_in St. Louis
  We arrived in St. Louis to be greeted by our friends Aitch and Adam [and later Nicole]. This picture shows none of these people.

  While Aitch and Nicole were at work the rest of us decided to take a rotating elevator to the top of a big steel arch. This is a view from the top of said arch.

  Gav receives an educational lecture from a talking mannequin at the base of the arch.

  During lunch at the famous Blueberry Hill we find a picture of one of Scotland's finest exports- The Proclaimers!

  Later that evening during a Mexican meal, Caroline decides to snack on a rock. Interested in what a rock tastes like we all had a sample. Unsurprisingly it tasted like a rock!

  Alburt makes a friend.

  The locally renowned "Crown Candy" store sold a variety of quality edible goods.

  These included milkshakes and malts. Adam, our good friend from Iowa, insisted we tried a malt. We tried. We liked. Adam also likes malts as you can see from this photo.

  The day before Nicole's birthday we decided to bake a surprise cake. Adam and Scotia got up early in the morning to head off to the health food store to get the ingredients.

  Alburt's ferocious whipping technique is so fast paced that it couldn't be captured on film. It also made his eyebrows partially disappear.

  This is a picture of some cake mix in a round tin.

  The whole cake making process had to be done within a strict time schedule to avoid being rumbled by Nicole. We waited patiently as the cakes were transformed from a thick pastey thing to a browned sponge thing.

  During the wait Scotia looks amused by something- possibly his hair style.

  This is a pose reminiscent of one struck the last time the two members of Hole in my Pocket came together to create baked goods.

  While Alburt and Scotia fanny about posing for the camera, Adam gets to work on a pile of dirty dishes.

  Once baked, Alburt tries in vain to accelerate the cooling down process by using a large fan.

  Once cooled the cake was smothered in jam- we decided on a half bramble, half blueberry combination.

  This side elevation shows the height of the cake once constructed- approximately one metre tall!

  The final touch was to cover the cake in icing. This not only proved to be a delicious topping but a good way of disguising any burnt bits.

  Early next morning we all got up in time to light the candles and await the appearance of the unsuspecting birthday girl. It was warmly accepted and we all had cake for breakfast.

  Exhausted from our cake making marathon, we decided a to have a wee post-breakfast nap.

  A rather defensive sleeping position from Scotia.

  While Gav pretends he has just been shot.

  After a well deserved rest we went to St. Louis' City Museum which turned out to be a playpark for children of all ages.

  Unfortunately for Scotia this squabbling brother and sister decided to interrupt his moment of quiet contemplation.

  This free live show proved to be the highlight of the afternoon. Movie clips are to follow- please check back soon!

  While wandering about downtown Adam suddenly comes over all patriotic after sighting this message in a diner window.

  Adam drove all the way from Ames, Iowa, to surprise us in St. Louis. As always it was an absolute pleasure to see this rather excellent friend of ours again.

  Adam departed St. Louis for the long drive home. His comedic chat and infinite wisdom was sorely missed.

  To cheer ourselves up we decided to go to Chicago for the day. Before we depart Aitch sticks a bumper sticker to Nicole's automobile. [In retrospect we would have been better going to Ohio to try and swing some votes]

  Alburt finally manages to crawl out of his bed and into a comedy combination of shoes, black socks and dirty shorts!

  As soon as we hit the open road Alburt heads back to the land of nod.

  We stopped off at the Chenoa Family Restaurant for breakfast.

  Scotia was overcome with emotion as this group photo was taken. He would later be overcome with disappointment when he discovered that his pancakes were not accompanied by fresh blueberries but a blueberry pie filling mush.

  Spot the spelling mistake and win a lollipop.

  After almost 5 hours travel we finally have the Chicago skyline in our sights.

  Almost as soon as we arrived in the centre of a busy Chicago we lost Aitch. We later found him sitting like a little boy lost in the new city park.

  The new park has this big shiny thing in it. Gav was impressed.

  Alburt finds his perfect match.

  After an exhausting but fun day in the centre of Chicago we went up Sears Tower to get an impressive view of the city at night..

  Our friends Aitch and Nicole showed supreme endurance by taking responsibility for driving us to Chicago and back within the same day!

  The following night we were treated to some barbeque magic by chef Alburt.

  Contrary to the scenario depicted, the food was enjoyed by all. We also had a fine array of beverages to accompany the food including pumpkin beer, wheat beer, pale ale and Alburt's choice for the evening- milk!

  On the final day of our Missouri visit we went to Alton where Nicole works three days of the week.

  Turns out that Alton was once the host of a famous presidential debate involving Lincoln and some other politician chap. Here, Lincoln sports a charming Caffrey's baseball cap provided by Gav.

  Outside of Alton was a maze cut out of a corn field. Unfortunately the maze was closed the day we visited so we amused ourselves by burying Aitch in some corn.

  Back in Alton, and we discover that it was the home of the worlds tallest man, Robert Wadlow.

  It also appeared to be the temporary home of one of the world's smallest men.

  We were sorry to leave our friends behind as we departed for New York once more. But as they say, all good things must come to an end...... until next time.


holeinmypocket, 2002-2005