I’m having a hard time finding time to blog. I’m either busy with school or visiting the places that I need to write about. The original plan was to blog while we travel. The countryside is too distracting, however. I’m going to try to do better.
We woke up on Sunday, November 13 with the plan of going to church in St. Louis and then visiting a whole list of places. It was very windy, however, and we soon realized that we either had to take our screen room and awning down or we would lose them. We got a late start but finally made it to the Arch around noon. Right away we jumped in on a lecture by one of the National Park Rangers about The Louisiana Purchase and The Lewis and Clark Expedition. It was very interesting. The neat part was that we had just studied this part of history the previous Friday. The lecture was a little above Eva but she enjoyed the exhibits in the general vicinity and found a TV that was airing a related documentary done by the History Channel.
The museum at the Memorial is amazing. It is one of the most unique that we’ve visited. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that we really should have planned on spending an entire day just at this National Memorial, Gateway Arch and the grounds. I felt like we were given a really great book and then skimmed it as quickly as possible. We did walk through the entire museum but we didn’t really get a chance to spend the needed time at any of the exhibits.
We weren’t going to spend the money to go up to the top of Gateway Arch but fortunately, a friend talked us into it. It was well worth it. I think part of the experience is the shared amazement with the other tourists. The atmosphere was electric. We were told that you rarely feel a sway in the Arch unless it’s very windy. Well…we felt the sway. It was a little unsettling but the beautiful views kept us from going back down too soon.
After going to the top of the Arch, we viewed the 45 minute movie, Lewis and Clark: The Great Journey West. We debated taking the time away from the museum to watch this but we decided in the end that it would be beneficial to the girls understanding of the expedition. The movie is well done and it definitely gave deeper meaning to the whole experience. (I believe this movie airs from time to time at the Imax Theater and The Henry Ford in Dearborn, MI.)
We very quickly walked through the Old Courthouse where the famous Dred Scott trial was held. The architecture of this building is very beautiful and it was worth the walk from the Arch.
After the Arch we drove past Kiener Plaza where the Occupy Wall Street Protest is being held. This of course, launched a huge conversation that turned to the Bill of Rights, which we had read at the beginning of the school year (along with the Declaration of Independence and the entire Constitution). This reminded us again of the amazing, up close and personal History, Civics, and geography course this trip is giving our girls.
We left St. Louis having only seen the National Memorial. We have a long list of places we want to visit on a return trip.
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial: http://www.nps.gov/jeff/index.htm