Big City Adventures in St. Louis

day 1 drive

 

Put your money where the city is

As a broke and solo traveler I tend to avoid the big cities. Every time I travel to a city bigger than 300,000 it’s not as easy to travel alone on a budget. Everything is inflated – parking, gas, food, alcohol, entertainment…just everything. Plus, big city attractions generally revolve around commercial businesses. Call me a nature geek, but nothing is more free and entertaining than the good ol’ outdoors.

Someday, maybe I’ll change my mind, but right now I enjoy hopping town to town instead.

Despite my hesitation, I had to stop at St. Louis – population 318,000 – along the way. Ideally I would have checked out the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, the St. Louis Zoo, Anheuser-Busch Brewery, the stadium, and the Gateway Arch. I settled for two out of the five.

St. Louis, home of the Gateway Arch

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“All experience is an arch wherethrough gleams that untravelled world whose margin fades for ever and for ever when I move.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

Funny story about visiting the arch. While driving there, I spilled soda all over my jeans. Now what I did next was probably not the smartest travel move I’ve ever made…

Not wanting to carry a soggy denim mess around, I decided to change in the parking lot in the back seat of my car (don’t worry, doors locked!). All was going well until I opened the door to stand up and zip my zipper. Out pops a homeless guy from behind the car beside me.

Long story short, I told him if he waited across the street I would bring him $2. I’m a little upset that I used $2 in this situation, but I was standing there shoeless in a parking lot of East St. Louis and I wanted the guy out of my reach.

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Anheuser-Busch, America’s leading domestic brewer

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Photo credit to myself

I can’t say I was incredibly interested about how brews are made (my interest ends with drinking) but it was still a really neat tour. The free and complimentary tour walks you through the entire process of brewing and packaging Budweiser brand beers. You also see the Clydesdale horses and their stables as well as some neat historical buildings within the facility. You get a free “sample” of Bud heavy or Bud light, then at the end you receive a complimentary glass of any product in their line. I went with a Japanese lager – Kirin Ichiban. Good enough for me.

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First, you have to have the right ingredients. The five main ingredients are barley malt, hops, yeast, water and rice.

Mix it up with a little TLC (or something like that) then it heads to the aging cellar for 21 days.

Mix it up with a little TLC (or something like that) then it heads to the aging cellar for 21 days.

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When the beer is finished, it heads to this packaging plant…

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…where it is packaged lightening speed. Done!

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Say, “Beer!”

 

 

 

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