Over Arching

                                                         
From 2011-07-24 The ARch
I finally got to see the Arch! After the first fiasco I came prepared. Or so I thought. We parked and walked the short distance to the Arch. It is along the Mississippi River and we saw a coal barge floating down. I was quite excited. It was so long! The coal Daniel gets at work comes down the Mississippi River on these barges.
From 2011-07-24 The ARch
Later we entered the line to get into the Arch and some kind people told us there was no line on the other side, so we crossed over and they were right. Security was like the airport. You were given buckets to place your stuff in, there was an x-ray and metal detector, you even had to remove your belt. But you could keep your shoes! After entering and feeling extremely grateful for air conditioning, we got in line to pay to go up. There is a museum in there that is free, and we walked through it after our adventure up the Arch. More on that later.
  So we decide to go the whole enchilada and get tickets to the Arch and the River boat tour. I had a coupon so Lizzy was free. I was so excited! We got in line to go up, but first you must go down. And down some more, then finally down again.  You get a colored card and your picture is taken and you wait around for a while. There are plenty of things to read about the construction and builders, but Lizzy didn't care, so we listened to some phones that told you about the construction and builders, but after 2 minutes, Lizzy didn't care. So we waited until we could descend the staircase to get to the elevator doors. We got door number 8. Here's Lizzy at our door. We were told that the ride was like getting into a washing machine, and they were right. The pods are small and only allow 5 people, then the door closes and you are ratcheted  up and up and up. Once this started, Lizzy began to fear for her life. She cried and clung to me. I tried to calm her, but she would have none of it. Finally we exited the pod and I lead her crying up to the view ports.
From 2011-07-24 The ARch
 
From 2011-07-24 The ARch
Still crying she attempted to look out, but really she just wanted down, so after about 2 min. We got in line to go down. This was much more cramped and when Lizzy realized that we must take the elevator down she dissolved all over again. Some how she thought we were going to walk all the way back down! So eventually I got her in the pod and held on to her while we descended. The silly thing was once she could see stairs out the little window of the elevator, she was fine. Crazy child. So we visited the general store and got some taffy and cookies, which we ate before entering the museum. The museum was interesting. I really liked this boat:
From 2011-07-24 The ARch
Then we went down to the River Boat dock.
From 2011-07-24 The ARch
On the way down the hundred or so stairs a kind man helped me take the stroller down. He said that he had been there before. He had 3 kids. I was very appreciative. We had lunch on their patio and Lizzy tried to catch the birds. We saw our steam boat come in. We were all excited.
From 2011-07-24 The ARch
Ever ready for tourists, to enter the boat you had your picture taken, then we walked down the gangplank and entered.
From 2011-07-24 The ARch
I hefted the stroller up the stairs and we got a seat on the outside near the big wheel. Here is a video of it.
From 2011-07-24 The ARch
It was a fun tour and the Ranger came down and showed the kids all kinds of animal parts. I liked the beaver's tail. She saved the buffalo chips for last and asked them if they knew what it was. No one did. She passed it around and one small boy tried to break off a piece to keep. Gross! When the tour ended, we walked back up all those steps and then walked across the street and up to the capital building. The stone was warm so Lizzy complained that it was giving her a hot butt.
From 2011-07-24 The ARch
The capital was dressed in all it's finery. There were dioramas and a video about the Dred Scott trial. It was amazing. We got to sit in the judge's chair and read about the trial. There were exhibits in the rooms about St. Louis from it's begining through to now. Then we climbed the stairs to the second floor and looked in the court room and observed the paintings. It was quite hot up there. We decided to take the wheel chair lift down since I'd had it with all the climbing with a stroller. This it turns out was another mistake, the lift is a giant metal box, so as it had sat out in the 103 degree weather it was rather like an oven. Not only was it unbearably hot, in fact Charles touched the wall and burned himself, but it was unbearably slow...... So when we left we were all ten pounds lighter from all the water loss.  We walked back to the car all the while Lizzy kept asking if we could go back up the Arch. Ah, No.

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