Weekend Diary: St. Louis

I headed out to St. Louis this weekend for a charity event that my friend Andy and I organized to benefit Camperships for Nebagamon and the Camp Nebagamon Scholarship Fund. Both of these charities support the ability for children to have tremendous summer camp experiences that they would otherwise be unable to afford. To read more about the respective charities, click here. If you would like to donate, click here. Donations are tax deductible and every little bit counts!!

A review of my food, friends, family, and sports-filled weekend after the jump…


9:30 PM – After a grueling 5.5-hour drive with my sister that began on Friday afternoon with about 90 minutes of Chicago rush hour traffic, my first stop in St Louis was Schlafly Bottleworks. Schlafly’s communications director and one of its owners are alumni of Camp Nebagamon and a group of us was very generously treated to a glorious meal by our friend Troika. We split a round of appetizers–my favorite of which was warm pretzel sticks with hefeweizen beer cheese dipping sauce–and my friend Noah and I split a Carnivore pizza topped with bison, pepperoni, bacon, salsiccia, and gouda cream cheese sauce. Exquisite:

11:00 PM – 4:00 AM – Euchre, Up the River, camp talk, and general goofiness with some of my best friends in the world. Nights like these are always a reminder that it’s not where but who you’re with that really matters. The highlight of the night came when our friends’ FAT cat projectile vomited directly onto our buddy Tucker’s leg. The move was executed with such precision that it almost seemed intentional. Tucker took it in stride.


8:00 AM – Being awake is low on my list of things I want to be doing right now. An upside surprise, though, is that while I’m tired, I’m not hurting. Probably has something to do with the grotesque amount of food I ate at Bottleworks but a win’s a win.

11:00 – Head to Sam’s Club with my friend Noah and my sister to buy supplies for tomorrow’s picnic. The goal was to spend $250 and we spent $253. Pretty proud of that, although we needed $40 of supplemental supplies that didn’t make financial sense to purchase from Sam’s Club from the grocery store. In hindsight, I would have gotten some burgers and hot dogs for grilling instead of cold cuts but at the time the LAST thing I could think about was eating red meat. Transferring the food from the shopping cart to the car was a NIGHTMARE in the pouring rain, made worse by Sam’s Club’s steadfast refusal to provide its customers with bags. The five minutes we had to spend doing this was probably the strongest five minutes of rain of the weekend.

1:30 – Head back to Schlafly Bottleworks, which is hosting its annual Repeal of Prohibition festival. This event is AWESOME. Schlafly has invited up three breweries from Texas–Rahr & Sons Brewing Co., Deep Ellum Brewing Co., and Real Ale Brewing Co. There were over 30 beers to sample. For us, the event was much more about having the opportunity to sample a wide array of beers as opposed to getting drunk. My favorite was the Texas Red Amber Lager from Rahr & Sons.

Bottleworks also brought out a massive smoker for the occasion. All three of us (Noah, Spence, and I) had a religious experience with the BBQ Beef Brisket sandwich, which was slow-smoked to perfection for 15 hours. We topped with chipotle pale ale BBQ sauce:

6:30 – The day is just beginning! A group of 10 of us headed downtown to catch Game 2 of the Blues-Sharks series. The day before the game, we were somehow able to find 8 seats together at $65/ticket net of outrageous Stubhub fees. We were sitting in the upper deck. For basketball, you HAVE to be lower level but for hockey and football, there are advantages to both the lower and upper tiers. Down low, you get to feel the hits and have a close-up view of the action but up top you have the chance to see the entire play develop–especially away from the ball/puck–and get a much more nuanced view of the totality of the game. Here is a view from our seats:

I had never been to a playoff hockey game before and it was AWESOME. From the moment the puck dropped, the crowd was INTO it and it only got more intense. The Blues won the game 3-0 and by my unofficial tally, went 4-0-5 in fights. The fight at the end of the game was especially gratuitous and EPIC:

I might be almost ready to get back into hockey after my 13 year period as an NHL-widow following the move of the Hartford Whalers.


10:30 AM – Picnic in Shaw Park in Clayton with about 40 people ranging from current campers and their parents to former directors Nardie and Sally Stein. The weather, which was forecasted to be rainy, held off until the end of the night for a beautiful day. The highlight of the picnic was definitely upside down cupcakes, which were generously donated by Pratzel’s Bakery. Many thanks to friends Andy, Hank, Spence, Matthew, Jackson, Tucker, Zack, and Noah for their help with the food preparation and making the weekend excellent in general.

1:00 PM – Had about 14 extra tickets to scalp for the Cubs-Cardinals game and I’m pretty sure I got hustled considering I sold them for $10/ticket and ended up with $115. I’m pretty sure that the first round of 10 I sold to the scalpers were deliberately mis-counted from 13 by the buyer and on the second round when I was taking money out of my pocket to give change, a $20 fell out of my hand and was pounced on by one of the scalpers like a pigeon on a crumb. He indignantly claimed that it had fallen out of his pocket and there was just no way to handle that situation more appropriately than to walk away. Not that he appeared to be leading a glamorous life as it is but what goes around comes around.

1:30 – Into Busch Stadium! Our seats were far away but actually had a pretty nice view:

Now having spent a few sports weekends in St. Louis, I honestly think that PER CAPITA it is the best sports city in America (at least New York and Chicago are better sports cities in aggregate). With a metropolitan area of less than 3 million people, St Louis sports fans PUT ON. Busch Stadium holds 47,400 people and it is consistently packed. (Wrigley Field, for example, holds about 42,000.) I came away from the weekend very impressed with Blues and Cardinals fans.

7:30 – Dinner time; completely worn out. Went to Pi Pizzeria with Andy and my sister, ordered a pizza and this delectable S’more milkshake. Great cap to a great weekend.


2 Responses to Weekend Diary: St. Louis

  1. Brandon W. says:

    I enjoyed Schlafly when I was there a few weekends ago. Good beer and good tour (I even bought a cool Pale Ale pint glass), but it sounds like your experience was a little different!

  2. Matthew M says:

    What a great weekend it was! Thanks for coming in town man, please come back soon. And im pretty sure my cat was proud of throwing up on Tucker haha. KTFB sunshine

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