August 16, 2008

Lions and Tigers and...Clydesdales?

Oh what a week. I returned from Chicago and headed straight to St. Louis. I didn't plan on doing a whole lot, just the usual gorging on pasta and custard, but managed to squeeze in a trip to Union Station, the arch, the brewery and the St. Louis Zoo.

The arch was pretty amazing-- a $10 fee gets you a spot in a tiny pod (see me cramped, below) and a five minute trip to the top of the structure which is, according to M. Freebersyser, "as wide as it is tall." The view from the top includes Busch Stadium, the mighty (brown) Mississippi River and the St. Louis skyline. It's quite a view, but the trip is not for the claustrophobic.

The brewery was like a Willy Wonka Factory for adults. The grounds and buildings were immaculate and beautiful, and it smelled like grain. The famous clydesdales have a pretty good life there. They usually stand about 6 1/2 feet tall, and weigh in at a ton. At the end of the tour you get to sample any two kinds of beer they produce. And not just dixie cups, we're talking pint-sized cups. They are not stingy. While on the tour someone asked who owned the company, and the tour guide replied, "We do!" Not true, perky blode tour guide who laughed at way too many of your own jokes, Anheuser-Busch was just purchased by Belgian company InBev Inc.
The zoo! I haven't been to the zoo in years. It was a last minute decisioin to go, and what a great last minute choice it was. Freebs and I booked it (when we weren't lost) through the winding trails, but managed to see the monkeys, reptiles and amphibians, rhinos, bears, elephants, girrafes, lions, tigers, some filthy birds, penguins, crocs and gators and lots and lots of children. If I was a babysitter, I would definitely dump children at the zoo and just have them meet me at the gate when it closed. This is probably why I'm not a babysitter. Check out some cool photos below.

We were sooo close to what are, in my opinion, the best argument for creative design.

Ok, so kinda immature, but a cool picture, don't you think?

This is my mom's name. Interestingly enough, the chimp's nickname was "Smarty Pants."

Just taking a smoke break.

August 14, 2008

Kyla's baacccckkkk...

That's right boys and girls, I am back. Well, not in Indiana, but in the good ol' US of A. I'm currenty sitting in a posh hotel room in St. Louis. Dad came out to work, I got to ride along and play. Today I visited my good friend Freebs and we had a darn good time exploring the city known as the "Gateway to the West."

But first, a quick update on my last few weeks in London:

I was able to go see "The Phantom of the Opera" before leaving, a real dream come true. Seriously. I've wanted to see it ever since I first heard the soundtrack. And even though I had the absolute worst seats in the house, and even though I paid nearly $100 for a ticket, it was well worth it. I got goosebumps when that driving 80's organ power ballad style overture started rocking the theater.

My ten weeks at Richmond Towers Communications concluded with a darn good presentation on my part and a game of Rounders (similar to baseball) in the park, complete with a South African BBQ (with impala steaks! thanks to Jon!). It was a lot of fun, and while I don't think I see myself having a future in the glamourous world of PR, I certainly enjoyed my time at RTC and all that I learned there. I met some amazing people and am really going to miss them all dearly (N,S,J,D,L).

I already miss my sweet, sweet roommates something terribly! They were all amazing, and I have such great memories with each one: tube rides and after-work dates with Aviva, the last weekend with Ayumi (and her fantastic bf!), trips to the park and talks about Texas with Cassie and Sally, my first Saturday night at the Westbury with LA glam Nikki, trips to the Sarah's theater to watch the fantastic productions she helped put on and talking (arguing, maybe?) tennis with Kayla. They were such phenomenal people, and I'm sooo lucky to have had a chance to meet and live with them!

London was a great experience. I loved the hustle and bustle of the city, the excitement of the morning tube rush, the endless laughs and lunches shared in the basement with Leang, any type of food you could possibly want, runs in the park every night, hating the neighbors, all of the birthday celebrations-- I could go on and on and on! I've officially spent more time overseas that in the United States in the past year, and even though I have no money left as a result, I wouldn't change a thing. It has definitely been the best year of my life, and I soemtimes find myself trying to think of a way to go overseas again. Soon.

Oh, and this time, when I returned, Dad hadn't grown out his hair or beard again, but he had shed over 50 pounds! Way to go Dad! (Note: When I returned home from 4 months in Italy my dad looked like Grizzly Adams. He stopped shaving and cutting his hair the day I left. It was quite the surprise when I got off the plane with my hair chopped off, expecting to be the big surprise, and saw him. This time, he stopped eating everything but raw food the day I left.)

Since I've been back I've been a busy little bee. I moved out of HC@H, my home for the past two years, I had one of those "what-a-great-way-to-start-off-the-new-year" nights in Bloomington for Lo's 22nd, I went to Chicago to see Wicked with my family (amazing, amazing, amazing!) and I'm in St. Louis right now. Today Freebs and I went up in the arch, toured the Anhueser-Busch brewery, visited Union Station, and were treated to the best Italian you'll ever have west of the Atlantic: Cunneto's. Ice cream at Ted Drewes wasn't so bad, either.

My next few weeks consist of moving into my new apartment, a possible trip to Elkhart or Chicago and endless phone calls with my lovely friends across the country to catch up on summer happenings. I'm going to try to keep this thing going, so please check back to this space and join me as I document what looks to be a crazy, ridiculous and exciting senior year.

Ciao for now.