Monday, July 8, 2013

Train to the Gateway to the West

This was our first Amtrak trip. We left Lee's Summit, MO on July 4th at 8:51 am (right on the dot!) and arrived in St. Louis, MO at a little after 2 pm.

Lee's Summit train station.

Here comes the train!

We stopped in Warrensburg, Sedalia, Jefferson City, Hermann, Washington and Kirkwood. Each stop was two minutes (except the Jefferson City, which was 12 minutes). Get on or get off.

The train was fun, much like an airplane except you could stand up and walk around.

Things to know
about the train:
  • It's nothing like the train from Hogwarts Express or the Polar Express.
  • Our unofficial MPH iPhone app clocked the train any where from 49 mph to 74 mph.
  • Train seats are bigger and more comfortable than airplane seats, plus each seat has an outlet.
  • Train food is...well...let's just say I don't like to eat a hamburger that's been heated up in a bag. They did have hummus and pretzels, and a pretzel that was good.
  • It's kinda hard to walk on a moving train.
  • Five hours is long time to be on a train.

Passing the time (this why it's important there is a power outlet at each seat).

Our hotel was at the old Union Station. That night, we swam at the pool, ate seafood and walked around the outside shopping area. We had two hotel rooms, so the boys slept in Pam's room that night and Scott and I were able to walk down to the Arch to watch the fireworks.

We ended up at Three Sixty, the rooftop bar on top of the Hilton. The bar was cool and packed with people, most of which were younger than us. We were able to see a few fireworks, and then walked back to the hotel and were in bed by 10:30. Party.

July 5 we visited the Gateway Arch in the morning. It was foggy when we got there.

This is how we got up to the top.

Inside the pod.

Zach thought it was cool, being 630 feet in the air. Adam said it was "creepy."

The sky did eventually clear up. There was a festival going on, so the Arch grounds were full of food vendor tents, porta-potties and a huge musical stage.

At the base.

We ate at the top of the Millennium Hotel which has a revolving restaurant on the top, the 28th floor. We all agreed that the hamburgers were the best ever. Only one other table was eating, so we could walk around the whole restaurant. While we were eating, there was an air show by the Arch, so we had a bird's eye view of the whole thing. It took 90 minutes for the restaurant to make a full revolution. We stayed the entire time.

That night, we rode paddle boats, a first for the boys.

And watched the fish.

Union Station.

July 6, we headed back to Lee's Summit. We missed shooting off our own fireworks, so we did a few at Pam's house.