1/20/2006

I’m typing today’s blog entry before the party starts. I usually type in the blog entries, but today John put together the posting. Here is John’s words:

We are preparing to leave Saint Louis as I type this. I can’t say I am
unhappy about leaving, but on the same note my opinion of the city has
changed a bit since my major protest in this destination. We were only
supposed to be here for 3 months, but 3 turned into 9 and now almost a year.
Being from Wisconsin I have a bit of a jaded look at destination less than
what we had in Wisconsin. However, I must say we have found a few gems in
Saint Louis.

Its not the Transportation System, the roads are awful, and in great
disrepair, however surprisingly the traffic isn’t as bad as one would figure
for a city of this size, mostly just the normal rush hour in the very
predicable spots. The driver’s are awful, and most more rude than you
would find in Chicago or New York. The problem with the drivers is two
fold, half drive like bats out of hell, and the other half insist on driving
1/3 of the speed limit in the fast lane.

I cannot say the food is a highlight of Saint Louis either. Yes, there are
some fair restaurant in town, but nothing that will just knock your socks
off. Mostly just mediocre food and service, at fairly high prices. I have
yet to find anything to compare to any of the good restaurants in Milwaukee,
or even the Fox Valley. The Grocery stores here are sparse and expensive.
The city really needs a chain like Woodman’s, but are limited to Shnucks and
Dierbergs, both of which are just there.

The taxes here are outrageous. The sales tax is 7.3% and 3.3% on all
groceries. The Property Tax is a bit lower than WI, but you pay Personal
Property Tax on top of that. Some think this is the “Cheap life of the
midwest” but it truly is not. Wisconsin and Illinois tax you far less than
Missouri.

The City and State parks are very nice. Many neat spots to just hang out in
town. From the National Monument (The Arch) to Forest Park, or even
Babbler, they are all very well kept and nicely done.

The biggest highlight we have found in Saint Louis is the people we have
met. I admit I was very jaded coming into this city and living where we
are (in the Ghetto). The owners of the park we are at (Saint Louis RV Park)
are two of the nicest people you could as for as hosts. They have bent over
backwards to accommodate us, and have always had a smile while doing it. The
rates at the park are reasonable for long term stays, and the utilities are
fair. Mostly I want to point out the group that for the most part took us
under their wing. That is the Happy Campers group. We have made many good
friendships which we do hope last the rest of our lives. The group has gone
out of their way to invite us into their homes, to their parties, and their
camping trips. We both find that this is the greatest treasure of Saint
Louis, the people that were there for us. To them, we formally say Thank
You, and hope that we will get to see all of them soon!

For now, off to fight the big apple, and to conquer another adventure!

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