Friday - I flew to STL, and got picked up by Kate. We immediately head to St. Louis Bread Co (aka Panera Bread for anyone outside of St. Louis). After a late lunch we head to Kate's salon for some funky hair highlights by Lola. I let Lola do whatever, and got some awesome turquoise/teal highlights:
After the salon we head to Kate's house where we meet up with Joe (Kate's husband), and high school friends- Wendy (my cancer buddy who was the most awesome friend during my chemo and treatments) and Josh (my artist buddy, who lives in Baltimore and was in town as well). The 5 of us pile in Wendy's SUV and head to the Cardinal's game. Highlight: Josh's dad works downtown and gave us his parking garage pass = free parking. Josh's dad also drew us a map with turn by turn directions, like we were 16 years old driving to the city for the first time. It was so sweet!n Plus the Cardinals beat up on the Brewers BIG TIME!
After the game, we head where ALL Cardinals fans head: Ted Drewes. I had my favorite- a Terramizzou concrete, which is chocolate frozen custard with pistachio nuts. YUM! Wendy busted out the cars tailgate and we all enjoyed our frosty concretes.
Saturday - Kate and I headed to the Montelle Winery in Augusta, Mo to celebrate the birthday of a friend of Kate's. WOW- this place is amazing. There was about 12 of us and we had a catered luncheon, and wine GALORE! There was a live band and beautiful scenery.
After the Winery, we all headed to Froyo. Froyo is a frozen yogurt/sorbet joint where everything is self serve, with a giant topping bar. After you make your concoction you weigh it and pay per ounce. I enjoyed a 1/2 Mango Tango, 1/2 Pomegranate Raspberry sorbet topped with fresh raspberries and kiwi. HEAVENLY! The wine + froyo required a late afternoon nap.
After "adult naptime" we headed to Club Viva which is a Salsa Club located in the CWE. I was a little intimidated. We missed the 8pm salsa lessons, and the place was pretty empty when we rolled in at 10pm-ish. But by 11pm- OH MAN - it was a Salsa Fiesta! I have never been to a more diverse, friendly and welcoming club - EVER. Highlight: all cocktails were served in pint glasses. WOOOOO!
Sunday - Happy 4th of July!!!! After our late night, we needed some serious food. So we (Kate, Joe and I) went to Pi. I would seriously fly to St. Louis for Pi. We got the delmar – mozzarella, cheddar, barbeque sauce, hormone-free chicken, red and green peppers, red onion, fresh cilantro after baking. (minus the peppers, but added artichokes). It was heaven on pizza crust.
Now in a pizza coma we (me and Kate) headed to the Drury Plaza Hotel. We thought it would be a) smart and b) fun to stay downtown for the 4th of July. Let me say this- I lived in the St. Louis area until I was 18. This place is a MUST for ANYONE traveling to the city, or anyone looking for an overnight stay Downtown. It's directly across from the Courthouse and Arch. Highlight: FOOD. Upon check in, we got 3 cocktail vouchers EACH! There was a hot food buffet happy hour and sodas and popcorn available all night. Although we didn't have a outside view, they had a nice courtyard view for interior rooms.
After the free drinks and snacks we headed across the street to the Arch grounds for Fair St. Louis.
And the main reason we went (aside from the fireworks in front of a national monument) was : The B-52s concert. We somehow scored the reserved seats, about 12 rows back. I don't know how we managed this, the guy just opened the gate and let a group of people in. Lucky us!
And then immediately after we rocked out to Planet Claire, Private Idaho, Roam, Love Shack, Rock Lobster, Wig, Cosmic Thing the fireworks started!
But the night doesn't end there! We then headed to the Landing which was PACKED and finished off the night at The Big Bang- a dueling piano bar. Here's our carnage:
Monday - no trip to St. Louis is complete without a visit to the Zoo. We (me and Kate) picked up Josh (our artist friend) and met our friend Dan and his family there. Highlight: it's free. It was crowded and sweltering hot, but we had a fun time checking out the animals and riding the train.
After the zoo, Kate Josh and I headed to a St. Louis institution- The Pasta House. Highlight: the Pasta House Salad (which no longer comes with unlimited refills, total bummer, but still awesome) and TOASTED RAVIOLI - which I ordered 18, plus a to-go box so I could bring some home.
We had a quick "early dinner" and headed to the airport. I caught my flight home and held back tears as I had to say goodbye to Kate. After 20 years, she's still my soul sister.