Sunday, August 24, 2008

St. Louis weekend

Madame X and I spent a chunk of the weekend in St. Louis, where we delivered our youngest son for his final year at St. Louis University. After saying our good-byes, we stayed in town and made a weekend of it after scoring a Sheraton hotel deal through Hotwire.

Nothing terribly exciting -- but here is my account.

Before that, however, we took our son and his roommate to lunch. They selected a new barbecue place, Pappy's Smokehouse, on Cardinal Street just off Olive Street. Informal and delicious.

We squeezed in a reservation for two at Dominic's Trattoria in suburban Clayton. This is Dominic Galati's second location, the original located on The Hill, St. Louis' famous Italian section. (The section is famous, not necessarily the people of Italian descent who live there. Though there have been some famous products of The Hill, including baseball stars Yogi Berra and Joe Gariaiola. Anyway ...)

It was a pleasant experience, at a leisurely pace. However, at least on this Saturday night the crowd was definitely older. Madame X and I were probably 20 years younger than the average patron. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Made me feel young.

Sunday morning we attended Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. It was our first visit. (Usually we go to Mass on the SLU campus.) Anyway, as it happened, the Mass was a special celebration honoring the cathedral's namesake, St. Louis. I learned that St. Louis was also King Louis of France. Construction on the cathedral started in 1907 and continued for the next 80 years. The mosaics adorning the interior are fantastic!

After walking all through the cathedral, we walked several blocks west and found the Coffee Cartel, where we have a light breakfast at a sidewalk table outside the shop. Little did we know that the place has a Web cam. Our table was in view. Good thing we behaved ourselves!

We could not put off the 300-mile drive back to Dubuque any longer, so we spend what was a beautiful Sunday afternoon behind the wheel. But we're home save and sound -- and the "nest" is a little emptier.

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