Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Day 4 - Nashville to St. Louis

Running is such a great way to explore a city. It's much more efficient than walking, and you're able to see so much more than if you're driving. Biking would be nice, but then you've got to worry about navigating traffic (most U.S. cities aren't very bike-friendly). I guess horse and carriage would be ideal, but of course, that's not usually and option. This morning we went on our usual run and explored Vanderbilt University. It's a gorgeous campus set just outside of downtown Nashville. The campus as a work of art seems a mostly American phenomenon. Europe has its share of beautiful, historic campuses, but not nearly to the degree of America.

After our run we got coffee at Fido, a coffee shop that was the former home of a pet store. If you haven't been able to tell, C and I are big coffee shop fans. Ironically, she doesn't like coffee, or any hot drinks for that matter, but we both like the ambiance. There's usually great music and a quiet atmosphere - both conducive to getting work done.

We hit the road mid-morning heading to St. Louis. We ended up visiting four states today - Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri. It was another pleasant drive. Western Kentucky offered miles of pastoral rolling farmland, and we only got turned around a couple of times. Collectively, I think we've lost about an hour of time doing this road trip the old-fashioned way: with a road atlas and a few selected Google Maps printouts. With no GPS device, I think we're doing it pretty close to the way Lewis and Clark explored the West.

Downtown St. Louis is a beautiful place. The architecture was remarkable, and the preservation of older buildings was really commendable. C got a fantastic deal on for our first night there. We paid $60 for the Hyatt in the old Union Station. The entrance of the station served as the hotel's main lobby, and the rest of the station has been converted into a shopping mall. Whomever designed this place deserves awards! It is a model of historic preservation.

We made it to the hotel in just enough time to drop our bags then walk to Busch Stadium to catch the Cardinals vs. the Mets. The rain came down hard for about an hour during the third inning, so the game was delayed. When it stopped, it was getting late so we headed back to the hotel before the next wave of thunderstorms moved in. Troy Glaus hit his second homer of the game in the bottom of the ninth to win it for St. Louis.

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