National Park #59 is in the books – the Gateway Arch National Park, established in February 2018! It’s probably one of the smallest parks in terms of area and it’s located in downtown St. Louis. We stayed in a hotel right next to the arch, which was very convenient for a quick 3-day trip with the baby.

Stefan's second national park
Stefan’s second national park

This time we traveled in three, which meant we had a completely different tempo, schedule and slightly more luggage. We are extremely lucky to have a healthy, curious and easy going baby, which makes the trips more enjoyable. The flights (even with 2 hr delay), time change, and sight seeing was not an issue for him. We managed to see everything we planned without compromising his sleep schedule too much.

The park consists of the Gateway Arch and the Old Courthouse. We took a very unique “elevator” to the top of the arch. It’s probably not a great experience for those who are uncomfortable in tight spaces, but it’s worth getting up to the top for a great view of the city.

View from the top of the arch
Playing in the grass area next to the Arch

The Old Courthouse was nearly empty. We went all the way up the stairs and saw the two restored courtrooms. Stefan became a junior ranger because the NPS ranger was impressed with his pointing abilities 🙂

The Old Court at dusk
Inside the Old Courthouse
The Old Courthouse at night. View from our hotel patio

We also took a riverboat tour along the Mississippi river. Early March is not the “prettiest” time of year to visit. The trees are still bare, however, the crowds are not there either. I didn’t quite hear the narration or take any pictures of the sights as I was busy taking care of Stefan’s social life. He managed to make lots of friends on the boat 🙂

Waiting for the boat to start moving

After the boat tour, we went to a nearby park with statues of various kinds. The sun was shining. The weather was perfect for a stroll and some playtime for the baby.

His favorite activity is to push a stick through pebbles
He was impressed with Pinocchio’s shoes

The next day is rained but we still got out and saw some places. We walked through the Union Station hotel, which has an impressive ceiling in the reception area, the St. Louis Wheel next to the hotel, the Missouri Botanical Garden, which I’m certain is a lot more beautiful when everything is green and blooming, and the viewpoint to the Arch from across the river.

Union Station Hotel reception
The St. Louis Wheel – he learned to show his age with his finger 🙂
Mediterranean area in the Missouri Botanical Garden
Viewpoint from across the river. I didn’t have the right lens to get a good shot of the Arch from here.
Give me your glasses, mister!

We went on this trip at the beginning of March right before the pandemic took over the US and non-essential travel was discouraged. I’m not sure when we’ll be able to travel next, so I’m glad we were able to go on this adventure this year! #stayhome #stayhealthy

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April 2, 2020

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