Tuesday, August 15, 2017

King Tut and Dinner on the River in St. Louis

It was a beautiful summer day and my friend Betty and I were heading to St. Louis.

We were going to spend the afternoon at the St. Louis Science Center before taking off on a Gateway Arch River Cruise for dinner.

We decided to leave the car in the lot by the boat and take an Uber to the museum and back. 

The cruises left right below the Gateway Arch and we had quite a view from that spot.

The St. Louis Science Center is located within Forest Park. Like the other museums there, it is free to the public.

We didn’t realize that the museum closed at 5:00 pm so we couldn’t see it all, but we had enough time to go through the main thing we came for:

The King Tut Exhibit.

With our tickets we received our recorders for the guided audio tour. 

I really didn’t know what to expect since it had been many years since I had seen anything on King Tut. 

This exhibit was so much more than I ever expected.

It is set up so that you are walking in the steps of archaeologist Howard Carter when he discovers the King Tutankhamun site in 1922. Nothing else like it had ever been found.

The exhibit then takes you through the tomb and the artifacts, including the mummy cases and tomb treasures. 

It consists of lots of gold in every shape and form.

Betty and I were both amazed at all of this splendor, created thousands of years ago with minimal tools.

The King Tut Exhibit is open at the St. Louis Science Center through January 7, 2018. There is a charge for this exhibit, but it is definitely worth it.

We had some time before the river cruise and we had Uber driver take us around Forest Park. 

I had been to the Art Museum and the Zoo, but hadn’t spent any significant time in the park since I was a kid.
Our driver had us back at the boat in time for the cruise. We had not had any substantial food all day and couldn’t wait.

The tables were reserved and the buffet was set up when we boarded. There was a banjo player and Betty and I each order a glass of wine and began to relax.

Dinner on the Gateway River Cruise included a beef carving station, chicken, fish, vegetables, potatoes, fruit, and pasta salad.

We helped ourselves to full portions and the food was very good.


The dessert was a choice of Red Velvet and Chocolate Fudge cakes. I had a little of each and they were both delicious.

It was a beautiful night and the ride along the Mississippi River was wonderful. 

We went outside to catch the sunset and watch the boat get ready to dock.

Dinner cruises, which you can reserve on the website, run through October and start back up in April.

The one-hour sightseeing cruises go until November and start again in March.




Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Quick Trip to Columbus, Ohio

I go to New York every few months to visit family and friends. I almost always fly, but my friend Lynn suggest she drive back with me and spend some time in Illinois.

I had recently received an invite to check out the new Hotel LeVeque in Columbus, Ohio, and decided it was a perfect place to stop.

Hotel LeVeque, part of the Marriott Autograph Collection, was opened in the Leveque Lincoln Tower in downtown Columbus.

The history of the 100-year-old building has been preserved, and even improved since the opening added additional artwork to the marbled historic building.

We arrived late in the evening. The hotel does not have a full restaurant open yet, but we decided to check out The Keep Liquor Bar.

It’s a very welcoming area, with leather couches and soft lighting. It has delicate touches with go perfectly with the hotel’s décor.

They don’t have a full menu, but the bar menu was inviting. 

We decided to share the Watermelon Goat Cheese Arugula Salad, a cheese charcuterie plate, and burrata with tomatoes.

The dishes were all fresh and delicious, and went perfectly with a glass of Sauvion Vouvray from Loire, a very light white wine with just a hint of sweetness.

We were pretty tired and headed up to our room at Hotel LeVeque right after we ate. It was quite luxurious, but also equipped with modern touches, such as the outlets by the bed and the television ready to sync with our cell phones for live streaming.

The beds were also extremely comfortable and we slept quite well, with a “starry night display” on the ceiling.

In the morning, we enjoyed the hotel’s European style breakfast buffet, which included eggs, pastries, bagels, oatmeal, and fresh fruit.

We took some time to look around before heading over to Bicentennial Park and lunch at Milestone 229.

The park has an open, modern feel, with plenty of fountains for kids to cool off on hot days. It was especially hot when we were there and a few grownups were also enjoying the chance to cool off.

The drink menus at Milestone 229 was very interesting and included a lot of local spirits, wine, and beer.

It seemed like a relaxing day to enjoy one before lunch and two caught my eye:

Royal Peach, with Crown Royal Vanilla , peach syrup, and Peach Schnapps, and 229 Cosmo, a blend of Pineapple Infused Finlandia Vodka, Cointreau (Use code DRIZLYFIVE to save $5 with these links at Drizly liquor delivery) , cranberry juice, and lime.

The warm pretzel bread with house made whole grain butter was a perfect starter with the cocktails.

For an entrée, I had Try the Baked Vegetable Croquette with Baba Ghanoush.


It sounded unique and wonderful, and it was.

Lynn had the roasted chicken with side of macaroni and cheese, which she really enjoyed.

After lunch, we hit the road and headed to one of my favorite stores, the Eddie Bauer Warehouse. 

I happen to come across this place about 10 years ago and I always stop when I am in Columbus.

The bargains are unbelievable, with specials every day, in addition to the 30-50% off on everything, every day.

On this day, the deal was $12.99 for all dresses, which originally cost up to $100.


Lynn bought me a couple of birthday presents, as well as a few things for herself, and we hit the road. 

We had a bought six hours to go before we were in Champaign