I’m in St Louis for our Happiness (support) team meetup. One of our co-workers, Ryan, lives in the area and has organized the meetup with military precision. Today was designated as our “local” day to explore. I had no idea what was in store for us.
We started the day with a trip to Schlafly micro-brewery and tap room for lunch. Reading the menu, I see “One pound Reuben” and “Plate of Swine.” Oh, decadence. We gasped as platters of food arrived, more than any of us could consume in one sitting. Here, Ryan ponders how to attack the one pound Reuben.
From there it’s over to the City Museum, a wacky, incredible amusement of a place. I love places like this. Someone has a vision – let’s take recycled materials and do something utterly amazing with them. Like, make a museum. First stop, rooftop, to take our chance on the 10 story slide. As we were waiting in line, an employee asked, “Do you want to go really fast?” What kind of question is that? “Yes!” we screamed. So he preceded us down the corkscrew slide, spraying a teflon-like substance, making the metal slide even more slippery and fast. There’s something ultimately exhilarating about winding down story after story, hearing your screams of glee reverberating off of close metal walls. The slide dumped us into caves that we had an unusually difficult time exiting, but it was the most fun I’ve ever had being lost. The caves involved cages, and tunnels, and very dark passages that required squatting or crawling. After an inordinate amount of time, we found ourselves in the elevator back up to the rooftop. I looked up, surprised to see children crawling along the 50 foot high domed ceiling, protected by insanely close metal casings that allowed 18 inches or so of crawl space. We amused ourselves with the school bus cantilevered over the edge of the roof, the giant slide under a parachute, and a ferris wheel perched delicately on the roof. And then our time was up.
Saddened to leave, we piled into the mini-van and drove an hour to an incredibly remote, this is where they bury bodies, area of rural Illinois. Where we entered a nondescript, windowless brick building. That contained dozens of retrofitted pinball machines. That were ours for two hours of free play. I battled Tron, construction crews, NBA players and scored goals in the World Cup. I navigated haunted houses and raced cars.
And when we thought the day couldn’t get any better, we piled into the vehicles once again and made our way to Ryan’s house, where his family greeted us with home-made pulled pork and brisket. And Rock Band. Hours and hours of rock band. We proved our talents on guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. Who knew video games could be this much fun?
On our way home we stopped at Ted Dewes Frozen Custard. I was under the impression that ice cream was the perfect dessert and that perfection couldn’t be improved upon. I was wrong. This was an incredibly creamy, just the right sweetness frozen concoction that we ate in the parking lot, the heat from the day radiating from the black asphalt as we spooned deliciousness into our mouths under an almost full moon.
I guess all perfect days have to end at some point. And what a way to end.
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