Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Mini Epic Road Trip 2016: St. Louis

A few weeks ago I started to recap #AMERT2016 (A Mini Epic Road Trip), but in the past few weeks, I've been distracted or lazy and haven't finished it. I'm determined now. :)

For the recap of Day 1, click here.

I was gonna put the rest of my pictures into one post just to get it over with, but man, that would be a lot of pictures, so I'm breaking it up into a few more posts. You are welcome for that by the way. :)

Day 2- St. Louis: Mel, Aaron, and I were in St. Louis for day two. We only had a day to spend there, so we did as much as possible. I have to go back because there is so much I didn't get to see.



Of course we had to go to the Gateway Arch. This was a big deal for me because I don't really like heights and I'm a little claustrophobic, but I'm so glad I did it. If you go, I recommend that you watch the movie about the construction of The Arch (it's in the theater near the gift shop). It was neat! Also, GET THERE EARLY! It opens at 8:30a and we got there about 8:40ish. There was hardly anyone in line. We honestly only spent about 20 minutes at the top of the Arch (you can only look out for so long), and when we got back down, the line was SUPER LONG. And this was on a Thursday. Also, tickets are time stamped, so get them in advance if you can. It will save you the hassle and time later on!


This is what you ride to the top of the Arch in. Doesn't it look like some kind of pod from a Sci-Fi movie?
It was quite cozy inside of the pod...
A slightly nervous Rachel at the top of the Arch...
Feeling brave enough to look out
The view was nice
Touching the top of the Arch
I made it!
One more Arch picture
Just a short walk from The Arch was the Old Courthouse. This is where Dred Scott trials took place back in the 1800s. 




Normally you are not allowed to go totally inside the courtroom, they have a barrier stopping you at the door so you can only get pictures from there. When we were at this particular courtroom, a special tour came in and the park ranger giving the tour let us in with them. It was cool to sit in chairs and think about all the trials that were once held there. I'm such a history nerd.

After our tour of the Old Courthouse we decided to walk the short 18 blocks to Hard Rock Cafe for lunch. It started raining pretty hard (and of course my shirt was white), so we waited under an awning to catch a bus that took us to the Hard Rock Cafe. I'm now the proud owner of a Hard Rock Cafe umbrella (since it was still raining when we left).

Picture stolen from Mel's Facebook page. You can see me struggling to get my new umbrella open. Lol.
Aaron wanted to tour the Budweiser brewery so we took a bus ride over to that part of town (it was NOT within walking distance). I'm not a beer drinker, but I enjoyed seeing the Clydesdale horses. :) There are different tours you can take. We took the free tour, which was about 45 minutes long and gave you a pretty good tour. For you beer drinkers, you get two free samples of beer on that tour. If you don't drink beer, you can trade in your beer token for a free soda or bottle of water.



We decided to get the souvenir picture they took at the beginning of the tour. :)



I actually saw some of the Clydesdale horses back in 2004 at the State Fair of Texas. Good grief I was so skinny. And blonde. Ah, the good ol' days...
That evening we went to a Cardinals baseball game (which was honestly what started this whole road trip to begin with). Since I'm trying to see all the MLB ballparks, I had to cross Busch Stadium off my list eventually (as painful as it was for my Texas Rangers heart). If you have to ask why, then just don't ask.

I will not confirm or deny that I spit on the sidewalk

A view from our seats
It seems I can only get Mel to a baseball game when we are on a road trip! :) 
A new spit cup for my sunflower seeds
I made friends with the guys sitting next to us- they were Royals fans. They were happy with the outcome of this game
This was on all of the rows


We left the car parked at our hotel and walked or took public transportation while we were in St. Louis. Aaron was tracking our steps, we took approximately 23,890 steps that day. Yes, my feet were sore by the end of the day. 

After this trip, I was able to update my 101 in 1001 list (which I've been HORRIBLE about- next time I need to do a better job with my list):

4. Attend games at five MLB ballparks I've never been to before (4/5)
This was my fourth one since I started this challenge. 

XOXO!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

My social media feed has been full of so much hate, violence, complaining, and bullying lately that I really wasn't in the mood to do a WILW post today. I just had a bad taste in my mouth about people and life in general at the moment. Then I realized that I shouldn't let stuff like that affect me so much that I stopped loving the little things in life, so, I felt I needed to cheer myself up (and maybe cheer someone else up in the process), so I bring you my What I'm Loving Wednesday for today!


I'm loving...

My new hair cut. Well, it's a few weeks old now, but hey, it's still kind of new. And of course I had to post an obligatory "post hair cut" picture after I got it done (because if you don't show the world your new hair cut, does that mean it never happened?) I posted it on Instagram and used the hashtag #RegisSalon (since that is where I go for my hair needs). I was contacted by Regis Salon for permission to possibly use my picture in future advertisements or on their social media pages. Holla!

For the record, it hasn't looked this cute since I left the salon. I can never get it looking as good as they do. I swear their hairdryers and flat irons are magic.

I'm loving...

My coworkers. My job isn't perfect and there are definitely days where I want to throw objects out one of the fifth floor windows, but for the most part, my coworkers keep me sane during those "challenging" times. One of my sweet friends (and coworker) celebrated 25 years with our company last week. We had a party for her (because we love to party). I've been with the company eight years and I'm still considered a "newbie". :)


I'm loving...

That my amazing friend Eric felt I needed this Dick Van Dyke Mary Poppins doll. I saw one a few weeks ago at an antique shop when I was in Hannibal (yes, I will finish my road trip recap soon, I've been lazy this past week) but I didn't have enough money to buy it. He found one on Ebay and sent it to me as a late birthday gift. I haven't been this excited to receive a doll since I was eight! :)



I'm loving...

