Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wednesday April 17, 2013-Sam Weibel's house-Dardenne Prairie MO

I have been looking forward to finally meeting Sam and his wife Donna for a long time. He is a fellow blogger and a retired police officer too, so we have a lot in common.

 It was raining when we arrived at Sam's place in Dardenne Prairie MO so we didn't try to park the trailer on the pad he has built to hold his own trailer or friends that stop to visit. You can see the water standing near the grass, which would have meant that I would have had to stand in it while working on the back side of the trailer.

He has a looooong drive up to his house. He has about 2 acres here and until just a few years ago, farms surrounded his property and he lived "out in the country". Then urban sprawl caught up to him and the farms sold out to developers, so now there are subdivisions all around.

The first place we went to was the Anheuser Busch brewery in St Louis. This is one of the oldest breweries in the United States and has been meticulously maintained. This building was built in 1892!  The plant was very clean and the tour was well run.

The first place we visited was the Clydesdale stables. These are gorgeous horses and we have enjoyed seeing them a couple of years ago in Hidalgo TX in the Rio Grande Valley.

They have several old wagons that were used to deliver cases of beer many years ago.Of course, the Budweiser Dalmation was a big attraction. He was very friendly and greeted each visitor with a sniff and a rub.

The famous Budweiser sign atop one of the original building. We were told that the sign was recently replaced with an LED light sign at a cost of $2.5 million. Wow!!

Here are just a few of the bottles of beer that were produced today. They gave us figures of how much they can produce and it is amazing! They showed us the beer beechwood aging barrels that hold 3600 barrels of beer and there are at least 5 of them! THAT  would give you more than one hangover!

From the brewery we went to the Transportation Museum. They had about 12 vehicles on display, ranging from an original Stanley Steamer to this cutie, probably one of the best looking cars ever produced, a 1957 Chevrolet. This convertible has been beautifully maintained and restored and on display here. I was told that they change out the cars monthly, so there is no telling what may be displayed if you visit.

From the car museum, we went over to the train section. This has a special meaning for Sam, whose grandfather was a railroader.

Large and small locomotives. 

The world's largest tank car. See below for more information.

This is a Union Pacific "Big Boy" locomotives and tender car. It is one of 25 built, the world's largest successful steam locomotive ever built with a total weight of over 600 tons. It is over 132 feet long, carries 600 tons of coal and 25,000 gallons of water.

This 1939 General Motors engine was built using four diesel units to prove the efficiency of diesel power over steam.

One of the attendants allowed us to enter one of the dining/sleeper cars. Here is the tiny bathroom with a shower. Makes my trailer look like a mansion!

Here is the bedroom. There was an upper bunk that could be let down for another bed. It must have been meant for a long ride, note the dresser for clothing.

This fellow shows you how much room there was between the sink and couch. I believe that this was an observation car where people would have ridden during the day, before retiring to their bedroom.

This thing looks like an 18 wheeler! 

This one reminded me of the Monopoly tokens.

We returned home and rested for a bit before going out to eat at JJ's Restaurant in O'Fallon where Donna works. We had a great meal and Donna treated us! Certainly didn't expect that! This has been a fun stop and we appreciate Sam and Donna's hospitality. She will soon retire and they will begin their own retirement adventures. We wish them luck and hope they have as much fun as we have.

So long.


Donna W. said...

Hope you are enjoying your time in St Louis. Really wish the weather would have cooperated, I'm about ready to build an ark. Come back sometime when you can stay longer, so many things to see and do.
It's been a pleasure meeting you.

Larry and Samantha Bandstra said...

Very good post Jay. Enjoyed all the train pics.