Today was my last day in St Louis and I was collected just after mid-day by PHI’s Joan Headley and taken to Forest Park – a lovely area about 10 minutes out of the St Louis city precinct. I was really pleased that Joan found time to be my tour guide for the afternoon, especially after the mammoth effort she put into the Conference over the previous few days – and in the lead up too, of course!
I was particularly interested in seeing the St Louis Art Museum and Joan had not been to the new section, so off we went. The Art Museum, Zoo, Science Museum, and History Museum, are all located in Forest Park, along with a range of entertainment/concert venues.
However, before we went any further, as neither of us had eaten breakfast, we stopped at the Boathouse for lunch. It has been quite hot in St Louis, not that you have any idea of the weather when you’re in the hotel. Today it reached 340 C and we were sitting outside in the full sun. I was curious about how strong the sun actually was, because in previous trips to China and Italy, I had spent some time in the sun without any hint of burning. But this was strong and I could see my skin starting to turn red, so thankfully an umbrella was opened up to shade us. The Boathouse was a very pleasant place to eat and chat, and was very popular with families.
With our hunger satisfied, we were ready to tackle the museum and decided to concentrate on the Contemporary Art area, which was ‘interesting’. It can be a bit surprising what constitutes ‘art’, don’t you think? I was having trouble with the concept of a long, purple fluorescent light tube actually being classified as an ‘art installation’. But what do I know?
Moving on from the Art Museum, Joan cruised around the area a bit, pointing out things of interest like ‘Art Hill’. This is an impressive space which I viewed from the road looking upwards. The forefront is dominated by a large water feature, with the hill sloping up behind, and topped by the ‘old’ Art Museum. Joan said that in winter, the hill is visited by families who take snow sleds and slide down the hill. Sounds like a lot of fun.
When I finally let her get off home to some much needed rest, I met up with another ‘Joan’ Toone from PPASS BC, her husband Terry, and Board Member, Janet, for dinner. They regaled me with stories of their sight-seeing trip to the Meramec Caverns, which sounded amazing. I have been advised there is actually a great deal to see around St Louis, not just ‘The Arch’. But that will all have to wait for another visit.
I’m leaving at a ridiculously early hour tomorrow and heading up to Montreal in Canada to visit my family before flying to Amsterdam for the next Conference, Post Polio Syndrome – a condition without boundaries, starting on 25 June.
So make sure you look out for my next series of blog posts from Amsterdam.