That my friend Angie and I got our six seconds of fame a few weeks ago on NBC 5 here in Dallas. I was asked on Twitter by a local reporter if they could use my picture in their Fan of the Week segment. I can't embed the video, but here is the link here



I'm loving...

That my birthday present to myself arrived last week. Don't tell me I didn't need another baseball bag, I won't listen to you. For those wondering, I purchased it from Smallwoods, their website link is here.



I'm loving...

That I drove 200 miles to get a George Strait bobblehead. Okay, maybe I also made the drive to see a baseball game and some of my dearest friends. But the trip started because I wanted that bobblehead (yes, I have a problem, no, I'm not seeking help). :)

This may be the closest I ever get to a selfie with King George...sigh
I'm loving...

That my BFF Mandy still puts up with me after 28 years of friendship. It's not easy being my friend. I talk a lot and I can get a little crazy at times (especially over baseball and Supernatural). BUT, she has suffered through! :) She knows more about baseball than any non-baseball fan I know (mainly she knows more about Steve Avery than she ever wanted to)! :) I'm sad we live so far away (hey- 200 miles feels like another continent away at times), but we always seem to pick up where we left off whenever we get together! :)



I'm loving...

That I got to hang out with a great group of friends while in Austin last weekend. It's hard making the trip because I know so many people that live there and I can't see them all, but I'm thankful for the friends I do get to see when I'm there! :)

Don't tell Zach that I went to the Express baseball game for the George Strait bobblehead and not to hang out with him. :)
This wonderful woman was my "summer mom" in 1998 when I lived with her and the rest of her family for three months during my college years. I love that all this time later she still treats me like one of her family. 
Kris and I spent many nights talking and eating ice cream together during college, he is one of my favorites that I met during that time of my life. So glad that all this time later, we are still friends. It's been a while since we had seen each other, this was my first time meeting his daughter Miss E. 
Thomas and I didn't go to the same college, but we met through a mutual friend during that time and have been friends ever since. He has been with me through some of my darkest times and always makes me smile when I don't feel like smiling. His son T wanted nothing to do with taking pictures with us. Lol.
Because of Kris and Thomas, I know my amazing friend Katie (she's married to Thomas and is Kris' sister). We laugh because even though I've known Kris and Thomas longer, she and I talk more to each other than I do with them. We had a great time hanging out at the park with her son T while I was in town.
Pushing T on the swings
I've been friends with Mark since high school. I'm pretty sure we caused our journalism teacher some grief (we may or may not have been troublemakers). Well, he was a troublemaker, I was an innocent bystander. :)
So glad I got to see Coach Raup while I was in town. He was the baseball coach at my high school when I went there (he's also Mark's dad). We've been keeping in touch on Facebook but it has been years since I had seen him
I'm loving...

That Mandy's kids call me "Aunt Rachel". I loved getting to spend time with them while I was in town. They also like the SnapChat app (most kids do).




The photo booth at Amy's Ice Cream was broken, so Miss E and I made our own photo strip
I'm loving...

This marinade that I found at Kroger last week. Yes, I bought it solely because it said Dr Pepper, but it's pretty good! I grilled a steak last night and used it. I highly recommend it!


I'm loving...

That I got an invite for a special opening of the newest Norma's Cafe location. Norma's Cafe is a local restaurant that now has four locations around the Dallas area. They follow me on Twitter and sent me this message a few weeks ago. When I got there a man approached me and asked if I was Rachel from Twitter. His name is Bill Ziegler and he's the director of operations for Norma's. I felt like I had hit big time celebrity status. Lol. If you live in the area, check out one of their locations. Tell them Averyfan from Twitter sent you! :)


It was nice to meet Bill Ziegler!

I'm loving...

That sometimes it's okay to be a little dorky, or nerdy, or goofy. Too many people are out there judging others and complaining over ANY and EVERY thing. There are so many horrible things going on in the world right now that I feel people need to let go of the "small stuff". I don't get Pokemon Go, but if you like it, go for it and have fun (just not at places like the Holocaust Museum or Arlington National Cemetery- show some respect). And please be careful and don't walk into the street without looking both ways first. And for goodness sake's, don't play while driving. But besides that, have fun! :) If you want to spend all day binge watching Stranger Things on Netflix, do it (no seriously, do it, it was a great show! I watched all eight episodes in one sitting). If you want to get excited over bobbleheads, or dolls, or baseball games, or new shoes, or Plexus, or books, or nerd out because some celebrity responded to you on Twitter, please do. I would love to hear about it. And don't worry about what others might think. Post pictures of your vacations, your kids, your fur-babies, your selfies, your food, your Fitbit updates- if that makes you happy, don't let others tell you it's dumb or that you need to stop it. I love seeing what my friends are up to (even if it makes me a little jealous that you are on an awesome vacation and I'm at my desk at work). Heck, I get a little jealous when someone says they are at Whataburger and I'm not. Lol. If I post too much on social media and that offends you, you know what, I don't care. I don't post for other people. I post for me. I'm tired of walking on eggshells and wondering what my friends think if I like every picture Shemar Moore posts on Facebook (although my pastor follows me on Facebook and he might do a sermon on lust at some point). Lol. If the worst thing I do is post too many selfies, then you know what, I'm doing okay in life. I don't post selfies to get comments- I post selfies to say "Hey world, I'm alive and doing okay". I can think of far worse things to do with one's time. Sorry, I got all serious for a moment. I'll end with this picture... :)


XOXO!!