9 States, 5 Cities, 5 Days
Technically we only spent time in four cities as we only drove through Indianapolis, but it wasn't for a lack of trying. We googled things to do in Indianapolis and nothing sparked our interest like the other four cities we visited (Louisville, Kansas City, Cincinnati and St. Louis). Outside of those four cities, we drove passed some interesting things like the homeplace of Larry Bird (French Lick), University of Missouri, Ohio State University and we also saw the Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri rivers.
Our first stop was Cincinnati which is known for it's chili, the Bengals and the Reds. We didn't get to see much of the city, but it did allow us to briefly experience Kentucky. My oldest son really wanted to see the Reds at Great American Ball Park (GABP). Of the three ballparks we visited, my boys both agreed that GABP was their favorite. It was a very kid friendly park. Unfortunately, we did not get to take advantage of all the activities the park had to offer because of the rain and the threat of severe weather.
Our stop in Louisville was amazing. My boys had no idea who Muhammad Ali was and why would they, but they do now. Visiting the Muhammad Ali Center was a no brainer. It was a great history lesson for my boys. My wife and I even learned some interesting facts that had been unbeknownst to us. The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory was also a great stop. Unfortunately, since we were on a tight schedule we did not partake in the tour of the factory. However, we did get to see several autographed bats and we even picked up a souvenir personalized Louisville Slugger bat with "TEAM HWTT" engraved on it.
Kansas City was our most grueling city to visit. We stayed in St. Louis and we made the three hour drive to Kansas City to see Kauffman Stadium, Negro League Baseball Museum (NLBM), enjoy some outstanding barbecue and then we had to make the three hour ride back to St. Louis. My wife wrote a great piece, Battle of the Barbecues that I highly recommend you read. Kauffman stadium is one of baseballs hidden treasures along with the Royals museum that my youngest son recommended we take a stroll through; plus it's free. There's a decent amount of history there including the Royals two world series championship trophies. The NLBM gave my kids great exposure to how baseball was prior to Jackie Robinson. They will forever remember the names Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, and Ray Dandridge just to name a few. It was a great museum and I strongly recommend it to ALL baseball fans!
St. Louis is known for it's toasted ravioli and it's gooey butter cake. Toasted ravioli is breaded, deep-fried and stuffed with beef and it is served with tomato sauce. It's hard to explain what butter cake is, but it's very good.
The Gateway Arch is impressive and I can see why families come from all over the country to see this monumental structure that can be seen throughout St. Louis. We elected not to take the journey to the top because our schedule was tight; instead we took a tour of Anheuser-Busch's largest and oldest brewery. We were able to see the different phases of the beer making process. We also got to see the world's famous Clydesdale horses and we got to sample one of the beers and at the conclusion of the tour, they provided us with a free beer. We also enjoyed a light snack at the Budweiser Biergarten after the tour concluded.
We ended our St. Louis visit by going to Bush Stadium to see the Cardinals take on the Colorado Rockies. Although we are on a quest to see all of the stadiums, Busch Stadium was high on my list of ballparks to visit and it did not disappoint. We had centerfield seats, but we walked to the upper deck to take maybe one of the most spectacular views in all of baseball which has the city of St. Louis along with the Gateway Arch in the backdrop of the outfield. Busch stadium is huge and there is a lot of history there including a museum that is located in Ballpark Village which is just outside the stadium. The only negative about Busch Stadium is the museum isn't free.
The Turners spent more than 30 hours on the road and traveled more than 2,200 miles. We traveled through 9 states, hit five major cities, visited four museums and watched baseball in three different stadiums. And we even managed to set aside some time to see Spiderman Homecoming which was pretty good. I'd say that was a successful road trip.