day 6 – kansas city to chicago

i’m finally on the home stretch of this trip.  these last few days will be filled with fun things to do and i’m super excited.

waking up from my bbq-induced coma, i hit the road early.  my first stop was st louis to see the famed arch and grab lunch.  the road thru missouri was no different than the road in kansas: ridiculously boring.  but about 10 miles out from St Louis, you can see the skyline and more importantly, you can see that amazing arch.  the gateway to the west (or in my case, the east).

after parking and freezing my butt off while walking thru the park, i finally arrived at the arch.  its much bigger than expected and extremely impressive.  i wouldn’t put it up there with seeing the Taj Mahal, but definitely on the same level as the Washington Monument or the Statue of Liberty.

The Arch

even though it wasn’t a clear day, i wanted to ride to the top of the arch.  i’ve heard cool things about the experience and wanted to check it out firsthand.  when you buy the ticket, they ask you if you are claustrophobic,  which definitely scared me.  i’m a big dude and small spaces aren’t my favorite.  but i manned up and bought a ticket, though remaining curious on why they asked me if i was claustrophobic.  once i got to the elevator to ride to the top, i knew why.  each “elevator” is tiny and has 5 seats.  i felt like i was in the apollo space capsule about to be shot to the moon.  luckily the line was short so i was able to ride alone.

Door To Elevator The Elevator

once at the top, the views of St Louis are amazing.  you have amazing views of the city as well as a scary vantage point of looking straight down to the ground.

View Of St Louis Inside Arch

after the arch, i had worked up a hunger.  and i knew exactly what would cure this ailment.  some toasted (aka fried) raviolis and ted drewes custard, two St Louis institutions.  the ravolis from Mama Toscanos were perfect pillows of fried dough, cheese, and meaty sauce.  and washed down with an amazing concrete shake (think the most amazing McDonalds McFlurry you will ever have), i was a happy camper.

Ted Drewes Toasted Ravioli

i hauled ass the last 240ish miles to get to chicago in time for the cuse game.  after catching up with an old friend over a few beers and watching my beloved cuse crush providence, we went out separate ways.  though people have been pushing me to get deep dish in chicago, i’ve been to this city before and have experienced the deep dish pizza.  i wanted something different, something lighter.  so i hit up Xoco, one of Rick Bayless’s restaurants.  i ordered the chicarrones and the carnitas soup.  the chicarrones were some of the best i’ve ever had.  not too light, not too oily, just cooked perfectly.  the carnitas soup was tasty but ridiculously spicy.  i barely finished the bowl.

Chicarrones Carnitas Soup

my final stop of the night was to take a quick picture of the amazing architecture in chicago.  my hotel is in an amazing location, right across the river from Trump Tower and right down the river from the Tribune building.  though it was cold as all hell, it was worth it to take a quick pic.

Tribune Building

tomorrow is thankfully my second to last day of my trip and i have some awesome things planned.  lunch with a b school friend in detroit, checking out the big house, and finally a primanti’s sandwich (something i’ve been drying to try).  should be another long but fun day.

miles driven today: 568
total miles driven: 2684

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