Friday, September 13, 2013

Day 58: Lexington to St. Louis

339 miles; 5 hours 12 minutes, estimate

The drive from Kentucky through Indiana then Illinois to St. Louis in Missouri was pleasant and fairly low-stress. A crisp autumn wind lowered the temperature, cleared the air, and whipped the clouds into some interesting formations. The I-64 freeway frequently has three lanes on each side so trucks have room to jockey for position. Traffic was sparse and spread out. The scenery was green and rolling, alternating woods with huge fields of corn and other crops.

Friday night in St. Louis! We had been looking forward to this. Dan and I have stayed in this town many times. Early on we discovered a neighborhood fairly near the art museum where there are several blocks of eateries and shops, interspersed with very nice homes and apartment residences. As soon as we got settled into our motel, we headed to the Starbucks in that district, according to our custom. On the corner nearby we discovered a jazz-blues band playing  good music, with a lot of soul. I got a big kick out of listening to them and making movies of them playing.

Band playing for Local Social, a Friday night event in Central West End

We got our latte and sat outdoors in the mellow light listening to the music and people-watching. Some inquiries revealed that these musicians were sponsored by the Central West End Association, as a way of promoting business. As we walked around the area, we listened to other music—individual performers and duos. Listening to music and making movies. It was cool.

Dan's favorite restaurant here is Little Saigon. It's a good choice. Some of the trendier restaurants around here were just packed. This place was quiet and nicely decorated with paintings of Thai farmers working their rice fields. Dan worked with the waiter to get just what he wanted and he loved his food. We were very satisfied with Friday night in the Central West End.

We have a suite here at the Comfort Inn, actually two sizable rooms, but a maddeningly small bathroom. This is the only place to stay in this desirable area, except for a very expensive hotel. Our motel is packed; a group of kids is here for a track meet and a senior black tour group is here to gamble at a casino on the Mississippi river.