Sunday, February 10, 2008

Christmas in St Louis

Barb's shower could take the head off a chicken, but it was welcome after an hour of yoga, especially on a body that was hitherto only used to the elbow yoga of my beer-fuelled youth.

I was that chicken

But it was the day after christmas ,and time to herald in a new year - "out with the old , in with the new" and all that kind of thing, although i would prefer if the phrase went " try a few things and if you like one , good."

The Barb in question is my girlfriend's mother. I was spending the holidays with her family in St Louis, Missouri because some work commitments held me in the United States. Otherwise I would probably be at home with my parents in Ireland in my hometown.
But more of that later....

St. Louis

St Louis is one of those towns that doesn’t offer itself up too easily- if you come to town just to follow your nose and see what you find, you’ll probably just find your nose.

St Louis treasures are hidden, mostly by random stretches of highway that supposedly link the places you can’t find. But if you get talking to the locals and you feel like asking their opinion on what’s cool to do in this ‘burg, you may well find yourself struggling with what to do first, what to leave til tomorrow, when to find time to sleep.

St Louis boast two extremely obvious landmarks; the St Louis Arch (see above) and Busch Stadium, both almost side by side, and both worth a look.
The Arch is arguably one of the most aesthetically pleasing city landmarks on the map.
Although I have been known to mockingly refer to St Louis as “The only city with a handle”, I gotta say the arch warrants respect, a masterpiece of design that instantly identifies the St Louis skyline.

As for the stadium, well, I’ve heard the city described by locals as ‘a drinking town with a baseball problem”, and Busch stadium is the coliseum where st louis pride begins battle every april.


So there's the big two, but if you're going, check out Blueberry Hill, the bars and eateries of the Soulard neighborhood (check out McGurk's), the Fox Theater, the St Louis Philharmonic Orchestra, Moolah, the butterfly house..... the list is endless, and a far cry from my hometown and the Chrsitmas i missed.......

(drunk in) Mitchelstown

Mitchelstown, the site of my aforementioned beer-fuelled youth, and had i spent Christmas there instead of St Louis, I would probably have spent it probably reliving some of the advanced elbow-yoga moves that I and my friends perfected during those formative years, the training ground for such moves being any one of 30 bars within spitting distance of each other.

With a town population of 5,000, that works out at 166 and two thirds of a citizen to each bar. By the end of any given weekend night , the citizen comprised of only two thirds was clearly visible. With none of the tedious trappings of sobriety to inhibit their behavioral nuances, they easily earned the title from other revelers as being "not all there".

The females amongst the "not all there", generally looked like baby giraffes learning how to walk, while the males roughly resembled baby elephants, determinedly marching forward, depending mostly on their own body weight leaning forward with each step, while occasionally tripping on there own trunks.
One other peculiarity of the male is that their earlier attraction to the opposite sex has been replaced by a burning desire for baby giraffes that are learning to walk.

A town not with out it's charms and points of interest (check out the Caves), nestled as it is in the foothills of the Galtee Mountain,and surrounded by some the richest pasture lands in Ireland.


......not to mention being recognsed as one of Ireland's best planned towns....

.....turn left at the church , walk fifty yards and you're at my house.

Click here for more info about the ol' homestead

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