|St Louis Arch- Gateway to the West.|
|Debbie & Kirk, Bob & Sue, & Doc|
This past weekend we went on a little vacation. Left the 5th wheel in Cedar Rapids and left for St. Louis. Everyone needs a vacation once in awhile even if its from a life that is a little like a vacation in itself. A very good friend of John’s had a daughter getting married and talked her into inviting their group of friends, many of whom hadn’t seen each other in 20+ (may be closer to 30) years. This group of guys and their wives got to know each other when the fellas first worked at Rockwell in Cedar Rapids about 35 years ago. This is back in their wild and crazy youth and many of us who weren’t there have heard the stories so many times we feel like we were. They had a lot of fun but their lives moved on and many of them moved away to new jobs, careers, kids and life in general. Back in those days John was know as “Doc”. His brother the doctor would give him scrub shirts as gifts and John always wore them so they knick named him “Doc” and for this group it stuck. So Doc and his friends reconnected and it was a grand old time. Kirk’s wife Debbie and I are the only two that really weren’t part of this group but they included us in all their fun and it was a joy to watch them reminisce and we even heard a few stories we hadn’t heard yet.
|Al & Judi Boldra|
|Kirk & Debbie Mayberry|
St. Louis is a beautiful city and we stayed at the Millennium hotel that overlooks Memorial park and the Arch (officially, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Gateway to the West). If you haven’t seen the arch, make sure to put it on your list along with the visitor center and museum that go with it. I have been here several times in my life and it is still beautiful. We got lucky and it was Marine Week in St. Louis. There were Marines everywhere and in my estimation there is nothing better to look at than a Marine in dress uniform (don’t tell John- oh, wait he knows). They had all kinds of displays and we were sitting in the bar at the Millennium that has a view of the park when they put on an air show. John was amazed when they brought a V-22 Osprey in and hovered over the park, backed up mid-air then started to swing as if it were on a very long pendulum. Then there was a Harrier and a Chinook helicopter that was carrying a bunch of Marines on a rope hanging from it; now that was impressive. There were armored vehicles and Zodiacs (black inflatable boats). It was an impressive display, and guess who didn’t have her camera with her in the bar? Yep, that would be me, so you’ll just have to use your imagination (or Google “Marine Week St. Louis”).
|Bob & Sue Rife, "Hey Bob-over here!"|
Friday night as part of the wedding festivities we went to a Cardinal’s game. The tickets were for the Champions Club which is a suite where you have an all you can eat buffet and an open bar. We did pay for these tickets but found out later the wedding couple subsidized part of the cost - thank you Emily and Alex! Well, the Cards lost in the last inning but it was a fine time had by all.
The wedding wan’t until Saturday evening so that meant there was time for a tour of the Budweiser brewery. Three of the couples went. This is an impressive tour and I would recommend it to anyone. Most of the buildings were built during the 1800s but have been maintained in excellent condition. There is a stable with the Clydesdales and at the end a hospitality room where you get to sample two of the beers. Did I mention that this is a free tour? Free makes it even better.
|The bride and groom, Alex and Emily|
The wedding was at a restaurant overlooking the arch from the 40th floor. Lots of windows for a great view. The original plan was to have the wedding on a riverboat on the Mississippi but on Tuesday they were informed that the river was two high and the riverboat was now out of the question. Weddings are crazy anyway, can you imagine having to change your venue and caterer in just 3 days? A daunting task but Emily and Alex pulled it off and at the wedding she mentioned that this site was so beautiful that they were fine with the change. Emily made a beautiful bride and along with the groom Alex, looked to be enjoying their wedding day.
|Dan & Dixie Schmatz- parents of the bride|
We enjoyed the wedding as well and Dan and Dixie (parents of the bride) treated us all to a carriage ride in downtown St. Louis. There were 11 of us in the carriage - a little crazy but it was fun. I hope the poor horse got some extra oats that night.
|Janie & "Doc"|
We need to thank Dixie and Dan for bringing this group back together, what a special treat. So from Doc and Janie, Judi and Al, Bob and Sue, Kirk and Debbie, a big THANK YOU! Also a thank you to Emily and Alex who accommodated us all on their special day.
|This is for my blogger buddy Judy......THE END!|