04/05/02008 - Today we headed for the Gateway Arch one of the icons of St Louis. The Arch is an interesting bit of engineering. A steel arch that stands 630' high with a trolley arrangement built into the centre of it that takes you to the viewing platform at the top - in what they call Trams. The trolley was basically a set of small drums which people were stuff into and each drum is attached to the pulley system. (It was like stuffing 5 people into a 88 gallon drum.) After the Arch and some lunch we went for the obligatory ride down the Mississippi which was bit like going up the dirty Brisbane river - now we know why they call it the Big Muddy.
05/05/2008 - We woke up this morning and decided to catch the local buses to the zoo. Well that was an experience, even though Dave is know getting used to travelling in public transport - I don't think he has done this since his Uni days. We were the only non African-Americans on the bus and on the streets. We had asked the driver were we needed to get off to catch the next bus and she told us that she would announce it for us. Well she did announce the stop for us - so off we got and headed to catch what we thought was the connecting bus (wrong) - unfortunately for us we were headed to a bus going in the wrong direction. The bus driver saw that we were headed in the wrong direction so she stopped the bus and yelled out to us were to go to catch the correct bus - we were very grateful. The zoo had Australia's national emblem. One emu plus a few Kangaroos. The zoo was very large with some animals that we had both never seen, it was well set out and we had a great morning just wandering around and it was free.
After the Zoo we headed off to find Blueberry Hill. Dave managed to find his thrill at Blueberry Hill. (Made famous because of the burgers.) An interesting bit of information at the the cafe was that Abbott and Costello did not make it big until they did the skit on "Who's on first." (If you have never head this then download it off the net - it is a priceless piece of history.) Blueberry Hill is a large Pub/Restaurant were apparently Chuck Berry still visits about once a month to sing.
06/05/2008 - We have certainly been improving with the packing up to hit the road. Today we were so proud all cupboards inside and outside had been shut properly, so took off with smiles on our face only to notice that after travelling a few hundred metres that we had left the front door open. We went to visit the Meramac Caves just outside St Louis. These Caves are the caves that the infamous Jesse James and his brother Frank used as one of their hideouts. This was something that Dave and I wanted to see because it was so close, but we didn't expect to enjoy it as much as what we did. Some of the formations inside the caves were just spectacular - however I still get confused on which is a Stalagmite and a Stalactite, I think I've got it now though Stalactite has a 'c' in it - so it comes down from the 'c'eiling.
The King is not dead he is everywhere.... In Memphis they have one radio station that is dedicated to Elvis, they only play Elvis music all day.
So tonight we headed over to the Rock 'n Roll Cafe for a drink and some entertainment (an Elvis Impersonator). Well I was disappointed when we walked in and sat down I asked for a glass of chardonnay - guess what no wine only beer and Smirnoff Ice - Watermelon - so I did what anyone would do and ordered the Smirnoff, whilst Dave sat there and ordered Bud's - not happy Jan, it was just sooo sweet. The passion that the Americans have for their country is just unbelievable. The show stopped for a while as the impersonator welcomed back a soldier from his service in Iraq so of course everyone in the crowd gets up for a standing ovation that lasts for about 5 minutes, he then goes on to thank all the Vets etc which the crowd then applaud and cheer loudly. At the end of the show when he is singing his last song the American Flag drops down in the background - well the crowd erupts with another standing ovation. The singer did some really good impersonations and then some not so good impersonations, sometimes he looked more like Neil Diamond, but his enthusiasm and passion for Elvis Presley was unbelievable. In the crowd was the wife of Elvis's cousin who had lived in Gracelands for 4 years. We had an enjoyable night (whilst keeping an eye on the weather) and met a lovely Irish Couple who are travelling in celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary.
Sun Studios was also where other greats like Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and that era also recorded most of there records. We were able to stand in the actual recording studio that all these great artists made allot of the greatest hits. (The recording studio has not changed except for the electronics and it still functions as a live recording studio today.)