Once more, we headed off into the rain – we really lucked out with the weather for Six Flags and the arch! – but it didn’t matter because we were going to a place where it is 60 degrees year-round! If you’ve driven anywhere vaguely near Missouri, you’ve seen the billboards – we were off to Meramec Caverns!
And, as you can see, Meramec Caverns, along with having one of the rarest cave formations in the world (its famous ‘wine table’ – the only other example of it is in a cave in Capri [I think…it was there or in Cyprus]) and one of the largest (and most ridiculously used – the infamous opera curtain). Oh, and it was also a hideout for the similarly infamous Jesse James and his James Gang – to whom I am related (distantly – unless you were lying, Dad?). Our guide was very good – definitely a silver fox – I found myself oddly attracted to him – though I felt like he had a lot more information he could have given us (we were on a tour with quite a few children and I think he may have dumbed it down a bit so as not to bore them). And I had forgotten quite how over-the-top patriotic the little show they do at the opera curtain was – they play the Missouri state song and then a recording of Kate Smith singing ‘God Bless America’ while the guide flips lots of switches in time to the music to make the colored lights shining on the curtain change. And it ends with an American flag being projected on it.
Claire and I laughed – not like cruelly, more like a chuckle at how unsubtle it all was, but I think he heard us and I felt a little bad about it. But it really is ridiculous. But it’s still privately owned, so I guess they can do whatever they want with it!
And then it was back through St. Louis for…the Anheuser-Busch brewery for a tour!
We got to see the Clydesdales – which are much HUGER than I imagined them being – I always thought they were just, you know, slightly bigger than normal horses. THEY ARE NOT. They’re six feet tall at the shoulder and weigh 2,000 lbs! THEY’RE HUGE!
And I kind of want one.
We learned a lot about brewing beer and the history of the Anheuser-Busch corporation which was actually pretty interesting – they managed to stay afloat during Prohibition by selling bread yeast – they were still the top seller of baker’s yeast up until the early 1990s! – and nonalcoholic drinks. And of course, we got to taste a beer – I thought they’d have more exotic beers for us to taste, but I guess that wouldn’t work if they actually wanted to sell beer, so it was pretty much their typical brands – Bud and Bud Light, but they had one that had lime in it and it was really nice! And I don’t even like beer!