Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Historic St. Charles

Since my trip to the St. Louis area is short, I decided to make the most of it and venture out on my second day there. The front desk representative at my hotel recommended walking Main Street in the historical area of St. Charles, so I thought "Why not?". Well...the first reason should have been because it had been a little rainy that day, and the second reason was that my newly coiffed curls were going to get damp and fall. But determined to do something, I set out for St. Charles.

And am I glad that I did! 

Once I reached the cobble stoned streets lined with beautiful historical homes and buildings filled with unique shopping, I knew I was in for a treat! I parked at one end of the 19 block area and decided that I would walk (or shop!) my way up and down the street.  

It didn't take long before I came across this cute little shop, I Am What I Am:

The store is owned by one person, although it has a collection of unique items created by local artists that are sold in the store. (If I even had a creative bone in my body, this place would have certainly given me LOTS of ideas!) The best thing about this store is that I was able to find a Christmas gift for someone. (And yes, I DO shop for people other than myself!). This year I am determined to purchase more thoughtful gifts for people other than the simple option of gift cards. (Although I love to receive a gift cards!)

As I continued walking, I quickly realized that I couldn't stop into every store due to my urge to want to purchase items! But I couldn't help but go into Di Olivas, a olive and vinegar emporium:

I had heard of this type of store previously, but never knew exactly what it was. Basically it is a store that sells high quality extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) and balsamic vinegars. Before even tasting one, I was mesmerized by the beauty of the store.


Fortunately there was an extremely nice salesperson to walk me through the process of trying different oils, vinegars and mixing the combinations together. (And thankfully consuming 2 tablespoons of good oil is on the Weight Watchers plan!) I ended up purchasing a butter flavored EVOO (yummy!) which the sales person said some WW members purchase it to spritz on their air popped popcorn; it also will be amazing to drizzle on baked fish. This way I am getting the taste of butter, but with the healthy, good for me oils that I should have. I also purchased a cranberry-pear balsamic vinegar (tart, yet a hint of sweetness) to spritz on my salads. I will also visit their website to order some gifts for other people for the holidays because this is GREAT stuff!

Although the day was a bit chilly (and I quickly lost my curls), it was still a great day to be out and walk about. Before I knew it, I had spent 3 hours walking in and out of shops, and I hadn't really stopped at all of the stores I wanted to!

There are lots of restaurants, some with very hip, cool and inviting outdoor seating areas that I am certain must stay busy in the spring and summer months.

So if you are ever in the St. Louis area, it's definitely worth it to make the drive to historic St. Charles!


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