So, last year I joined the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society, mostly as a means of professional development, but also for some networking opportunities. I didn’t do much with them last year, but this May’s annual meeting was to be in Columbus, OH on Memorial Day weekend. The cost was going to be substantial, though Missouri Valley was going to cover most of it.
Anyway, a little over a month ago, HAPS sent out a note that a regional meeting was going to be held in St. Louis on March 24th for far less than the full-size meeting in May. This weekend was also the start of Meg’s Spring Break, so it presented a unique opportunity to spend relatively little and get a weekend in St. Louis for Brooke and I. Win-win all around.
After dropping the kids off in Columbia (thanks Mom and Dad!), we continued on to St. Louis. Brooke’s parents were kind enough to share their season tickets to the Blues game Friday night, so we rushed in through good old fashioned St. Louis traffic (and rain…which exacerbated said traffic…) and made it just after the game started. It turned out well for the “boys in blue,” as they ended up winning 4-1. We had a good time!
We went to McGurk’s for dinner afterward (I was quite hungry…), as it was a few blocks up from the Airbnb we rented in Soulard, our old stomping grounds. There were tons of folks there for some live music, but it was one of the few places we figured would still be serving food after 9:30 pm in the neighborhood. Mmmmmm, tasty…
The next day, Brooke dropped me off at my conference while she went and ran some shopping errands and got some reading done at the apartment. She had a rainy, albeit relaxing, day. 🙂
For my part, I really enjoyed the conference. There were less than 50 people there, but the sessions were good at focusing on information retention and other teaching-related subjects, stuff that I can use some ideas on, as they’re what I’ve been thinking about quite a bit this semester. I saw a few SLU grads from my tenure there, too, so it was a good opportunity to catch up and follow through with that “networking” I mentioned earlier. Regardless, I came away excited about some new things I can try in the classroom.
The meeting was over around 4:00 pm, so we headed back to the apartment so I could change out of my “conference clothes,” allowing us to head out and see some of the microbreweries that have popped up since we moved in 2014. First up, Earthbound Beer off of Cherokee Street. The beers there looked interesting (and all of the sampler set we had were impressive!) and they also had some food (grabbed some BBQ nacho concoction…mmmm…) to tide us over until dinnertime.
Second, we went by Side Project Brewing in Maplewood. The Maplewood Coffee Crawl was going on that day, so they had some extra “coffee beers” available, though they were barrel-aged and pretty “high octane.” They were good, but not exactly what we were in the mood for when we knew we had to drive back to Soulard. We also tried a saison and a farmhouse ale, both of which I enjoyed, but Brooke wasn’t as big a fan. They were close to closing, so we weren’t there for all that long. They seemed solid, but of the three we visited, it wasn’t our favorite.
Third, we hit up The U.R.B., Urban Chestnut’s Research Brewery. I’d been to their bierhall across the street a few times, but a buddy from college recommended trying the research brewery, as they had pretty decent pizza, as well. The concept is that Urban Chestnut tests three difference recipes and sells you three tasters for $1 (total) from which you are asked to answer some questions via digital survey on your phone. This is all to help them get some feedback on their wares so they know what to scale up into a full release.
The option for Saturday were Radlers, which aren’t exactly our favorite. One was more lemon, the other more grapefruit, and the third…I dunno… The grapefruit one was the best, in our opinion, but all three were “drinkable.”
After we had those, we grabbed a pizza that was pretty solid. It wasn’t Joanie’s or anything, but it was good.
The next morning, we hit up Hammerstone’s for breakfast before heading out (yum…). Moseying around Soulard was pretty great and we hope we can get back there again soon. The Airbnb we stayed in was really, really good, and was probably in the perfect place for us, so it was nice to re-live some of our favorite times, even if for only a few nights.
The drive home was uneventful, aside from stopping off at a few more shopping locations. We had a great time! Let’s hope we can do it again sometime!