Tuesday, July 23, 2013

St Louis, archn't you super space agey

I wasn't going to do it because it required me to re-fro-ify my recently straightened and serumed smooth hair by walking a whole 5 minutes from my hotel to the Gateway Arch.  But, it seemed to be the one thing you just had to do before leaving St. Louis, so I dealt with a strut through what felt like a heated humidifier to the 630' tall Arch. 

A tall view is a tall view, so I have to be honest I think I enjoyed my wowing panoramic view of the city more from the business dinner I went to at the 42nd floor restaurant of the one of the tallest sky scrapers in St. Louis than the view from the Arch.

But what I would say was worth my $10 was the super 70's space age ride up to the top of the Arch!  

Standing in line I hadn't really thought much about the 4' tall "doors" in front of us.  I'm not sure why either.  I guess I was expecting to ride up in an elevator or something.

It actually wasn't until the death threats against tampering with the doors, "vessel" as they called them or windows that I noticed the Alice in Wonderland size of a key hole I was going to squeeze through. 

The vessels held 5 passengers at a time who all crouched in knee to knee facing the door. The 4 strangers who I considered could have wound up being the last 4 people I ever spoke to all agreed that we probably faced the door for the claustrophobics who naively agreed to this adventure. 

As we jerked and wiggled on the 4 minute ride to the top we also began to understand why they didn't give you a view outside during the ride up.  I'm pretty sure if any of us could've seen fresh air we would catapulted our crunched up selves right through the window! 

When we made it to the top I was about to demand to see a current newspaper. But alas, one glance at the Justin Beiber cloned high school summer staffer assured me we hadn't actually traveled through time.

The top was pretty amazing.  I was on the first vessel to the top, so it wasn't too crowded.  I took my time finding the best window to take a picture out of.  

Speaking of windows, I wanted someone to tell me how on earth they kept the whole top area so clean, especially the windows!  There is NO way a standard size vacuum and mop could fit in the vessel.  Oh, those windows were streakless!  Maybe that's why the ride is so scary. You couldn't have bribed my kids with all the candy in the world to get into the vessels to ride up.  No sticky fingered kids around  = clean windows. 

Speaking of not wanting to take kids up fortunately one of my colleagues offered to babysit Sam while I ran over, because I really don't know how that would've gone over.  Excuse me, can you hand sanitize your stranger knee so I feel comfortable with my baby's knee resting on yours? 

Because someone was waiting back at the hotel with Sam, I tried to make my space age travel brief.  I made sure I caught the first return trip, which you have to wait in line for again!   They won't send a few vessels at a time.  I think there are 8 and they seemed to wait for at least half of the 8 vessels to fill up before they run.  I want to know what if you were panicking at the top and needed to get back on the ground right away?  Do they let any panic attackers just cut on through the return vessel wait?   I over heard a mother comforting her teenage daughter with an offer to do a few "ring around the rosaries" on the way down.

So I snapped this cool shadow pic and headed down to the empty vessel I somehow scored all to myself. It wasn't nearly as tense that time.  In fact, it was a little fun and I decided if I ever did want to write a sci fi novel I'd definitely pay to just ride the 70's Arch vessel transporters back and forth back and forth until I was finished.   

As I headed for the door Gateway Beiber reminded me to purchase my "group" photo.  Of which I decided to illegally take a picture of instead.  Thank my lucky stars I wasn't arrested for such treason!  How could anyone let me wear that old shirt?   Oh, right, it's taking a picture of a picture that they said was illegal.  Allllrighty then.

In the end, I was glad I did it. (Not the illegal picture taking, I don't really care about that).  As an added bonus, I even made it back to my hotel in time to straighten my frizz mob hair once again before getting to my presentation. 


  1. Heights don't bother me, but those pics made me totally dizzy. EEK! Beautiful view, though.

    1. Yeah, I thought I definitely would've thrown up if I were pregnant!