Friday, February 29, 2008

Westward Ho!!!

I had the incredible opportunity last weekend to travel to St. Louis, Missouri, the "gateway to the west", to attend a National Leadership Conference with TEAM. It was, as ever, such an incredible experience. The information and association I get from these conferences are priceless.

I forgot to take any pictures while we were in our conference, but we did do the tourist thing for a bit. The picture above is me by the Mississippi River! Yay! We stayed in a sweet hotel (sweet, but not quite a suite)! It was very spacious with a living room and everything! I have not frequented hotels much in my lifetime until the last couple years, and it was the nicest room I've ever stayed in.

I got the pleasure of traveling with my parents, which is always great! Dustin gets the Dad of the Century award, cuz he stayed home with the kids and I was gone for a total of five days! He is truly amazing and loves being a dad and getting to spend time with our kids.

Anyway... here are a few pictures of me, Mom and Dad visiting the Gateway Arch. I was very impressed with this amazing structure.

This is my dad standing in front of the Arch. It was SO massive, I couldn't get over it!

This is me in one of the weird little pods that you squeeze into to ride to the top of the arch.

And this one on the right is a view of the pod from where you stand before you climb in... looks like an escape pod on the Enterprise, no? They were so small, I felt a little claustrophobic. That door was only about 4 feet high.

This was in the top of the arch. It is 630 ft. high. It is built in such a way that it can take winds of 150 mph and will only sway a total of 18 inches - 9 inches in either direction.

This was the view from the top of the arch. That pretty building is the capital building.

That is the Edward Jones Dome... home of the St. Louis Rams. That is where our we spent most of the weekend. Our convention was held there. It's a huge building with a huge price tag. I learned that when it's paid of it will have cost the City of St. Louis, and the county, I believe, as well as the State of Missouri a combined total of 720 million dollars, and it will cost the Rams Franchise essentially nothing. (so basically those taxpayers are footing the bill to have that NFL team there!) When I learned that, it became more clear why my friend paid $17 for a hot dog, a small bag of M&Ms and two bottles of water at the concession stand in the dome!

Mom and Dad waiting for the trip back down to the base. Each pod could hold 5 people. The pods traveled up in 4 minutes and went 4 mph. They rock back and forth a bit to keep the pod level. It was fascinating.

Here's me at the base of the arch! It was awesome and I was quite surprised at just how much I enjoyed the "Gateway to the West"!

Mom and Dad at the base of the arch... that's alot of steel!!!

These other two are pictures of the construction of the arch. It took about two and a half years to build. AMAZING!!! I am grateful I had the opportunity to travel, see new places, spend time with people I love, miss my little family like crazy, and LEARN about myself and this amazing journey called Life!

1 comment:

Britta said...

the most beautiful part of your story and pictures is you! i love your short hair and hate you for always looking amazing! i'm so glad that you were able to spend some time away doing things you love with people you love! let's catch up tomorrow, k?

love you!