My friends and I drove across the country. Part 2.

[The title should give you an idea of what this is about, but to get some context, read the intro from Day 1.]

Day 3
Before leaving Pittsburgh, we were told by many people that we had to eat at Primanti Brothers, a chain restaurant that is famous for their sandwiches containing meat, cheese, cole slaw, and French fries. We got them. They were delicious.

IMG_1202And so tall we had unhinge our jaws to eat them.

We then drove straight on through southern Ohio, which featured lots of these:


IMG_1220And…not much else. Sorry, southern Ohio.

The next few hours involved a lot of driving and one pit stop at Target, where I picked up this little fella that we named Twerk because of his Miley-Cyrus-like ability to wiggle that rubbery tail of his when placed on the dashboard, which is where he ended up for the duration of the trip.

“Nice turn signal, asshat!”

Eventually we arrived in Indianapolis and ate dinner at a cool, moose-filled German restaurant called the Rathskeller:

IMG_1231The deer had a decidedly less joyous time.

And I capped the night off by paying my respects to my dearly beloved Kurt Vonnegut.

IMG_1249So it goes.

Day 4
Started with some roadside charm! Accosting Brittany and Allison with my passion for seeing Pointless But Really Big Things, I dragged them into a small town called Casey, Illinois, to see its two most famous attractions: the World’s Largest Wind Chime:

IMG_1269The BONG was really low and deep.

And the World’s Largest Golf Tee:


Once my heart settled down from all of the pulse-pounding excitement–and after a harrowing encounter with a spider in the car, which almost brought the entire road trip to a screeching halt–we somehow managed to arrive in St. Louis in one piece, and without any deadly venom coursing through our veins.

Now listen well, fans of playgrounds: there is a museum in the city of St. Louis named, appropriately enough, the City Museum. It’s basically like a scrap metal company threw up all over a building, and its contents proceeded to arrange themselves into gorgeous, ridiculous art that you can climb on and and through and around and under, like a giant real-life version of Chutes and Ladders. The outside portion looks like this:

IMG_1298That’s an airplane, train car, and yes, a school bus hanging off the roof. No big deal.

And the inside portion was like the coolest Chuck E. Cheese you’ve ever been to, but without all the terrifying animatronic mice. There was an area that was built like a treehouse, another that was like the insides of a whale, an aquarium turtle tank, a shoelace factory, and one spot–we didn’t even find it until a half hour before it closed–that was built to look like a dragon’s cave, complete with a 10-story spiral slide (!!) and an organ that played songs from Phantom of the Opera. I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING ABOUT ANY OF THIS.

I didn’t bring my camera inside because it would have been demolished during all of the climbing and sliding and slithering through tiny spaces, but it’s almost better, I think, since this place is really the sort of thing you need to see in person. If you are anywhere remotely near St. Louis, it’s worth the trip. They sell kneepads in the gift shop! That’s how climby it is!

High on the thrill of scrambling over every inch of a veritable junk heap, we pressed on to the Gateway Arch, which is another one of those things you really need to see with your own eyeballs. It’s tall. It’s beautiful. It lends itself very nicely to fancy pretentious photographs.


Of course, we couldn’t have come all that way and not gone up to the top, so we did so by being sealed into these ingenious little podlike elevators that rode up the curved side of the arch in a most rickety fashion that scared the snot out of Allison and Brittany, and delighted the snot out of me.

IMG_1304Inside: DOOM.

Once at the top, we were afforded some lovely views of the landscape:


And even though the ceiling was pretty low up there and everyone else could reach up and touch it, I still couldn’t.

IMG_1322Because shut up.

Then it was on to the famous Paddy’s Barbecue, which Allison had pinned every one of her hopes and dreams to since the very start of the trip, all but ensuring it would be closed when we got there. It was. ALL of St. Louis was closed, in fact; I don’t know if this was because it was Labor Day, but the place was seriously a ghost town. Cut to us fumbling with our smartphones, looking desperately for a restaurant that would serve us some of that famous St. Louis barbecue. Cut to us failing. Cut to us ending up at seemingly the only open establishment in the city, a fried chicken place called Porter’s, where we found delicious food and friendly people and lots of necessary napkins.

Tomorrow: a Biblical plague befalls our intrepid travelers!

IMG_1327Until then, check out the gams on this national monument!


  1. And I thought everyone who lived in this state sucked. Go figure. Looks like you had a blast and so weird, I was just watching a show called “10 Manliest Foods” or something like that on saturday and Primanti Brothers was featured!

  2. I’ve been up to the top of the arch too! We went on a high school trip and then ate at The Royal Dumpe dinner theater.* I don’t think the teachers knew how raunchy the show was and then told us we couldn’t wear our souvenier t-shirts with the slogan “I had a banging good time at the Royal Dumpe” to school. (You bang on the tables for applause or some such thing. I can’t remember now.)

    Now I’m sad we didn’t get to go to the City Museum – that sounds like a ton of fun!


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