added rice to ensure that it was a premium quality. Today, the company is responsible for purchasing 12% of U.S. rice production. I was told by someone that this is actually a lie. Rice is used to make it cheaper to produce. Since I know nothing about beer, I have no idea which is correct.
3. Before milk was even being pasteurized, Anheuser Busch started pasteurizing beer for distribution. Clearly their priorities were in order.
4. The Brewmasters meet daily at 3 p.m. to sample beer from all of the breweries here in the United States. Samples from the international breweries are flown in once a week.
I was surprised by how ornate everything is in the production buildings. Even the railings. Definitely not the look of your typical factory.
The Eagle sits atop one of the gates where the Clydesdales exited with the first batch of post-Prohibition beer and were greeted by a
crowd of 25,000.
This was once a schoolhouse. The city finally decided that it probably wasn't the best idea to have a school in the middle of a brewery and sold it to the company. For a while, it acted as the administration building.
Entrance to the school building.
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