Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Day I Met "Sue-"(St. Louis Posts Day: 3)

As promised, readers, here is the Third St. Louis post! After I started exploring and coming to the that little National Park in front of the Capitol, I went out to dinner that night and happened to learn the Metro, which killed two mammalia with one stone (I would have said "Birds," but I wouldn't want to upset a certain So, the next morning, I was off to my Primary Destination...the St. Louis Science Center! Why? That happens to be the place where the greatest theropod (And...for those who are both New and Know ALMOST nothing about the vocabulary of Paleontology...The term "Theropod" literally means "Beast Feet" and simply refers to the Carniverous Dinosaurs of the Late Triassic through the Late Cretaceous periods) of all time resides...well..."her" cast anyway...."Sue" the World's Largest and Most Complete Tyrannosaurus rex known. Yep! "She" was there for a Special Exhibition for the week and I happen to be in town for that! Talk about Fortunate! Clearly, there is a God! This post covers the TWO trips there! Yep! TWO! Let's Begin!

To understand how my day went, readers, I feel you must see how I look in the morning when I wake up with my dad so I can see him before he heads off to work. Here it is, and I'm not afraid to show it:

Shocking isn't it? lol! My Dad took this picture of me right when I woke up as a joke and I happened to use his camera for the trip. So, yes, this is your pal "Raptor" Lewis in the early morning. My first thought? "" lol

Anywho, now the trip Really begins! Now, on the first trip to the Center, was an adventure in itself, as I was battling really warm temperatures with a bottle of Coca-cola and two Nature Valley Granola Bars in my bag as a snack since getting there was going to be a while. :/

I had gotten lost, ironically as my "map" was more like garbage and I couldn't find my way as easily as I thought....either that or I'm terrible at Orienteering...though I'm pretty sure it was the first reason and not the latter. Thankfully, I met a nice man along the way who not only told me the direction to go in, but actually led me to the intersection where I could just follow the signs. He was a nice African American man, who seemed to be Middle-Aged and a Post-man or something. I was fortunate enough to have met him and, before I met him, I managed to take this picture of the Center from on top of a bridge that led into a suburb with a Religious....possibly Catholicism or something, I can't remember....if I can find it. For some reason I couldn't locate it. Perhaps, I will find it the next time I look. Fortunately, readers that will be for this post. :)

Anywho, back to the post. However let me note that the pictures in this post are from my first and second visit to the Center. Anywho, I followed the signs down the street where I came across certain signs advertising the exhibit I was hoping to see:

Yes! I thought, giddy with excitement! I was almost there and it wasn't long before I would get to meet "her." The "Lizard Queen" was right inside the Center and I was only a few minutes away!

Not long afterwards I made it!

This place is Gargantuan and just one picture doesn't do it justice, and neither does two. I had finally made it, hot, perspiring and down right exhausted, yet I had made it. My first glance at the building was somewhat shocking! This center was gargantuan and I Still hold my mouth agape to this day, just looking at a picture of it. These two images are of only two-thirds of the whole building and the interior does the size justice and gives one the feeling of insignificance and inferiority, yet "Sue" was inside and I wasn't about to stop there in front. I came too far to stop then, so I ran inside, and my mouth was still agape and I stared stupidly in disbelief at the lobby.

Like Sci-Port, of Shreveport, Louisiana, USA, the Center had this HUGE contraption in the lobby like the Sci-Port contraption on steroids. And over to the left of the Admissions booth (Fortunately, the regular exhibits were FREE, and the "Sue" exhibit was only $8.00!!) was the most amazing model of a Tyrannosaurus rex fleshed out head I'd seen in a long time:

In case you can't read the sign, it basically says this was made in 1999 for National Geographic and it is a one-third scale model of "Sue's" skull, fleshed out with the EXACT proportions. Quite amazing!!

This museum has decent exhibits that is definitely worth checking out and worth telling, but I must get to the MAIN reason I was there! The Paleontology exhibits.

First, the "Sue" exhibit! Here are a few of the pictures of the exhibition here:

A few pictures of "Sue," the "Star" of this show! As you can see, "she" and I have met and I think "she" is gorgeous!!!!!! ;) That's enough for now, I'll be posting them periodically here as Artwork of the Day posts and they will be on my Deviant Art page, though honestly, I am getting tired of this series and I must wrap this up. The St. Louis Science Center IS, however, a cool place to visit and the the last day of my trip, I returned with a shorter time to get there, and saw a Planetarium show. Other than that, nothing else.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Journey Truly Begins...With a Quick History Lesson (St. Louis Posts Day: 2)

As promised, though a little late, I will now tell about the Second Day of my trip to St. Louis where I formally began my exploration By MYSELF around St. Louis!!! Though downtown, I could not leave because, to see the rest of the city, I had to take the Metro-Link (which for those who do not know, is a simple straightforward of the Subway in larger cities like Boston and Washington D.C.). "So? What's that go to do with anything?" I hear you say. Well, it has to do with a lot of things as it is the first large city I've explored on my own and until I knew how the metro operated, my dad reccomended I not ride it as.....well you can possibly imagine the reason. So, until then, I stuck close to the hotel, and thought I'd go to the Arch (Which I'll give a qucik bio and Historical Significance in a minute.). Though, forgetting the ONLY safe way to get to the park was go behind the Hampton Inn down the street where we ate the night before, I, instead, went right down that street and eventually made it here:

The sign was at the entrance to this important garden for the Gate-Way Arch, commemorating the Lewis And Clark expedition across the Louisiana Purchase.

