(x-posted in the Veritaz Blog
Yay for Elizabeth. We met Elizabeth when we visited the St. Louis children's hospital. She is interning there with media and was there to help us with the image releases that we need to have signed by those that we filmed. We got a chance to catch up with her later the next day because, when we were at the hospital visiting kids, she offered to take us around St. Louis. How cool is it that she had the day off as well? We took her up on it.
She drove out to where we were staying those two nights and picked us up. We had to drop the car off with Austin at the St. Louis Bread Company so he would have a way to meet us if he wanted to later. He was using the internet there and catching up on Rally stuff while Nick, Tom, Elizabeth, and I bee-lined it to CITY MUSEUM
!!! No joke, I think Nick and I had talked about city museum at least once a week during this trip. I have been waiting all summer to get a chance to go and I'm sure Tom and Austin were getting sick of hearing all about it all the time. hahaha... at one point, Austin thought we were making it up. Too bad he was still at the bread shop. Tom, however, was able to experience the true magisty of the CM. haha.
So we get there and we pay for tickets... Tom and Nick take off right away and dissapeer. Wait a second here... if you don't know what CITY MUSEUM is, PLEASE click the above link. It would take too long to explain in full. In short, however, Citi Museum is a giant wearhouse that is full of stuff found in and around St. Louis. It was started by a man who decided that, when the city was clearing out buildings in order to build the St. Louis Arch, decided it would be a waste to let all of the debree just be thrown away. He found amazing things and saved them all in 3 giant wearhouses and then started building the citi museum out of all of the nifty stuff he salvaged. The best part about it? It's about 3 stories of pure jungle gym. There are tons of rooms that are all connected by walk ways and tunnles and ladders made of every type of thing imaginable. Yes, it's true: YOU CAN CLIMB ON EVERYTHING
, in everything, under everything, and usually, above everything. It can be summed up in one word: AMAZING. PLEASE click the link and see for yourself.
Anyway so I had been waiting all summer to get out to this super cool place and you would never believe what happened. Elizabeth and I started over by one of the giant fish tanks that they have in the middle of the building and we started climbing in the caves near it. We ended up right next to the tank near where the glass ended and one of the spotted fish was right at the top. We both were looking over at the fish and I, not thinking anything of it, reached over the tank to touch the thing, I mean, it's just a fish right? It seemed friendly enough... just peeking at me from right below the surface. I figured, with so many kids climbing around here I'm sure the fish are tame. It let me touch it's nose and we were both so amazed that it didn't swim away that Elizabeth came closer and I reached over to pet it again. Next thing I know the nice sweet not-so-little fish jumped OUT OF THE TANK AND BIT MY ENTIRE FINGER. My ENTIRE first finger was in the things mouth in a split second. The instant it happened I pulled my hand way up into the air and the thing grabbed on at my middle knuckle and came right out of the tank. Elizabeth says I pulled the thing about 2 and a half feet into the air! We were both screaming and I was shaking my hand. The fish biting my finger hurt like HECK. It wouldn't let go! I kept shaking my arm and finally it let go and fell back into the tank splashing water all over my face. Did I mention that the fish was at LEAST 14 inches long? It weighed a lot too.
WHAT THE HECK??!!!???
So we both calm down (kinda) and I look down at my finger. It's bleeding all over the place and swelling up like a balloon. There are puncture wounds all of the way across the top of my knuckle and across the bottem. One is so deep that the torn tissue of my finger was pertruding out of it. That's right, the fish bit me SO HARD and deep that the tissue of my finger, because of the pressure of the swelling, was coming out of the puncture hole. WHY IS IT that things like this always seem to happen to ME? Seriously.
Ok so about this time we had already made our way back to the front gate to ask if there is anything we might need to know about the fish that bit me, like, for example, was it POISENOUS? I had cleaned y finger up pretty well but it just kept bleeding and bleeding. What a freak show. Next thing I know, it seemed like all of the employees were there standing around Elizabeth and me at the fish tank. I couldn't stop laughing but at the same time I felt pretty stupid. I mean come ON... I'm 21 years old and just got owned by an effing fish. haha. THey kept saying "why did you put your hand in the tank?" to which I had to keep replying: I wanted to pet the fish!
I'm an idiot. Oh my gosh. haha.
So ok long story short it was a BULL FISH that bit me. The fish dude at the City Museum said that they are one of the most aggressive species of fish. Ok so since then I have been kinda wondering... WHY THE HECK WOULD YOU HAVE DANGEROUS AND AGRESSIVE FISH AT AN AQUARIUM WHERE THERE IS NO RAILING AND ONLY A FEW INCHES BETWEEN THE WATER AND THE END OF THE TANK WHEN LITTLE KIDS ARE ALLLLL AROUND ALLL THE TIME? WHY? Seriously. haha. Go figure. Anyway I guess everyone got a kick out of it. It got so swollen that I couldn't move my finger. I sat out for the next hour or so with Nick and iced my finger until we cought up with Elizabeth and Tom again. It felt better by then so we then all did some climbing and exploring and took some pictures. Nick and I showed them where we ducked under the floor down a tunnel that looked like it was just part of a dried up fountain.
After we left City Museum, Elizabeth took us to the St. Louis Loop and we met up with Austin. I had forgotten that Nick and I had been there a few years ago shopping with our friend Jamie during a road trip that we took together the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college. After a few steps it all came back to me. We didn't stay for long because Elizabeth had this awesome idea. She called her parents and let them know that we'd be joining them for dinner. We could not have guessed what we were about to get ourselves into.
We packed up and all drove out to the Hill, where Elizabeth is from. Turns out her family is all very very Ittalian and they all live on the same street! She lives RIGHT next to her grandma (who is probably THE coolest 85 year old I have ever encountered in my lifetime) and right infront of her aunt and uncle, etc, etc. She got changed and we headed out to Vino's, a bar and restaurant. Her family owns a bakery on the Hill and they were there with grandma and others along with some people who work at the bakery. I guess they all go out to Vino's a lot. Everyone there knew them. We sat down with everybody and ordered some dinner. Her dad said he'd treat! No joke!
When we were there we ate pizza, subs, and St. Louis toasted ravioli! We spent a long time learning how to play Bocce Ball the Italian way! We even won our FIRST game!
After hanging out with her big family a ton we felt like genuine Italians! haha... too bad none of us are. They really made us feel at home. We kept hanging out with them into the night. Together we all left after two fun games of Bocce Ball to go to this diner across town. MORE FOOD! We ate and ate! They made Austin and Tom order these things called Slingers. A Slinger is eggs, hash browns, chilli, and more on a burger. It comes out looking like a plate of chilli hash browns with a burger patty hidden somewhere in the middle. Gross. haha. Everything was amazing that night. We had more fun than we could have expected!