This past weekend Cliff, Kelly, Winnie, my Mom, and I took a road trip to St. Louis. Cliff and I went to St. Louis 2 years ago and we were really impressed. Our main reasons for visiting were the zoo and eating barbeque. St. Louis is only 4-4.5 hours from our house so it is a perfect long weekend destination. We packed the car as full as we could and left the house at 4am. Our first stop was the St. Louis Zoo. I had expected Winnie to sleep a good chunk of the trip but of course she didn’t. So she was not in the best of moods.
We got to the zoo before it even opened (9am). The St. Louis Zoo is free everyday but there are some special exhibits that are free for the first hour; the carousel, the train, the children’s zoo, the stingrays(closed for the winter). We first went to the butterfly exhibit. It was great having the whole thing to ourselves. Winnie was mesmerized by all the butterflies flying about. Next, we went to the Children’s zoo. It was a zoo. As in too many people. We didn’t stay long. We checked out the River’s edge section and The Wild. This is the best zoo I have ever been to. Not that i’ve been to that many. But without a doubt it is better than either of the zoos we have in Chicago. We don’t even have elephants in Chicago. And, its free!
After the zoo we went to Shaved Duck for lunch. It was excellent. We had a wide range of things to eat. I had smoked potato wedges with pulled pork, beans, bacon, and cheese. It was delish. My mom had crab cakes, Kelly had a meatloaf sandwich, and Cliff had a tri-tip sandwich. No complaints. Kelly and Cliff also split a cup of jalapeno and duck chili, which they really liked.
After lunch we went to check into the condo that we rented. It was perfect for us. 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, kitchen, and a little room for Winnie to sleep in. It even had a pack n’ play and a high chair for Winnie. It was so nice and we will definitely we staying there again. Let me know if you want more information.
That night we left Winnie with my Mom and Cliff, Kelly, and I went to Mission Taco Joint for dinner. We had fun cocktails, lots of tasty tacos, mexican corn, and churros. What more could we want? We also got gooey butter cake for dessert from Piccione Pastry to take home. Yum! They had canoli with all kinds of filling; gooey butter cake, cookie dough, tiramisu…
The next morning we drove to downtown St. Louis to see the arch. We walked around the park a bit and looked at the arch but there is not much else there. We did not go up in the arch. I’m not even sure it if was open because it was under construction.
Afterwards we went to get barbeque at Pappy’s Smokehouse. Cliff and I ate there last time we were in St. Louis and it is still our gold standard for ribs. We got there early so we only had to wait in line about 15 minutes. Last time we had to wait about 1 hours so we intentionally got there early this time. The line was out the door when we left though. We got lots of ribs, beef brisket sandwich, sweet potato fries, green beans, beans, and apple sauce. Kelly didn’t love her brisket but everything else was excellent. Winnie loved dipping her sweet potato fries in bbq sauce. Pappy’s is still our gold standard for ribs.
After lunch we headed to Grant’s farm. To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect. When we first got there we went and checked out the Clydesdales. Then, we walked across the parking lot and across the bridge to the tram. We took the tram around the park and saw tons of animals. There were cows, horses, deer, geese, antelope, bison and other animals I do not remember. When we got off the train my Mom said, ok, should we get the tram back to the car? And I was like, no, there is more!! We got to feed the goats milk from little bottles. We fed the parakeets, pet the camels, saw zebra and eagles. Cliff even got free beer. There were even more attractions that we missed but Winnie was done by that point. We really loved Grant’s farm and we all said we would definitely go back. It kind of felt like Disneyland but we only spent $14- $12 for parking and $2 for milk/bird food. I feel like it is a hidden gem. I would absolutely recommend visiting.
That evening Cliff, Kelly, and I went to “The Hill,” a little neighborhood full of Italian restaurants, bakeries, bars, and grocery stores. It was too cold to walk around but we got a pizza to go and called it a night. Cliff got more free beer at the bar because Ole Miss beat Alabama. Hotty Toddy! It was a day of free beer I guess! So that was our trip. We can’t wait to go back soon!