Go West Old Men: A Travel Memoir. Part 8

The Grain Downtown Public House is located in the southeast corner of Louisville Slugger Field in a former train station that features beautifully ornate industrial architecture.

This is Part 8 of the story, follow these links to see Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5, Part 6, Part 7

Hello Route 66

After an early dinner with our friend in Lexington, we said our goodbyes, and once again headed into the sunset, planning to drive a few hours west before finding a hotel in downtown Louisville.

As we did many times along the way, I searched my Priceline app while Scott drove. We picked this hotel because we had enough time to hit the indoor pool.

“Sorry”, said the clerk. “Our pool is being renovated.”

Instead of a nice relaxing swim we walked toward the river, taking the long way around, and found a pub called Against the Grain, connected to the stadium where the Louisville Sluggers play. It didn’t take too much convincing from the server for each of us to order a flight. About halfway through said flights we looked at each other and thought “we should order some food.”

We found the more direct route back to the hotel where the pool was indeed still under renovation.

Sunday morning we enjoyed the complimentary breakfast and coffee, but not the pool, and piled back into the Jeep to continue the journey west. Our plan was to meet my cousin at her house just outside St. Louis for lunch. At one point we had considered leaving my vehicle at her place, but the Kentucky stop turned out to be more convenient.

Jeanne is my cousin on my dad’s side. Her dad was my Uncle James, so, while she goes by her married name, her maiden name is Fletcher.

We were some ten miles out of St. Louis when we saw the skyline and the Gateway Arch.. We took a not so

The Gateway Arch opened in June, 1967 and is a 630-foot tall monument to the western expansion of the United States.

quick detour down to the arch for the obligatory picture.

It was not my first visit to the Arch. That was some years ago when I was planning conventions for the association in DC. Our Board chair and I met in St. Louis and were treated to a tour of the City by a representative from the convention bureau.

I lived and worked in the Washington, DC area in the late 80s and early 90s. Vanessa and I lived there for the first eight years of our marriage. I was the convention and meetings planner for a national association of state legislators. As such, we held meetings across the country. And, since I got to spend thousands if not millions of other people’s money, I was often treated to city and hotel tours.

The national chair and I met in St. Louis, one of four cities under consideration for our next annual meeting. We toured the City, toured Union Station and of course, had to take a trip to the top of the Arch.

It’s probably at this point that I should point out that I have a debilitating fear of heights. It’s totally irrational. I know that. But it doesn’t matter. I struggle with step ladders. But usually, being inside and looking out a window doesn’t phase me.

Except being at the top of the Arch. The chair and our tour guide told me that my face went white. I knew my hands were clammy. They walked on either side of me and got me back to the elevator.

I was glad that Scott and I didn’t have time to even consider going to the top.

Scott, Jeanne, Mike, Barb

We got to my cousin’s house a little later than expected, but we had a lovely time and a lunch of enchiladas, with brownies and watermelon for dessert. She packed up a container of brownies for us to take along for the trip. They were quite tasty.

But don’t tell Jeanne. We were somewhere on our journey back east when I turned to Scott and said “there are brownies in this car.” He found them when he unpacked in Pennsylvania.

From St. Louis we picked up Route 66, which now travels along the Interstate.

Near the Missouri/Oklahoma border, we passed a Buc-ee’s under construction. I was a little sad that our route wouldn’t take us any closer to a Buc-ee’s. But there were grander things ahead. Pun intended.

While we didn’t find the wind sweeping down the plain in Oklahoma, and I didn’t see any corn growing, we saw plenty of windmills that were far higher than an elephants eye.

We made our way to Tulsa to the home of Scott’s cousins, Mary and Tab, where we enjoyed a delightful dinner of taco soup, and spent a relaxing night in their beautiful home.

Available on Amazon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.