|Fire from Kerr's Creek in Rockbridge Co. (Jennifer Law Young)|
We stayed at the Ramada and ate at the Cattleman's Roadhouse. The motel is spanking new and very nice. The steak was excellent and the service good. Cattleman's Roadhouse is a very nice restaurant. Had a good night's sleep (Grandpa was pretty tired).
The next day we got up and headed out to St. Louis. Along the way we discovered that one of Abraham Lincoln's boyhood homes was just south of I-64. We tried to find it but the available brochures gave no address OR directions and Nana's usual luck at getting her way didn't pan out so we didn't see it (or rather, what is remaining of it). Nana was much more disappointed than Grandpa was.
Otherwise the drive to St. Louis was uneventful. We had a bit of a time coming into town. It really isn't difficult but the GPS took us right to the front of the Edward Jones Dome and we had to figure out on our own to skirt the block to 9th Street and THEN we discovered that since I'd made my reservations the hotel had left the Holiday Inn Express line and become a Ramada franchise. I'd like to note that all the staff there, but particularly David, Dwight, Andre, Susan, and especially Acie were helpful, polite, kind and understanding of such as us. I'd also like to wish Acie's mom a happy 103rd birthday in Prescott, Arkansas. While there, we had the breakfast buffet every morning (worth the $7.95 for food and drinks including coffee, OJ, and diet Coke). We also ate the Saturday evening meal there which was a special of filet mignon, wild rice and broccoli for $10.95. Delicious.
I'd like to note that I was told many times that they'd been having hard times in the tourist business in St. Louis. Typical was one night when the hotel had only rented 3 rooms of the 295 available. One can't make money with an occupancy rate like that.
We found a place to park and got established and then walked the 1/4 mile to America's Center (the convention center) and 1/4 mile INSIDE the center to register for the annual meeting. After than Nana and I had an early dinner at the Dubliner, a pub on Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis. Pretty nice. We sat on the sidewalk because the weather was so nice. The inside of the pub is very much pub-like. We made it an early night and watched a bit of TV before turning in.
|Edmund (in coat & hat)|
To address what really interested me at the annual meeting is going to take a bit... First, Nana and I went through most of the exhibit hall. I FINALLY got to hold the Browning 1911/22 and I STILL want one. We'll see. Of course I went by the Shiloh Sharps booth and drooled for a bit. Broached the subject of a $2000 rifle to Nana but got nada for a response. Saw Boge and Jeff Quinn of GunBlast.com but no other friends on the floor. Discovered that Yankee Machine (need to call Nate) no longer produces the Maxim suppressors but might have some in stock (now there will be some money). There were several collection type displays in the exhibit hall. There was Rock Island Auction's million dollar display of a multitude of absolute gorgeous firearms, the development of the sub-machinegun display, TWO Ruger displays, Parker shotguns, Marlin rifles, the Contemporary Longrifle display, and more. Sadly, it was the quietest corner of the exhibit hall.
One exhibitor was Empire Pewter Manufacturing Company of Amsterdam, NY. With an absolutely stunning selection of firearms related pewter pins they were also GIVING AWAY a really neat 2012 NRA Annual Meeting souvenir pin. I got a really nice M1 Garand rifle pin and a lever-action rifle pin that most resembles the Winchester 1876. You can contact them at Empire Pewter Mfg Co, POB 15, Amsterdam, NY 12010 or call 518-843-0048 or FAX 518-843-7050. They will even do custom pins.
Sunday we took a bit of a breather from the annual meeting and went on a tour of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area. We got to see a lot of the town including the 1904 World's Fair fairgrounds, now a city park. Of course Nana got to the Lumiere Casino and won $100. A couple of things to point out. EVERYONE, even a panhandler we turned down, was nice and polite. The city was CLEAN. Unlike other cities in which we have lived or which we have visited, we saw nary a scrap of paper on the ground.
On Monday, the 16th, we left for Marietta, Ohio to spend the night before visiting the Fenton Glass factory in Williamstown, West Virginia (just across the Ohio river). We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Marietta and it was a very nice room in a very recently built motel. We ate almost directly next door at the Bob Evans restaurant where Laura gave us excellent service and the meal was as good as they get. We got up at our regular time to be at the Fenton Glass place at 9 AM when it opens.
|Fenton Glass in Williamstown, WV|