Friday, February 4, 2011

A Car Full of Girls, A Pot Full of Chocolate, and A Farting Elephant

This past August, my four best girlfriends and I decided to take a little road trip six hours north to the great city of St. Louis. Having family from that particular area, I have grown up absolutely loving this city. Spending time down on the river, listening to the great music in the parks, and watching the great fireworks show during the Fourth of July are all wonderful memories that I have of this enjoyable city. With all of this previous knowledge of the area, my friends and I agreed that it would be a great road trip for us.

Unfortunately, due to finances and other personal reasons, this was the first road trip my friends and I have taken since we graduated high school almost eight years ago. Now, we are not these wild and crazy kinds of girls but we certainly know how to have fun, and the car ride was no exception. One thing we all agreed on was that none of us had ever seen so many adult stores on the side of road in our lives. I bet I counted at least 50 on the six hour drive. Considering that we left around 8:00 that Friday morning, by the time we started seeing these lovely roadside treasures, multiple cars were already in their parking lots. It reminded me of the cars I see parked outside of the liquor store before it opens in the morning.

When we weren’t laughing hysterically over the adult stores we passed, we spent our time rocking out and reminiscing to songs of the 80s and 90s, reading Cosmopolitan and Glamour, and of course, engaging in the ever popular “girl talk.” This usually consists of drudging up memories of high school and all of the ridiculous and unnecessary drama, as well as what is going on in our current lives, which of course means work, and for two of us who are single…our non-existent “love lives.”

By the time we reached St. Louis, which is a fairly easy and semi-pretty drive; it was early afternoon. Our hotel was right across from Busch Stadium; however, there was no Cardinal game that weekend so the parking lot remained vacant. After checking in, the four of us were ready to hit the pool. Unfortunately, to our dismay, the only pool the hotel had was indoors and the water was 80 DEGREES!!! Now, here it was, late August and the only pool in the entire hotel was INSIDE with sauna-like temperatures…no thanks.

Seeing as we were planning an easy night, we opted to chill out for a while before heading down to the Jazz Festival that was taking place just a few blocks down from where we were staying. Once again, unfortunately, the festival had yet to start and there wasn’t much around, so we walked another few blocks to Union Station and ate dinner at The Hard Rock Café. Now, what I failed to tell you is that considering all of these places were within walking distance to our hotel, it took much longer than we had expected. I wasn’t too familiar with this particular area so we relied on my friend’s GPS that was on her phone. Apparently, that proved a bit more difficult than we had thought. All in all, we made it there and had a deliciously good dinner.

I'm in the middle
Now, if you visit the great city of St. Louis, you MUST go to the St. Louis Zoo. Not only is it quite large, but it has a wide array of animals and can be loads of fun for four young girls on a weekend getaway trip. Not only were there adorable little penguins, dressed to the nines in the cute tuxedos, but the seals, giraffes, gorillas, and zebras were all quite entertaining to watch. However, the best part of that day had to be the elephant exhibit.

I have to ask…have any of you ever heard an elephant fart? I’m not kidding, in fact, I’m dead serious. We spotted this beautifully large creature just enjoying the sunny day, minding her own business and not paying any attention to the crowd gathering around. Standing there, my friends and I took pictures and waited to see if she would give us a glimpse of her face. Suddenly, we start to see food flying into the elephant area and the voice of a trainer/zookeeper. That giant, grey behemoth turned around and made her way towards the delicacy lying on the ground. After eating a bit and doing some tricks, we were graced with the lovely sound of what sounded like a trumpet.

The Farting Elephant

“What was that?” I asked my friends, with a somewhat laughable grin on my face. Looking around at each other, we burst into a fit of laughter and agreed with everyone around us that the elephant had indeed…farted. It was a first for me that is for sure. I’m proud to say I even have it on video 

Later that night, when we got all dolled up for a dinner out to The Melting Pot, we still couldn’t stop laughing about that elephant. I must say, for any of you who have never been to The Melting Pot, it is an ideal place if you are not in any hurry and enjoy the company around you. (Talk about awkward if you’re on a first date and it’s not going very well) Now…when you’re there, you must get all three courses: cheese, meat, and of course, what everyone goes there for…chocolate.

Me and my besties (I'm in the white top)
 Due to the fact that one of my friends is quite picky, we ended up with plain ol’ cheddar cheese fondue; however, it was still quite delicious. Next, came the shrimp, chicken, and steak fondue with a spicy little simmering sauce. With about four different dipping sauces, our entrée was divine. Of course, it always helps to have the veggies and potatoes to add to the meal...I love my taters hehe

And the portion of the meal that needs no introduction, the creamy, decadent, and lick-the-bowl goodness of chocolate, caramel and pecans; otherwise known as the Turtle fondue. With two plates of strawberries, pound cake, pineapple slices, marshmallows, rice krispies treats, and brownies for dipping, I was in heaven eating this stuff. (I would like to mention that during the meal, I popped two Excedrin migraines because if I eat too much cheese or chocolate, those pesky migraines hit me with a vengeance) I was more than happy to pop those pills those; especially for that yummy goodness.

The rest of the night was spent downtown near the riverboats, cozying up inside a piano bar, singing loudly to Journey songs and partaking in a drink or two. Since we were in Missouri, it was only natural that the piano players poked fun at the Arkansas people; something that didn’t set too well with me and my friends, but we’re nice enough to take it in stride. Continuing with the night, a short jaunt to the Four Seasons hotel and us gals were trying our hands at the slot machines and blackjack tables inside the casino. Now I love a good game of blackjack. With all the cruises I’ve taken, I’ve spent many nights sitting at a blackjack table, winning then losing, winning then losing…it’s a viscous cycle. However, don’t think that I have a gambling problem, I only play with a $20 bill…I guess Kenny Rogers wouldn’t qualify me for being “The Gambler.” 

By the time we left the following day, I was fortunate enough to have spent a weekend with my best gal pals and in a city that provides loads of fun without spending loads of money. Not only did I get a quick getaway weekend with my besties, but I got some fabulous memories, some deliciously and sinfully good food, and who could forget…video of the farting elephant!


Meri said...

That's funny that it sounds like a trumpet, because that's what their "call" kind of sounds like too, right?

Nicole said...

LOL you would be right; however, this was without a doubt, NOT a "call" in that sense haha

Rachael said...

I had to read this post when I saw "elephant fart" lol. But what a great trip with friends. It makes me miss my bests.

Anonymous said...

OMG farting elephant. I have never heard that but I did have the unfortunate pleasure of smelling a whales fart on a whale watching trip.

And mm melting pot! I have never been but ogle the menu all the time because it looks SO good.

Nicole said...

LOL @Rachael...yes it was definitely an amazing trip with my friends and one I most certainly won't forget!

@Alyssa...oh my, okay I've never experienced a whale farting before but I don't know if I even want to imagine what that smells like! Oh, you must go to the Melting Pot sometime! Make sure you've got some money set aside (since it's NOT cheap) but it is so worth the cost :)

Jet-Setting Divas said...

I've always wanted to try the melting pot--but since I'm picky (like your friend lol) I've never been :(

Nicole said...

Trust me...there is plenty to choose from so they really have food for all sorts of tastes. You MUST go sometime!!!

Syida said...

sound cute...the farting elephant ;D
I want to heard that.

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