Saturday, June 25, 2011

Drury Inn and Suites Convention Center - St Louis

I promised a while back I start reviewing hotels and the like from my travels. My disclaimer is that this is strictly based on my experiences and is no guarantee of future results. So, here goes.

We've enjoyed staying at Drury Hotels. It's not a huge chain and its confined to the midwest and south. I've rarely had a bad experience. We spent almost two weeks at the Paducah Drury Suites when we were run out of our home by the ice storm. So, I've accumulated quite a few Drury Key points. I had tickets for the Cardinals Phillies game Thursday, so I decided to see what I could get for free with my Gold Key points.

First, you have to call to redeem points. For Hilton and Mariott you can easily see how many points you have and redeem them online. You can't do this with Drury. That said, the reservation person I spoke with with very helpful and we hammered out the reservation very quickly.

The hotel is pretty easy to get to if you are coming from Illinois via I-64. You can get off at the MLK bridge exit and once you reach the Missouri side, you just make a couple of turns and you are there. You park at the front of the building to check in. I had no problem at all checking in. I could see how check-in could be a problem if there were multiple cars out front and the check-in lane was full.

You get free parking with your resevation in their parking garage. This is something to keep in mind when comparing costs to another hotel since you in effect get free parking in downtown St Louis. The hotel is very secure, your room key is required to enter the hotel from the parking garage. The elevator requires a room key to use. If you use the stairs, you need your room key to enter the door to another level. My room was very nice. The layout of the floor plan is a little different. Instead of one rectangle, it's like two linked rectangles.

Drury's have started having food in the evenings. This night, there were chicken strips, hot dogs, mac and cheese, baked potatoes, broccoli and cheese soup and chips/pretzels. There was also free soda. In the mornings, you get a good breakfast. It's usually exactly the same each morning. The breakfast consists of sausage, gravy, biscuits, scrambled eggs, and french toast. There is also fruit, donuts, oatmeal and the capability to make your own waffle. It's a good breakfast, but I could see where you might get tired of it after a few days. They also have free popped popcorn (with one of those popcorn machines like we used to have at the Paducah Drive In) and soda.

The hotel is a straight shot walking to Busch Stadium. It's about eight blocks away. It's close enough to walk but far enough away to be insulated from the noise.
If you absolutely didn't want to walk, you can grab the Metro and be taken right to the stadium. It's very nice after the game to not have the hassle of having to exit the parking garage's with all the other fans and wending your way home. The Arch is within about six blocks. Union Station is about a mile away, but I'd recommend driving or Metro as opposed to driving.

The cons I give above are not really huge deals. Overall, I'd recommend this hotel to stay in on your next visit to St Louis to see the Cardinals.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Rolo McFlurry

Last Monday morning, I was in the area of McDonalds in the morning. I couldn't resist grabbing a couple of those $1.00 sausage biscuits. As I looked at the menu board while placing my order, I noticed something I'd never seen before. There was an advertisement for a Rolo McFlurry. Rolos are in my top five all time favorite candy's. They are not readily available which is probably a good thing for me. I immediately started singing this of course.

I will admit that I have never had a McFlurry in all my visits to McDonalds. I tend to lean toward getting either a chocolate milkshake or a chocolate sundae. I favor a chocolate chip or Midnite Truffle blizzard at DQ for my mixed ice cream and candy treat. I told Josh about it and he wanted one. After he went to the summer youth series, he went to the Mayfield DQ. He said it was disappointing. All he got was chocolate and caramel mixed with soft serve in a cup. I was heartbroken. He recommended I try one myself and see what I thought.

So today on the way home from church, I stopped by the Paducah Jackson Street McDonalds. I went in to order so I could watch it being made. I could see the young lady scooping what looked like chunks of Rolo into the cup! She doused it with a large shot of chocolate syrup and gave it to me. It was really good! There were large chunks of Rolo in it and it tasted great. I couldn't put it down long enough to pump gas at Supervalu on the way home. Donna was laughing at me as I came in the door. She saw me shoveling Rolo McFlurry in as I pumped gas.

If you can get a correctly made one, I'd heartily recommend it. It's a good thing for my sake they are only available "for a limited time only".