Gateway to the West

Day 22: Service Day at the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in St. Louis, MO

The campus and area around Wash U is very biker friendly, not to mention a beautiful campus that provided us with our very own dorm rooms with tempurpedic mattresses (thank you Gregg House). I shared a suite with Zac, Will, and Alex for the past two nights. We got to explore a little bit of the Delmar Loop last night.

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So today’s service day was at the Hope Lodge in St. Louis on a bright and early Sunday morning. Patricia, a cancer survivor, helped moderate today’s service, delegating tasks that needed to be completed. Those that were inside helped out with paperwork and cleaning while the rest of us were outside gardening.

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After our service day, we had a productive and necessary team meeting addressing a couple issues some of the riders had about routing, group dynamics, and safety. It’s always important to set rules and have everyone on the same page about riding safety and route planning. Huge thanks to our ride directors for keeping us on track and sacrificing a lot of their sleep time for the team. Thanks Lamie and Michael (Ma and Pa)!

I finally had the pleasure of meeting Mr. and Mrs. Keith (and Truman, their Golden Retriever/Australian Shepherd mix), faithful blog readers and Danny Cicada’s parents. They welcomed us last night with a 4K San Fran banner and gooey butter cake, a classic St. Louis dessert. Such wonderful people filled with so much energy and spirit for what we’re doing. I can see where Danny gets his zeal for any task he is assigned, whether it’s biking across the country, taking initiative during team meetings, or chomping down on a cicada. They surprised me with a thank you and gift card for blogging about my 4K experience, which I am very appreciative of. I know you both are reading this, and I’d just like to express how grateful I am for the present 🙂

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We made our way downtown for lunch at the Grove and met up with Summer and some of her family at Everest Cafe on Manchester Avenue. Caiti told us yesterday that Summer’s parents wanted to buy us all lunch and chose Everest, an Indian/Korean buffet. The food was delicious and I’m so thankful for their generosity.

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After laundry and nap time, we had some time to explore the city a bit. Although there were thunderstorms and wicked lightning, we decided to go downtown to see the arch and get ice cream at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard. Danny said visiting Ted Drewes was non-negotiable, so we just had to check out what all the hype was about this place. It was noms. I ordered a Southern Delight concrete that had praline pecans and butterscotch.

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After Ted Drewes, we drove down into the heart of St. Louis to visit the arch. It was a little scary getting out of the host van and walking up to the arch since we saw the sky light up multiple times on our way there. We figured since we’re in St. Louis and we’re leaving tomorrow morning, might as well take advantage of it. Snapped a couple shots and toured the underground museum before dropping Will off to the Cardinals-Rangers game at Busch Stadium. Didn’t get a lot of awesome pictures at the arch since it was raining, but I do have one from when I visited a couple years back for a research conference.

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Time for some sleep!

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