Saturday morning I was, remarkably, not hung-over.
I know you were all worried.
I had a 12:40 ticket to go up in the arch, but I woke up at about 8:00, so I spent some time walking around downtown St. Louis looking for something to eat. I was really craving an omelet and sausage, but I settled for Burger King. It was good though.
At around 10:00 I walked down to the arch. I took more pictures. The sky was really cool looking. Even my crappy cellphone camera did a good job.
This is my favorite picture out off all of the ones I took. This was looking straight up at the arch while I was standing in the security line.
If you've never been under the arch before, there's a whole Westward expansion museum down there. It's pretty cool, and I don't understand why I didn't take any pictures. I just dicked around for an hour or so while I waited for 12:40 to arrive.
I was pretty excited to be finally going up in the thing. I must have visited the arch a dozen times in my life, but I never went up in it before.
At about 12:20, I got in line. The chick that was checking everybody's tickets looked at me and asked me if I was alone. I said, "Yes I am. Hard to believe, isn't it?"
That's one of my standard jokes.
Then ArchGirl told me that they had an opening for a single in the trams that were leaving next, so she gave me a red boarding pass and I got to walk right by all those other suckers and go join the group that was just getting ready to board.
I really had no idea what to expect. I mean, I knew enough to know that regular elevators would not be able to negotiate the curve of the arch, but I guess I was expecting something that at least looked like an elevator from the inside.
What they do is, they have you climb through these tiny doors into these tiny compartments. It must be an awful lot like climbing into a front-loading washing machine would be. Sharing compartment #5 with me were some dude and his two cute daughters. In compartment #6 was the guy's wife and their four other kids. Wow.
The littlest girl kept asking her dad if she was going to be "sceered." It was the most adorable thing I'd ever heard.
Her father told her that she might get a little "sceered" once the thing turned upside-down. That was funny.
I didn't take any pictures of the capsule thingies either. I don't know why. I guess I was just too excited.
The ride up was pretty cool. There were tiny windows in the tiny doors and I could look out and see the staircase that people had to use back in the olden days. Actually I think the stairs looked like fun. I wish they'd have given us the option of taking them on the way down, but they said that the stairs were only for emergencies.
After about a four-minute ride, we reached the top.
The observation deck is pretty small, and this chick to the left didn't help matters.
Of course I took pictures out the windows of the thing:
This next one is looking straight down:
A British guy asked me to take a picture of him and his wife, so I did. Then I asked if they'd take mine, so he did. An added bonus in this picture is BritishGuy's finger:
Another thing that was funny was that I told the little girl who'd been in my capsule with me that the maintenance hatches in the floor were actually trap doors. Her sister asked me why on Earth they'd put trap doors in the arch, and her dad piped in with, "They let people bungee jump through them. Didn't I tell you? We jump in ten minutes."
Both girls ran screaming to their mother.
On the way back down I had to share a capsule with the fat chick from the picture up above. That's karma for you.