Thursday, September 29, 2011

Labor's Day Trip - Getaway to St. Louis, Missouri - Day 2 & 3

Continuing from the last post.. We had one whole day to spend in St. Louis and a few hours in the next day before going back to Champaign. :)

First stop was St. Louis Art Museum, located in Forest Park area, the same as St. Louis Zoo. :D The museum building was simply artistic and reminded me a lot of Greek temples.

St. Louis Art Museum

Across the museum, there was a very large park with a big pond in the middle. It was called the Great Basin.

The Great Basin

Inside the art museum, there were a lot of sections, representing the style of the art pieces exhibited. We found some interesting art pieces and took pictures of them.

The curtain fold in Japanese style

Contemporary art

The journey in Forest Park ended here. Next stop will be the Hill, an area in St. Louis famous for its Italian style houses and restaurants. On the way to the bus stop, we passed W.P. Pavillion in Forest Park, another landmark in here. :)

Leaving Forest Park..

W.P. Pavillion

After a long ride, we finally reached the Hill. Apparently, there was a cycling competition at that day and a lot of residents were gathering outside their houses to watch.

Even the hydrant is painted in Italy flag colors

The cycling race almost started

Our lunch place, Guido Pizzeria

For lunch we had the famous toasted ravioli with meat sauce in Guido Pizzeria, a famous restaurant in the Hill. We left the Hill area at about 3 o'clock and went straight ahead to St. Louis Galleria, a shopping centre we went in the first day. And that's how we ended our second day with shopping fiesta. :p

On the last day, we only had about 2 hours to spend before the bus departed. So, we walked around the downtown area near the hotel and visited the most famous landmark in St. Louis, the Gateway Arch. I believe the arch was used to symbolize the westward expansion in the US a long time ago. :)

The stunning view of the Gateway Arch

It looked like a white rainbow :p

Jefferson Expansion Memorial,
located across the Gateway Arch

It was finally time to waive goodbye to St. Louis as the bus left towards Champaign..

Last view of St. Louis and the Arch

After a tiring 3.5 hours bus ride, we arrived in Champaign safe and sound. Moreover, we just realized that fall has started and the temperature went down rapidly. :D Back in the house, all the NICI friends were curious about our St. Louis trip. And there's also a newcomer in the gang..

Hmm.. Who are you? We never see you before..

Hi, I'm St. Louis Cardinal's mascot,
my name is Mr. Rave :p

Let's be friend from now on!!

And everybody was happy to meet their new friend... ^^

Friday, September 23, 2011

Labor's Day Trip - Getaway to St. Louis, Missouri - Day 1

Just two weeks after the fall semester started, we had another holiday. It was Labor's Day which fall on Monday. Thus, my friend and I got a long nice weekend holiday. :) And not to waste this chance, we decided to go to St. Louis in Missouri, a neighboring state to Illinois.

Since we didn't have any cars, we decided to take a bus. The drive took about 3.5 hours from Champaign to St. Louis. First time to do after arriving was checking-in to the hotel. We stayed in Millenium Hotel, located in St. Louis downtown area, just opposite Busch Stadium. If you are a fan of baseball, you will know St. Louis Cardinal.

Relaxing in the hotel after 3 hours drive

Because we only had limited time, we didn't want to waste it lying on the bed in the hotel. So, we started our first trip in St. Louis. Just across the hotel, we saw Busch Stadium. There was a game between St. Louis Cardinal and another team at that day, so it was very crowded in the street.

Manage to take a good snapshot of Busch Stadium

Leaving the downtown area, we took a train to St. Louis Zoo, located in Forest Park area, a bit out of town. After 40 minutes of train and bus ride, we arrived at the zoo..

St. Louis Zoo

The admission to the zoo was free and we enjoyed looking at some weird-looking animals. :)

Weird camels, look like they are lining up

Puffin Bird, it has comical eyes that look similar to cartoon

We saw a lot more animals, but the pictures came out not good. :( From the zoo, we went to St. Louis Galleria, a big shopping center, to have dinner. On the way back to the hotel, we passed the Busch Stadium once again. It was very beautiful at night because the lights were on.

Busch Stadium at night

What I got from the zoo,
my monkey is happy to see it ;)

That's the end of our first day in St. Louis. It was a pretty tiring day, especially since we had to walk a lot and the rain was pouring hard at that time. So, we will have a very good night sleep. :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

On Our 4th Anniversary

Time really flies. Without realizing, it's already our 4th anniversary. But this is the first anniversary that we don't celebrate together. In the morning of September 6, a beautiful surprise came.

Bubaka couple is wondering who is that handsome monkey 

Hi there!!
I have a few surprises for you..

First, I have this beautiful rose for you

Don't forget the notes too!!
It's really beautiful..

And here is your favorite balloon..
I know you'll love it.. ^^

Are you happy with my surprises??

Well, I'm very surprised to receive these gifts. But the surprise hasn't ended yet. When I came back home from school at night, there were more surprises waiting for me..

The pretty SHMILY cupcakes..
*Guess what it means*

Tons of food for dinner

And special candles to accompany the night..

I never thought that my boyfriend will send me all those surprises.. I'm really grateful for having him.. Hopefully we can celebrate our next anniversaries together..

Happy 4th Anniversary!!

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