Monday, March 9, 2009

Cross Country - St. Louis, A Surprise Package!

Day 3 - 08 March

Thanks to a good 3 hour delay in Day 2's schedule and the want of proper sleep for the past 2 days (as in proper sleep, for a lazy ass who otherwise maintains a consistent 7 hours of sleep everyday!), we started Day 3 with a delay of 2 hours. The plan for the day was to play tourist at St. Louis and then drive about 600 miles to reach Kansas. As we were loading the car to leave, the rain Gods greeted us with a magnaminous downpour, wishing us good morning in their own style. Delayed start and then heavy rain - not a great way to start the day. Or so it seemed.

In a few minutes, as we approached downtown St. Louis, the clouds cleared and the blue sky smiled happily. So did we. The day turned out to be marvelous, the temperature touched low 70s, the wind was soothingly chilly and the sun shone brightly throughout. And yeah, some good pictures!

St. Louis is one of the very few cities in this country out of which I had the least expectations but it ended up pleasantly surprising me. The city was neat, nice & modern. Gateway Arch is certainly an architectural marvel and thanks to my new wide angle lens, I got some fulfilling pictures.

An hour of walking around near the waterfront and a great many pictures later, we treated ourselves to sumptuous pasta at Cecole's. The garlic bread definitely deserves a special mention- it was arguably the best I have ever had in my life!

Though our next mission of visiting the Basilica ended up without excitement (the Sunday service was in session and they do not allow tourists to take pictures at that time) the drive to get there and back was certainly not. Kavitha was driving that stretch. GPS once suggested, then screamed succesively to join a freeway, but there was no road to be found. Apparently, there was road construction work on Interstate 64 and so we could not find a way to enter the freeway nor to head West. Later, with the efficient help of Jesus, we found some local roads, alternate routes and lots of action before reaching I70 West heading towards Kansas city.

Before getting back on track, yours truly was sitting tight and maintained his cool, as our able driver skipped a STOP sign, got a little tensed, then jumped a red light, got more tensed and missed yielding to flowing traffic, got dangerously terrorized and almost hit the curb on the ramp. All these in about 5 minutes! I felt like a kid taking a roller-coaster ride for the first time with no warning beforehand. What the kid did not know is that the ride was going to be exciting, yet safe. As much as I'm attempting to ridicule Kavitha, I gotta give it to her, as she has driven an even 50% of the distance so far. Considering this is the second week she is driving in this country, that is quite a feat!

Now, as I type this, she is making 80 mph on I-70 passing vehicles with effortless ease and shifting lanes like a pro. Practice doth maketh a man perfect. Er... and woman too I guess.

Above: Kansas City skyline taken from the highway

When Arun gets to ridicule my driving, it is only fair that I attack his writing. I obviously edited this post for class. And at this very moment am listening to profanity from him for doing so... Cringe! Cringe! - Kavitha

PPS: We thought we had forgottten nothing with our meticulous list making. We made up for it by forgetting our laptop charger at the hotel in St. Louis. So we had to buy a new charger from a Radio Shack at Colby and we're posting this from a Rest Area on I 70 which loudly announced it's wi-fi connection.


Gradwolf said...

wow, this sounds like fun! And ROFL @ the fumble there for five minutes!
Yes, some pictures while driving, on the drive, of the roads, would be appreciated!

buddy said...

this is awesome, fun and funny!

Nandini Vishwanath said...

Boo Arun

Go Kavitha! :)

Jegu said...

Real fun.... I could imagine that 5 minutes like i am in that car (Roller Coaster) ... :)