We are not particularly rabid baseball fans.
In fact, while I enjoy going to a game now and then it’s mostly just for the atmosphere. It doesn’t really matter much to me who’s playing. I don’t follow standings or rankings or whatever. I don’t really care enough about it to pledge allegiance to a particular team. The Cardinals are pretty convenient though, all things considered, so I’ll root for them anyway.
If you live in St. Louis, you’ve been inundated with All-Star Game information for the past, oh, couple of months. “Don’t go downtown,” they warned, “you’ll never get out, the crowds will be terrible, the traffic will be awful!”
Well, as is typical with me, I decided to ignore them (after all, I hate to be told what to do) and yesterday I took those kids downtown just to see what was going on. Besides, Laclede’s landing was having this big festival announced on its website.
The Metrolink station parking lot was chock full and we had to park on the street and hike back to the station. That was really funny, because when we got downtown I saw there was all kinds of parking to be had, right there in the Arch garage.
Anyway, while on the train, Laurel struck up a conversation with some strangers, even moving behind me to sit closer to them. After speaking to her at length about sushi, baseball, books, the color pink, and freckles, the dad pronounced her ‘pretty articulate for someone going into 5th grade.’ I smiled to myself, thinking back to what the President told her.
We went right down to Laclede’s Landing to participate in the big festival they were having, with the variety of outdoor entertainment, etc. We got there right at 11:
Those liars. They didn’t have ANYTHING going on down there between 11 a.m. when we arrived and 3:30 p.m. when we left. Nothing. At all.
We veered over to the Arch grounds where I took the kids up in the Arch. It was Ethan’s first time up, and he had a fantastic time. This kind of thing is right up his alley, though he was very concerned about the decorative ropes hanging from the ceiling where we entered the trams. He didn’t know why they were there, and a man behind us joked they were for ‘ringing the bell at the top.’ Well, thanks – then all he wanted was to ring the ‘bell at the top of the Arch’ and when I explained to him that the man was teasing him, he got really – REALLY – angry. ha!
Then we went back over to the Landing for lunch. Either I’ve outgrown the Landing or it’s gone way downhill. I was put off by a lot of the restaurants but we finally settled for a deserted Subway located in the basement of a building. The kids didn’t care, they just enjoyed their sandwiches.
Next we tooled over toward the Old Courthouse, which I wanted to see, but we happened upon the beginning of the All-Star Parade, and we were of course on the wrong side of the barricades with no way to cross, so we stopped for a bit to watch THE LAMEST PARADE EVER. Okay, here is how the All-Star Parade goes:
Wait for 5 minutes. Watch a truck go by with an All-Star player in it. Cheer. Wait for 5 minutes. Repeat.
I heard many many people say they were sorely disappointed; they expected the Clydesdales, or floats, or bands, or SOMETHING other than trucks driving down Market Street.
You can see what Ethan thought of the whole affair. But no matter, the kids still picked up some freebie toys like fans and thunder sticks (well, Ethan got ONE thunder stick, but that’s probably just as well), and beads.
Finally we walked all the way around the Hyatt to get to the other side of the barricades and into Keiner Plaza where the kids threw coins in the fountains, and whined because I wouldn’t let them play in the water. Then – finally – we made it into the Old Courthouse. The deserted Old Courthouse, I should say. The All-Star Parade is definitely the time to visit the Old Courthouse.
After that, we were all pretty much exhausted, so we rode the train back to our car – by this time the train was packed – and returned home.
The weather was gorgeous (I don’t think it even hit 80 degrees), and we all agreed we had a great time…
…even if we didn’t care much about the game.