Project Hotel Key – St. Louis, Missouri

America’s Best Value Inn

As most of you know, I am on a national tour of the musical comedy revue, Route 66. Part of our company’s mission statement includes bringing theatre to places that don’t really get a lot of shows coming through. This involves lots of stays in cities that most of my friends have never heard of. When I tell them where I am, I don’t usually make them jealous. They don’t have dining or sightseeing suggestions. They just shrug, not having any clue where on the planet I am.

St. Louis changed that up QUITE a bit.

We didn’t have a show in St. Louis, but it takes quite a while to get from West Virginia to Kansas and we needed a stopping point. Where better to stop than a city that will make my friends jealous?

The Piano Bar

Our first awesome adventure took place at The Big Bang, a nearly empty (not surprising on a Wednesday night) dueling piano bar with some awesome guys providing entertainment.

As you see, there are two pianos, a drum kit, and (kinda hidden in this picture) an electric bass! It didn’t take long for the pianists to find out we were actors. They buddied up with our bassist, Lena and invited her onstage to play a song with them. We all died laughing at their impromptu rendition of “Do Re Mi” from The Sound of Music, with altered, bar-appropriate lyrics.

Lena’s bass playing was awesome, but my favorite moment of the evening was Steve, our music director, doing his best Tina Turner on stage with them during “Proud Mary.” The man danced up a storm, and did not stop dancing until the bar shut down! It was glorious. I wish I had video footage.

The Arch

The next morning, after an evening of singing along to piano covers of everything from Metallica to Lady GaGa, five intrepid voyagers (Lena, Heatherlyn, Casey, Gil, and yours truly) embarked on a trip to one of the most picturesque sites on American soil: The St. Louis Arch.

It’s rare that I have Shut up! That’s gorgeous! moments. Those moments where you forget to breathe and have to grab for the nearest camera so you can preserve the images in your eyes forever. The last time I had one of these moments was this past May…in London. There is history seeping through every cobblestone overseas. My jaw dropped every time I turned the corner. There would always be some statue, or architectural wonder to send me into fits of wonder. It’s not like that in most of America, where most every street in every city looks like any other street in any other city. In a land of mass-production and franchise, the St. Louis Arch is truly a singular experience – full of beauty. How often do we get to visit the beautiful sights that people in foreign countries see when they look up our country on google?

I have no problem admitting that I was a total tourist in St. Louis. The camera application on my Motorola Droid stayed open on our entire journey to the arch. I snapped pictures of anything and everything I saw that struck me as beautiful. In the morning light, stunning beauty was not hard to come by. Between the lake, the trees, and the magnificent arch, I had plenty of wonders to capture.

Underneath the arch, there are several museums and gift shops. The workers all dressed in Industrial Era garb, complete with bonnets and hoop skirts. They actually sold some of these bonnets in the gift shop. Lena couldn’t resist grabbing me for a photo. Notice that she’s wearing the adult size. She shoved the kid’s bonnet on my head right before we took this picture.

Gift shops are great and all, but what we really came do to was go UP the arch. $10.00 buys you a seat on a tiny lift that I call the Egg-lavator. Can you say cozy?

After a slightly nauseating four-minute ride in this claustrophobic death trap, you get to the observation deck. It’s fascinating to look down on the world from such a high vantage point. Everything looks so small.

Keep reading for LOTS more pictures!

The base of the arch!

Thanks for reading, my loves.

More to come very soon!

    • rex
    • March 5th, 2010

    Wow, I’ve driven by the arch but never taken the egg-lavator. Great views, and I am hoping you bought the bonnet – it really makes a statement.

    • I came really close to buying one, but the color choices didn’t grab me.

    • Teresa
    • March 5th, 2010

    Gorgeous pictures!

  1. that must be exciting to be traveling so much and seeing so many colorful places…… not gonna lie, kinda jealous.

    • Muv
    • March 6th, 2010

    What wonderful pictures and I love hearing about the fun things you’re doing…….love you…..muv

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