Ok so I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but haven’t had the chance. If you read my latest post, I talked about why I haven’t had as much time to blog lately. Well, that post ended up bringing me another new client lol so I had to take a break from blogging again. As my other business picks up, I’ve decided to stop giving myself deadlines to post new blogs by. As much as I wish I could stick to a schedule, right now that’s just not feasible. Anyway, I have to tell y’all about our little St. Louis adventure back in February (see I told ya it’s been a long time coming). We love visiting the city because it’s close to home, but still far enough away to make for a good mini getaway. There’s quite a bit to do there and it’s just a nice change of scenery. What was initially supposed to be just a quick fun trip to the city for a concert turned out to be quite the escapade.
It was snowing a little that morning and my car doesn’t do all that well when it’s icy out so we decided to take my bf’s car. We got a late start that day, but made it down to St. Louis in a little over an hour mid-afternoon. By the time we got there, we were both hungry and ready for a late lunch. Our usual fave when we visit the city is Mission Taco Joint, but we thought we would try something new this time. I had been scoping out restaurants in the week leading up to our trip and Salt + Smoke, a local BBQ restaurant, really stood out. They have two locations – we ended up at the Delmar Loop location. I had never been to this area before, but really liked it. It’s very much a hipster kind of place with a laid-back vibe. Also sorry for the crap quality menu pics in this post.
I ordered the Bestie Combo Plate with pulled pork and smoked wings, creamed corn (super good smoky southwest flavor), pit beans with smoked bacon and a cheddar popover. Also, as a sucker for anything salted caramel, I tried the Assalted Caramel Pecan Ale and it was surprisingly way better than I expected. The food was seriously amazing. Mike wasn’t all that excited to try it, but now that’s the place he mentions he wants to eat at every time we talk about taking another trip to STL lol. Definitely one of our new favorite spots in the city!
Afterwards, we drove around for a bit with no real plan in mind. Mike was showing me around since he used to live around there. He was showing me different music studios around town (fun fact: he is a music producer and pretty darn talented).
Ok, so this is about the point when things took a turn lol.
So we had pulled over on a little side street looking at directions to get to our hotel. As we went to drive off again, he started to panic a little and said he thought the power steering was going out. Luckily, there was really no traffic around where we were so we backed up to where we had been parked, turned the car off and started it up again. You could hear a belt ripping around by the motor and it definitely did not sound good. At this point, it’s about 4:30ish and starting to get a little dark out. We weren’t exactly in the best area for all of this to be happening. There was a Firestone less than a mile up the road which of course closed at 5 and they refused to stay open to wait for us to get there if we had to wait for a tow truck. We thought maybe we could make it there on our own, but after only going a few feet, it became pretty apparent that we weren’t going to make it that far.
After several calls, we ended up finally getting in touch with a tow company and they towed the car to a local dealership (which of course was also closed since it was a Sunday) to have them look at it the next morning. Fortunately, my friend Tracy lives close by and came and picked us up off the side of the road to take us to our hotel. So grateful to have amazing people like her!
We finally made it to our hotel, Hilton St. Louis Downtown at the Arch, around 6 or so. Normally, I book hotels through Priceline or directly through the hotel, but I ended up booking this one through Hotel Tonight which ended up costing about $30 less. I am all about the deals so I would definitely recommend checking them out for a last minute booking or just comparing prices with them in general. For less than $100 and right downtown, I was definitely impressed with what we got. Our room was huge, clean and modern. Zero complaints there.
We grabbed a drink at the hotel bar before catching an Uber over to The Ready Room for the Bryce Vine concert. This was our second time going to one of his shows. The last one was on Halloween up in Chicago (sidenote: if you’re looking for a great Chicago hotel recommendation, you’ll want to check out The Loews Chicago Downtown Hotel. And in another unrelated sidenote, they are opening a Loews Hotel in St. Louis right next to Ballpark Village and Busch Stadium which I am super excited about!). Anyway, if you’re not familiar with Bryce Vine (I imagine most people know him from the song Drew Barrymore at least by now), I totally recommend checking out his music. Hands down one of the best artists I’ve heard in a long time. The Ready Room was a perfect low key venue for the show. I got to meet Bryce afterwards and grab a quick selfie so you know my day/week/life/whatever was made.
After the show, we went to Mo Bar for a few drinks. I had never heard of it, but I guess it was a bar Mike used to go to during his college days. Somewhat of a little hole in the wall type place, but it was cozy. Everybody raved about the bartender Athina, this little lady in her 70’s from Greece, who had been bartending there for 30+ years. She was just a doll, super sassy and an absolute firecracker, even taking shots with everybody lol. There’s a whole article about her in the STL Post Dispatch. Obviously we needed a pic with this legend.
The next morning, we woke up to a phone call from the dealership saying it would cost $2600 to fix the car and several days worth of dealing with insurance, ordering parts and making repairs before we would be on the road again. Certainly one way to kill a mood first thing in the morning, but all we could really do was laugh about our luck. We had to be out of the hotel by noon so we got cleaned up, packed up our stuff and took off on foot to go find some food and figure out a plan to somehow get back home.
There was another place I had found when I was looking into restaurants called Bailey’s Range that seemed to have notoriously good burgers and shakes. Luckily, we were (sort of) within walking distance from our hotel. This turned out to be a great spot too. Great atmosphere, excellent service and awesome food. They had a bunch of different shakes to choose from, but I opted for just strawberry with the Whiskey BBQ Burger with bacon and fries. Spot on with this choice again too – Mike loved it so much, he and two friends went back the next week for lunch when they picked up the car. (Someday, he’ll admit I know how to pick a good restaurant.)
We were super fortunate to have friends in the area that were willing to help us out with getting back home. Mike’s friend drove in to the city to pick us up and another friend drove down from home and picked us up from their house. As much fun as we had, we were beyond happy to be home after all that.
As for the car drama? It took about another week or so to fix and then when Mike went down to pick it up, something wasn’t fixed properly and the car leaked oil the entire drive home which could’ve caused a ton more damage. The dealership refused to take responsibility or cover the additional costs to fix that mess. It ended up sitting in a local repair shop for another week or so, but it’s fixed and all good now. 🙂
We also spent Easter weekend in the Lou (blog post coming on that soon as well with a bunch more recommendations) and we are actually heading back this week to celebrate our anniversary (future post on that coming too!). I love that we’ve been able to do so many different things each time – the city is definitely growing on me! If you have recommendations on things to do or places to eat, let me know in the comments! I feel like I am forever adding to my list of places to go while I’m there.
Hope y’all have had a fun Memorial Day weekend!