St. Louis is my kind of town!

Some of the very best moments of our lives have been spent in St. Louis. That’s because my sister, Lori, and her husband, Bob, live there. I couldn’t begin to count the times we’ve been to this great city. I do know the trips have been going on for nearly 50 years.

I was there again last week and took a photo of the Gateway Arch from the third floor of a Washington University building. Even from a distance the arch is mesmerizing. Standing 630 high, it’s the tallest man-made monument in the U.S.

Located at the site of St. Louis’ foundation on the west bank of the Mississippi River, the arch is where Pierre Laclede, on Feb. 14, 1764, told his aide Auguste Chouteau to build a city. Construction on the arch began in February 1963 and ended in October of 1965. We were there shortly after it opened to the public in June of 1967 and in 1988, we were among 1 million people who stood on the lawn below it to watch Fourth of July fireworks set off from a barge on the river.

It was an unforgettable night!

Twice on this last trip, Bob and Lori took me to the Missouri Botanical Garden, also known as Shaw’s Gardens. This is another place we’ve visited several times. Once was when their daughter, Kirsten, and her groom, Bill, held their wedding reception there.

Founded in 1859, this is the country’s oldest botanical garden in continuous operation and with 79 acres of beautiful gardens and historic structures, it’s a National Historic Landmark.

The Garden also is an international center for botanical research, education and horticultural display. Its mission is to share knowledge about plants and their environment with the world so that life may be preserved and enriched.

There’s something really special going on at the garden until Aug. 19, and if you are planning a trip to St. Louis, you won’t want to miss this.

It’s a Lantern Festival which promises art by day and magic by night celebrating the country of China. Lantern festivals have a long tradition in China, but this festival is the first of its kind in the United States.

There are 26 larger-than-life traditional Chinese lantern scenes crafted out of miles of steel and silk. Unlit the lanterns splash splendid color onto the garden’s already beautiful landscape. I can only imagine what they look like at night when they light up.

I hope you enjoy this photo gallery which includes the shot I took of the arch and quite a few shots of the beautiful Botanical Garden where one could spend hours. Founded in 1859 by Henry Shaw, this is an oasis of great beauty in the great city of St. Louis.

After you have strolled through Shaw’s Garden be sure to stop at Sassafras for lunch. As you enjoy wonderful soups, sandwiches and sweets, you can see the garden through a wall of windows.

Shaw Garden (Missouri Botanical Garden) is located in St. Louis at 4344 Shaw Boulevard.

It’s a thing of beauty and a joy on every visit.

Until Soon

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