I actually went to St. Louis [and vicinity] twice this summer. The first time, unfortunately, was not for pleasure, as we had to bury my late grandfather. I made a promise to my family though, that I would return for a longer stay prior to my move to Dallas. Thankfully, those words were able to hold true and I got to spend two amazing weeks with my family in July.
So what did I do during those two weeks?
At the tender age of 26, I finally gambled for the first time. We spent our time at Lumière Place Casino. I thought I was making "big money" by winning around $40 in total, until my family members won around $100! Nonetheless, I was able to check off another item off of my "first time" activities for the summer. Word to the wise: Bring a jacket! Their air conditioning is impeccable, even if it might be 90-100 degrees outside. Also, bring some cash as the drinks are relatively cheap, but not free.
I also was able to spend some time at Sweetie Pie's at the Mangrove with one of my best friends and my grandmother. I had gotten some choice words from my friends for not visiting the famous restaurant back in May, so after a morning of getting our hair done, we set out for a nice Thursday afternoon lunch. Might I add, that we got there just in time, as a church group with two charter buses full of members arrived approximately 5 minutes after we did. My friend, my Granny, and I did not have to wait in line for our food. #Winning We each got the 3-piece fried chicken wings with various sides.
Can I be honest? I was pretty underwhelmed. I think the first issue was the fact that the food was lukewarm, but not hot. I get that it was Thursday and not one of the "big" days, but still, folks like their food to be hot. Also, due to it being Thursday, the options were limited. I should have done some thorough research on the food options prior to my arrival. Now, don't get me wrong, the food was good, but it just was not this mind-blowing experience that I was expecting to have due to all of the recommendations from others to visit. Maybe that's because my Mom, Granny, and Aunties throw down on a regular basis. I would still give them one more chance and probably come on a weekend day, to see the choices in food. However, I am also pretty content with the Sunday dinner my family cooks. If I had to rank them, I would give them 3 out of 5 stars.
I got to check off another "first time bucket list" item, and attended my very first MLB game with my uncle! My friends were absolutely correct in saying that attending a baseball game is a lot more fun than watching it on TV. The St. Louis Cardinals were playing the Cincinnati Reds. It started off a little slow, but it picked up and the Cardinals eventually pulled it out. Since it began to rain around the sixth inning, we went over to Ballpark Village to watch the game over there (and with air conditioning). Ballpark Village is an amazing concept and I think St. Louis was smart to create such a venue where you can watch the game, visit bars, sing karaoke, all across the street from the baseball stadium. In fact, while we were at Ballpark Village, I rode a mechanical bull. That makes 2 #FirstTimeBucketList items in one adventure. It was pretty fun, and I thankfully did not add any more injury to my thumb since I am just getting out of my thumb brace.
Naturally, I spent a lot of time with my family hanging out around the city and getting in good quality time before I headed back to Texas to start my new job. Whether we were at the local lodge or at someone's house, I really enjoyed myself. I got to eat at one of my favorite places again, The Best Steak House for my "last dinner" prior to my departure. In fact, I had such a great time during my visit, it took me a lot of time to write this post because I would cry at the thought of them because I miss them that much.
To my family, I love y'all and will see you soon! I thank God for you all, your watchful eyes, and remarkably unconditional love.
Peace and Blessings,