This was taken on the VERY top step in the entrance in front of the Capitol. It's quite a sight and it really fits that it was built this way. It's a good place to think and appreciate the efforts of two amazing men! :) One of whom, I'm related to....can you guess which one? You get points for accuracy not random stupid comments. ;) Come on...don't be shy.

A Brief History of the Memorial:

This Arch was one of the most amazing engineering feats ever constructed. It was chosen as the simplest shape to represent our (being the United States) expansion west, hence the name of the Park. The Arch was first constructed in the early '60s and remains one of the world's tallest monuments.

At the end of the day....

I sat in one of the benches for a few hours, then decided to head back to the hotel, instead of explore more of Downtown and attempt to make my way around. It was a decent temperature, yet one that would not take long before it becomes excruciating. So I headed back and sat in the hotel room for the rest of the afternoon, reading my Summer Reading book: The Things They Carried by: Tim O'Brien, which is a Fantastic novel by the way, and watching a little TV.

Sorry, there wasn't much to this post, but after the Second Day, things got more interesting and....shall we say "Blog-worthy."

Stay Tuned, Readers!!! There's More to Come!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Southwest Airlines, Louisville And The Trip There! (St. Louis Trip Day 1)

The posts have FINALLY begun! First of all, readers, I feel I must apologize for the constant delays and if you follow me on Twitter, then you know what I'm talking about. The first reason was Internet problems. We had just switched over to Windstream, and before they could put our order through all the way, QX, our original provider cut us off, so NO Internet connection for about a week or two. Then, our 2nd floor Air Conditioning unit (We have two, and we replaced the Downstairs unit about a year ago.) died!! It was old and was here before I moved to Kentucky in the year 2000. What made it worse was the Harsh and unbearable Summer heat. So, even if I wanted to, I couldn't even start these promised posts due to the heat! I was also exhausted because I couldn't sleep. It was awful, humid and the sheets would stick to my skin like an adhesive. Yuck!! *shudders* Thankfully (??) I had something to do like my Summer Reading to prevent me from being bored and my Paleontology DVDs, as well as my friend's house who was fortunate enough to not have that problem. So, now you know, readers, part of the reason. Then, I could not get the photos uploaded until now because I had to rely on my dad because my PC does not, for some odd reason, lacks a slot for the Camera's Memory Card. Thus, I had to rely on my dad and every time I DID ask, he'd say "Okay!", then forget! I just NOW got them on CD TODAY! Anywho, on with the post!

For those who don't know WHY I went on this trip, I went, though it was a Business trip for my Dad, to spend Father and Son time together like he did with his dad. He has such fond memories of doing this with his father, that he wanted to share it with me. In fact, it was a good idea especially since I graduate from High School in June of 2011. Not much time left, I know.

We flew from Louisville by Southwest Airlines straight shot. One thing about the Louisville airport, is that it's not your average airport. Talk about at least two stories filled with art of all kinds lining the walls and ceiling!

We landed in the St. Louis airport in about an hour's time and we quickly obtained our luggage and headed for the bus terminal to the rental car shop and, no, it was not Enterprise. After the hasty, yet limited, choice of vehicles (They were all Mini-Vans and SUV's, so really there was almost nothing to choose from readers.), I managed to pick a bright red mini-van and we were on our way to the Hotel. A Hampton Inn, to be more specific as my father had points there. It was a nice, 6 or so story, Hotel with a nice furnished lobby that was really spacious and the feeling of an expensive inn, somewhat like the Radisson or Marriott. The Hampton Inn was right across the City Park from the GateWay Arch with a nice casual Irish pub attached to it called Tigin's. The service was perfect and the people were extremely friendly everywhere I went. I must have a charm or something. Believe me, readers, I was, and still am, in disbelief as you are. The lobby was divided into two separate floors: The Lower Lobby where the Continental Breakfast was served and the main Lobby where you check in. There was also an office where one can check e-mail and catch up on any projects if one were on business. That is where I sent the majority of my e-mails. Hey! I wanted to stay in touch with a few of you guys...and to plan where I would be going in St. Louis while my Dad was working. After work, he and I with a co-worker who happened to come along would hang out and go to Dinner. While he would work, I would explore St. Louis and ride the Metro to the two main attractions I have pictures for, though that's another post. Each post will be about a certain day of the trip on each day this week. So, please, look for them! That's pretty much what happened other than checking in and eating out.

NEXT TIME: My Exploration and Oddyssey Begins....TOMORROW