Monday, June 30, 2008

St. Louis and RUSH

Ryan and I got a nice little surprise when his machine at work broke down Thursday night. We found out he wouldn't have to work Friday because the machine wouldn't be up and running until Monday. So, that meant we got an extra day in St. Louis. Originally, we were planning on leaving early Saturday morning, spending a little time with a some friends once we got to into town, and going to the RUSH concert Saturday night. Instead, we left Friday afternoon and had all evening Friday, all day Saturday, and most of the day Sunday. It was wonderful!!!

Ryan usually drives when we go to St. Louis. He's had friends there for years, so he has had a lot of practice driving around there. That was a nice break for me. Most of the time on our little trips, I drive. I love to drive...maybe it's a control thing, I don't know. Heading into Illinois, things started looking a little grim. The skies got darker and darker until finally it let loose and dumped on us. Once again, I traveled through some of the worst weather ever on I70. Jen and Chad have experienced some nasty weather on I70 with me. It dumped on us on the way to Columbus a few weeks ago. It was actually a little worse heading to St. Louis.This is the edge of the storm front that we were driving into. The lightning was awesome, but the rain was scary at times. We never completely stopped and pulled over, but we got into line with a bunch of other vehicles going about thirty with their flashers on. It was a good and safe team effort.
By the time we got through Illinois, the sun was shining again. It's always really pretty coming into St. Louis from Illinois. Even though the river was high from the floods, it was still beautiful. The waterfront was definitely higher than normal, but it looked as though they have been pretty fortunate in that area weather wise.Our good friend Chris, or Cree as we call him, was at work until midnight, so we decided to grab a bite to eat and meet up with Cree's parents until he got off work. We decided to eat at Schlafly's Brewery. It's one of our favorite places in St Louis. Of course Ryan loves the beer they brew there, but I prefer the wine. Their food is a little fancy for my taste, but it's OK. Ryan and I split some chickem enchiladas which were really good, but the Spanish rice was kinda nasty. I thought it tasted like rubber bands. Ryan explained to me that someone probably had to go to college to learn how to make that rice taste like rubber bands.....he's probably right.
It was dark by the time we left Schlafly's. I'm pretending to hold the tanks over my head here.....silly girl!!!!We went to Cree's parents' house and watched the Cardinal's game and some ultimate fighting until Cree got there. I had polished off a whole bottle of wine by that time, but Ryan waited for Cree to start the real drinking. Shots of Crown were the perfect kick off for a great weekend!!!

We stayed at John and Linda's (Cree's parents) and hung out with some of their family for a few hours before we went back to Cree's apartment. When we got there, the three of us hung out like we were teenagers all over again. It was fun. Cree just got a new place, so he was showing off some of his know, his TV, surround sound stuff, sharing itunes, his snake I said teenage stuff.

We didn't even start thinking about sleeping until we realized the sun was coming up. We had a big game of disc golf planned for Saturday, so we decided it was time to go to bed. We all fell asleep listening to a bunch of teenagers.
Saturday afternoon, we peeled ourselves out of bed and headed to Jefferson Barricks park for disc golf. We drove through some of the city sights on our way. I thought this restaurant looked really cool. It's a German place. I thought my mom would like to see it, so I took some pictures.

Ever since I started dating Ryan, he has talked about going to St. Louis and eating a "Slinger." It wasn't until this trip that I finally encoutered the "Slinger." Let me tell was a sight to behold. OMG!!!
The Coutesy Diner is the infamous home of the Slinger. It seems to me like it would be one of those things that people would go eat at 3:00 AM after the bars closed down and they needed some major alcohol absorption. If I remember correctly, this is what the Slinger includes: hashbrowns, two eggs your style, two hamburger patties, chili, onions, peppers, and shredded cheese....all piled on top of eachother. Oh yeah and some toast to soak it all up. This is what they look like:
Pretty scary, huh? But the boys love 'em!!!!!

I didn't take my camera out for disc golf. It's not very convenient, so I don't have any pictures of the park. It's really kind of a shame that I didn't get any pictures. It was beautiful. That's one thing I have noticed about St. Louis, they have tons of public parks around town. They are very well maintained and always seem to have activities for the community to get involved in.

Our game of disc golf was comical to say the least. Cree and I both got our asses kicked by Ryan. He finished 4 under par, Cree finished 12 over, and I finished 22 over. That's actually about average for me. I seem to throw one over on almost every hole, no matter what course we're playing. It took us a couple hours to finish our game, so by that time, it was time to get ready for the RUSH show!!!

We went back to Cree's house to get cleaned up after our disc golf outing. The guys had a few drinks before the show, and I played with Rupert, Cree's snake. He's awesome!! We hung out a lot this weekend.
This is our "before" picture for the night of the RUSH show. To be honest, I don't even think I got an "after" photo.

