We had a really good trip to St. Louis. For those who were not there,
only thing you did not miss was the "warmth" of the days. We
stayed at the Sheraton Westport Chalet hotel. Nice facilities plus they
were very accommodating to our needs. A large hospitality room was
provided for the duration,
with breakfast both Friday and Saturday. There were several good
restaurants in the plaza area next to the hotel so no one really had to
We took off Friday morning at 9:00, for the
start of a city tour as it is a great way to get an overview of a
very diverse place. Following the city tour we went to the Cathedral
Basilica of St. Louis, whose interior is covered with 83,000 sq feet
of mosaics, the largest such collection in the world. From here we
drove through Forest Park, one of the largest urban parks in the
United States. Forest Park was home to the 1904 World’s Fair, which
drew more than 19 million visitors from around the world. Today, the
park is home to many museums, a zoo, and the Muny Theater. We had time
to explore the Missouri History Museum, built in
1913, offering exhibits on African-American history, the 1903 World’s
Lewis & Clark and Charles Lindbergh. Lunch was included with
at Meriwether’s Restaurant located within the museum.
After lunch, we boarded the
coach for the short drive to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. The St. Louis
Anheuser-Busch 100-acre brewery is a rich part of America’s brewing
history and the largest of Anheuser-Busch’s twelve U.S and two overseas
breweries. The tour included the historic stables, home to the
Budweiser Clydesdale Eight-Horse Hitch, and one of several national
historic landmarks on the property, the main brew house, the Brevo
Plant, and of course samples for all. We could relax in the hospitality
enjoy our favorite brew, or browse the unique Anheuser-Busch gift shop.
Afterwards we headed back to the hotel for an evening of leisure.
Saturday we departed at
9:00 AM for a drive to the
630-foot Gateway Arch, which is also home to the Museum of Westward
Expansion. Everyone had the opportunity to take a tram ride to the
top of the Arch or just relax and enjoy a film on how it was built.
There was plenty of time to tour the museum due to a change in plans.
Originally we were supposed to take a Mississippi River Cruise with
lunch. This was canceled due to the river being above flood
stage. We could not get to the boat as the road leading to it was
under water. Lunch was moved to a nearby buffet restaurant. Plenty of
choices and good food.
Our tour then continued to the Jefferson Barracks National
Cemetery, second largest only to Arlington, established in 1826 as the
country’s first “Infantry School of Practice.” The barracks served as a
major military installation until 1946. Named in honor of former
President Thomas Jefferson, the post played an important role in the
westward expansion. We disembarked from our buses for our
remembrance service and the laying of a wreath. Afterwards, the bus
drivers took us on a tour of the cemetery revealing just how large it
is, covering more than 300 acres and is about 95% utilized.
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Following the cemetery tour, we headed back to our hotel
about 3:00 for
our 3:30 business meeting followed by the Saturday evening dinner. The
the program was excellent. George Baker did a really fine job in
running things with the help of all the officers. Watch for photos,
both from the official photographer and those from your shipmates. They
will appear on the Slideshow page and in the Photo Gallery. (George
be running the Washington D.C. reunion in 2011.) A lot was packed into
short days, but hopefully everyone had a great time and learned a bit
of the history of the westward expansion of out country.