We awakened Friday to heavy rain at the Hilton Promenade as we prepared to begin our journey towards New Hampshire. After coffee and packing we headed north on route 65 to I44 towards St. Louis. The plan was to spend the night at the Westin by the Ballpark and check out the Flora Borealis event at the botanical garden. After a uneventful 3 and a half hour drive we arrived in St Louis and found our way to the Westin Hotel. Easily found of the highway we self parked and made our way to the room, refreshed and headed out for lunch as we had not eaten all day.
The Broadway Oyster Bar was a quick 5 minute drive with plenty of parking at 2 in the afternoon. The outside of BOB, as we were told the locals like to call it, was nothing to write home about almost divey looking but do not let this scare you off. This place is amazing! If we lived near St Louis BOB would be a weekly stop for us. We entered through the bar and were greeted immediately by the bartender and directed to sit anywhere we wanted. Making our way into the dining room there were 5-6 other tables seated at this time with groups ranging from 8 to 2 diners. The room is ecclectic with exposed wood and St Louis themed decor, really kinda cool. Our server was promply at the table to bring menus and take drink orders. They have a great beer and cocktail menu but we just had Ice Tea and water as we were driving in an unfamilier city. The cuisine is Creole Cajun food with what they described as midwestern spice. My wife had the Oyster Po Boy and I had the Oyster Grinder, both were incredible, flavorful with perfectly cooked Oysters. The sauce on the Grinder was amazing and I used the extra puddled on my plate to dip my fries in. Overall we highly recommend BOB and hope to get there again someday.
Back at the hotel I decided to walk around Busch Stadium while my wife relaxed for a bit. The area around the stadium is under alot of construction but it was nice to see all of the statues and memorials outside the stadium.
Returning to the hotel I checked out the common areas and restaurant before making my way upstairs to the room. I like this hotel the room was very large with a great big bathroom and a nice view of the ballpark. The bed was very comfy with plenty of pillows and nice comforter. the TV was large 55 inches I think and there were enough charging plugs for our electronics. We paid under $200 which was a great value for the quality of this hotel.
The reason we were staying in the city was to attend Flora Borealis at the Botanical Garden. It took 15 minutes to drive there and there was plenty of free parking. We made our way in and ended up in a fairly long line for the 6:30 pm entry time. This worried us a little as we pictured alot of people trying to see everyting at once but the crowd thinned right out as we made our way around the gardens. Inside the gardens there was an opening laser show and then lights and images projected onto the trees and buildings throughout the gardens. Really quite cool and different than anything we had experienced before. The images were often accompanied by audio educating on the importance of plants in our world, very eye opening and imformative.
We really enjoyed this event for it’s originality and beauty and hope to visit the gardens again in the future. Travelling back to the hotel we made an impromptu stop at the Arch figuring we shouldn’t leave St Louis without at least seeing it up close.
Saturday dawned sunny as we made our way east towards home. Today’s plan was to be in the Cleveland area by this evening with a stop in Indianapolis at the Speedway Museum. As I have mentioned before I am a huge motor racing fan and have never been to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. My excitement grew as we approached the Speedway by mid morning. Unfortunately the track tour was not available today due to an on track event but that was ok because I really just wanted to see the track. The museum had a great collection of historic race cars, highlights being the car that won the inaugural race and the pre IRL cars. I enjoyed spending time here looking at the history of arguably America’s greatest race track.
We did make it to Akron for the night staying at the Courtyard Marriott for an uneventful night with takeout from Outback and an early bed time. Sunday was just 12 and a half hours of driving as we were finally home after our wonderful road trip!