The show was fabulous!!!! I have never been a huge RUSH fan as far as their music goes. Of course I appreciate that they are talented musicians, but man, I had no idea what I was in for. They put on an awesome live show. I would love to see them again this summer if I could. Alex Lifeson, their guitar player was pretty awesome. Geddy Lee can still hit those high notes, believe it or not, and Neil Peart, their drummer...OMG!!!!

I guess maybe I've got a thing for drummers...I don't know what it is, but once again, the drummer was the one man in the band who really caught my attention. First of all, his set up was crazy. He literally sits in a circle of drums. One set is electric, electronic, whatever the correct term is, and then he has a regular set. They completely surround him as he sits on a pedestal that turns. He stands and turns as he switches drum sets, that way he is always facing the crowd. His drum solo was probably at least 30 miutes long. I was totally in awe the whole time. It was amazing.

Ryan and I are so used to all the small shows in the small venues that this one was a huge production compared to normal for us. They had three huge screens behind them showing close ups of all the guys. When it wasn't showing the band members, it had real trippy graphics rolling all over the place. They also had a laser light show that blew my mind. There were a few flames on stage throughout the night too. They had a big pyrotechnic setup behind the drummer. There were two huge explosions during the show, and I missed both of them. The first time I was looking at my nachos. The second time I was walking to the bathrooms. Both times I jumped. It sounded like big fireworks exploding right in front of me. I was disappointed that I missed it. There were several times that I did get to see the little explosions, so that fed my pyromania enough for the night.

So, at the very least, I can say that I love RUSH live. I can't wait for another opportunity to see them again. Sunday Ryan, Cree and I went down to the area called "The Loop" in St. Louis. There are several different restaurants and shops in that area. We always try to hit up the record store called Vintage Vinyl. It's huge and had a good selection of music, movies, old vinyl, collectors pieces that have anything to do with music, and all kinds of other trinkets. I love it, and always spend too much money there.After walking around Vintage Vinyl for about an hour, we all ate at a Mexican restaurant called El Maguey. It was delicious!!!! I love Mexican food....but it was bad news on the way home a few hours later....he he he :-)
After we ate, Cree went on home to be with his son and we kept walking. I was really glad that we did because we came across a real fun little scene a few blocks away.There were a few different street performers. This guy was spinning a top on all kinds of stuff. He even got it spinning on a string and threw it up in the air and would catch it again while it was still spinning. It was really cool.He caught me staring and pointed me out, so I walked over to him when he waved at me. He asked me if I wanted to help him. Of course I did!!!! I didn't get to play with any of his fancy toys, but I did get to hold the top on a pen and a baseball bat. It was pretty cool. It was spinning so fast that I could just barely tell it was moving. I know that sounds weird, but it's true. Hard to explain, I guess.What originally drew us towards this crowd was the drums we heard off in the distance. We were walking to Ryan's truck and heard what sounded like a drum circle, so we walked toward the sound. We were right. There was a big drum circle with people just coming and going and joining in whenever they wanted. There were a few people out dancing in the middle of the circle. It was really fun.This is the back side of the area where they were all playing. Out closer to the street, there were a few vendors selling food, clothes and jewelry.I really enjoyed watching the big mamma in the green shirt with the tamborine. That woman was all soul!!!! I wish we had cool stuff happening like that around here somewhere. I don't know if this was an organized event or if this was something spontaneous, but either way, you would never see that happen around here, and I think it's a shame.Even though I've been to St. Louis a zillion times, it's always cool to see the arch. So I had to grab a couple more pictures on the way out of town. I took this one out of the passenger side window on the way over the river.
Same here....hanging out the window....but man, how 'bout that reflection in the river? OK, so it's crooked, but it's still cool!!!
Back home again in INDIANA............................

Smooches from Ryan to carry you through till the next adventure...........

Next up.............WEEN in Louisville, KY July 7th.

See ya later!!!!!


Jen said...

Rush is playing at Deer Creek this summer. Maybe you should check it out. SMB was really fun this past weekend. I will write about it here soon enough. Also, we finally played disk golf. I sucked, but would play it again. Glad you were safe going through that weather. Your one pictures looks totally scarey. You know me, storms are like my #1 fear. I hate them!

enN2sp said...

RUSH?. . .

enN2sp said...

. . B said are they still alive??

Bitzky77 said...

Widely known as one of the best drummers ever, Neil Pert from Rush.


That lunch looked pretty gnarly, but I bet it was good.

Still waiting for a disc golf rematch! Bring it!

alli-gal said...

We were going to try to hit the show at Deer Creek this year, but we'll be in Portland when they're in Indy, so that's why we went to St. Louis instead.

Rosie....tell B they are VERY alive, and rockin' harder than ever!!!

and Bitzky.....It's on like Donkey Kong!!!!

s-hooks said...

Another great time on the road..I love Rush.

And that pile of food-unreal! It must be a guy thing!

Happy 4th!