On Wednesday evening, myself and Maya were lucky enough to get invited to the basketball at SLU (St Louis Uni) by the Smithsons and the Wardleworths. We werent really sure what to expect, but it was awesome - and slightly bonkers. As far as I can tell it's the standard just below professional and is the feeder for the professional game. Sort of somewhere between the NBA and the basketball games off High School Musical (Maya watches it, honest...) or TeenWolf (if you prefer). Certainly had all of the razzmatazz that you would expect. Luckily the "Billikens" (Go Bills!) beat Massachusetts 69-53, Maya bought the standard issue "big finger" as you would expect, and it was a great night out with Maya before she headed home on Saturday, after a week which has certainly helped Evan with his recuperation.
On Thursday, the bad weather having abated, and with only a couple of full days left before Loup and the kids returned to UK, and with having a 1pm appointment - we took the opportunity to visit Gateway Arch in the morning. I must admit that this was something that I didnt know too much about. You see all of these American landmarks - the Statue of Liberty, Grand Canyon, the Hollywood sign, Golden Gate bridge, etc but it is rare to find something about the Arch. Which is a real shame as it is a stunning piece of architecture. I wont do the tourist "spiel" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gateway_Arch) other than to say you dont really expect it. To be honest, it's more stunning from the outside than within (although that is good also) but you cant help simply stand and stare at it. The next action is to try and find a camera angle to get all of it, and your subject, in the same frame.
It was built in 1963 as a monument to how St Louis was the Gateway of the westward expansion. So many pioneers came to St Louis, often struggling with the hand that fate had dealt, looking for a fresh start in the (wild) west - hopeful that it would help them fulfil their dreams and be the start of a new life. While looking at the photos that we took, it struck me that all of the SDR families are making a similar trip to St Louis, also looking for the gateway to a new life.