The day started with a short drive to the Ackerman Toyota service department where our Sienna got an oil change. After 5400+ miles on the road it was time for a little maintenance! Liz set up her office briefly in the waiting room while the car was being worked on, and the kids took some time to read their books.
We were so grateful to find a Toyota dealership in town where we knew we would be well taken care of. Thanks, guys!
As we headed into St. Louis, we were greeted by a great view of the Gateway Arch and by a sign broadcasting the Name above all names!
We arrived at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, including the Gateway Arch, and decided to take the tram up to the top. Here's a picture of the tram car which we rode in. There were enough seats for five people to sit very snugly together during the ascent.
St. Louis from 630' in the air! The courthouse where the Dred Scott case was held can be seen in the foreground.
A view out the arch windows toward the east and overlooking the flooded Mississippi River.
The kids posed with the Park Ranger who answered our questions at the top of the arch. You can see the viewing windows in the background. It was a small room with an arched floor. There was a hole in the center of the roof where twice a year a park employee climbs up and changes the light on top of the arch to warn the airplanes to stay clear.
At the Museum of Westward Expansion we enjoyed a terrific presentation by one of the Park Rangers who plays the Indian flute. He explained all the different ways the Native Americans used music in their daily lives. Here is a short video of his last song, one of our favorites, "Wayfaring Stranger."
Joshua, P.I., and Shannon, his side-kick, close in on the confectionary culprit, their arch enemy: John, the taffy thief!
Due to Hurricane Ike and the havoc it left in its wake, the waterfront was flooded. Access to the riverboats was cut off and an entire parking lot at the base of the arch was submerged.
Shannon reflected on her architectural studies from the day during her dinner at Caleco's Restaurant, a short walk from the arch and across the street from the courthouse, where we enjoyed a great Italian dinner.
As we headed out of St. Louis, we waved "good-bye" to the Gateway Arch as it faded into the sunset.