Most every trip I've made to St. Louis, Mo., has been baseball related.
The most recent one had nothing to do with sports.
It was all about the arts, which is quite unusual for me.
Several weeks ago my wife Pam had mentioned how she would love to go to St. Louis and see Michaelangelo's Sistine Chapel Exhibition. She even started looking ticket prices up on the internet.
Thank goodness, for me, she never ordered them. That's because I decided it would be a great Christmas gift.
I called on my oldest daughter Emma to help, as far as purchasing the tickets and getting hotel reservations.
I had the tickets in a South Reporter envelope packed inside another Christmas gift. On the envelope I wrote "Surprise."
She's also been wanting a new vehicle. I had kidded her about having it in the shed out back on Christmas morning.
When she first saw that envelope, I bet she was hoping there was a car key inside.
But no doubt about it, she was very excited to see the tickets and hotel info for a road trip to St. Louis.
I planned the trip for leaving New Year's Eve, spending New Year's Day there, going to the exhibit on January 2 and returning to Holly Springs that afternoon.
Leading up to the dates, we kept constant eyes on the weather reports. What first started as maybe two inches of snow and ice turned out to be a decent forecast after all.
It was cold, and there was a little sleet and a little snow, but overall traveling was just fine.
The exhibition itself was simply wonderful.
The paintings in the Sistine Chapel in Rome, Italy, are some of the most magnificent works of art in the world.
And this was the next best thing to seeing them on site. The exhibition of the iconic masterpieces was promoted as "an up-close, never-before-seen perspective."
There were 34 paintings on display. My favorites were The Great Flood, The Creation of Eve, The Creation of Adam, David and Goliath, The Prophet Jeremiah and The Last Judgment.
Pam and I also chose to pay for the sound device, describing each painting as we walked through. It was well worth it.
We made one walk-through, and then went back to some of our favorites before exiting America's Center.
Of course any fun road trip for the Burlesons includes trying out different restaurants.
We stopped in Sikeston, Mo., at Lambert's, a longtime favorite, on the way.
In St. Louis, we ate at HiPoint Drive-In and BLT's, both in close walking distance to the hotel, and ordered delivery from Sushi Ai.
My baseball trips to St. Louis have always included a stop at Broadway Oyster Bar. We missed that always good experience on this trip.
Pam and I also took a different route to St. Louis this time, going I-269 and then going through smaller Tennessee towns like Covington, Ripley and Dyersburg to hit I-55 closer to Sikeston. We avoided the Memphis portion of 55.
This was certainly a great way to welcome in 2021, and thankfully, Pam said time and time again how much she enjoyed her Christmas gift.