Monday, June 20, 2016

Day 2: To St. Louis

The students were thrilled to have a later morning after the very early start to day one. After a delicious continental breakfast the crew hopped on the bus and headed for St. Louis. Shortly after lunch we could see the magnificent Gateway Arch peeking over the trees. It seemed to play hide and seek with the bus as we made our way to the Illinois state line. Finally the full monument came into view as we crossed the Mississippi River into Missouri. Many students were in awe at the actual size of the arch as it loomed over the buildings in the city of St. Louis. 

A quick luggage drop at the Crowne Plaza hotel had us heading to the edge of the river where the crew was whisked away on the riverboat Tom Sawyer. An hour long cruise along the river allowed the students to learn about the history of some of the important buildings and bridges in downtown as well as interesting facts of the city. 

Upon docking, the crew headed up the hill to the welcoming air conditioning of the Gateway Arch museum which lies beneath the giant structure. The main attractions in the museum are the "how it was made" movie and the ride to the top of the Arch. The movie gave students insight into the processes behind the concept as well as the creation of the large iron and steel monument. Many students were amazed to see men climbing on equipment 500 feet above the ground without harnesses and even more amazed to hear that no life was lost in the creation of such a large structure. While the movie was informative, the exhilarating part of the day was the ride to the top of the Arch in the small space-like pods. From to top of the Arch we could see for miles to the East and West over both Illinois and Missouri. 

After all of our adventures for the day the students were excited to head to dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory. Dinner consisted of salad, bread, spaghetti with meat sauce or fettuccine Alfredo, and an ice cream dessert. "Delicious" and "sooo good" were two of the most used descriptions students used when asked about how they liked dinner. The short walk back to the hotel was all that stood between the tired crew and their beds. They went to bed with full bellies looking forward to tomorrow when we would head to Salina, KS. 


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