8 of 29 Hours in Clayton

Clayton, Missouri is located at 38°38′43″N 90°19′55″W in St. Louis County. Clayton was settled in 1877 and is only 2.5 sq mi., and it is a beautiful place.

My Parents-In-Law will be moving there next month so we went to visit and help pick out a place for them to live. It was a great trip and here is a quick visually aided recap.

After arrival of the short 1.5 hour flight, we were picked up by Emily’s Sister, Laura. We drove straight from the airport in St. Louis to Clayton to check into our hotel. We got a SWEET SUITE with two TV’s and a living room and all that crazy stuff. You could even see the Arch…kind of.

After check-in we were hungry so we ate at a great grocery store that had great food called Straub’s. I didn’t take any indoor pics, but here is a shot of Emily and Laura eating right outside after we got some food. I really like this place. They had a lot of food that was delicious and good for you. Kind of expensive though.

Now that we were full and ready to go we were off to the races. We drove around checking out Clayton and started to get a feel for what kind of town it was. It has a very interesting feel. As I stated to the ladies while we were driving around, it is a small town with a big city feel. Which I love, because I like the city but I hate overcrowded streets, restaurants,…pretty much anything with too many people. Clayton seems to have the perfect balance of people.

As we drove around there were plenty of interesting sights. Like the fat man on a fat horse next to one of the local Starbucks. This statue, among other things, contributed to the overall personality of Clayton. Emily and I felt, at times, that Clayton was not a real city. We felt like we were in a fake city, you know like a city that has been constructed inside of a Six Flags or Disney World. Everything is just so perfect and set up for “the community”. I have never lived in a place like that but I feel like I wouldn’t mind it.

During our vehicular exploration we drove by my father-in-law’s, new place of business. In the picture below you will see a shoe covered in fish; not really, it is a shoe covered in shoes. It is a piece of

artwork owned by the City of Clayton and it costs Brown $365 a year or $1 a day to keep the statue in front of the building. I guess you could say they like to lease, not own. This is a very long building that houses some of the most powerful minds in the shoes business. I think there are over 700 people employed in this building alone which would equal about 5.5% of the entire population of Clayton. This may not sound like a lot, but if you were to go to Dallas and say that 5.5% of the population was employed by one employer that would be 132, 705 people all employed by one company. That’s pretty crazy. Brown has some say in this town so I guess its nice to know a VP.

Okay, I got lost in math and numbers there for a second…where was I. Oh yes, we were checking out the town in Laura’s car. The last photo I have to share of this drive is one of the houses we found in Clayton. Houses in Clayton are very expensive so we could only speculate how much this one would cost, and we would say it is well into the millions of dollars. We found some sort of crazy neighborhood that was not following the current trends of all the rest of Clayton. These houses were massive. It seems crazy to think that a house like this placed in Texas would be hundreds of thousands, while that is still expensive, the same house placed in Clayton is millions. Now I see why people have houses uprooted and moved in pieces by truck across the country….yes, I am kidding…but seriously. Since the city itself is only 2.5 sq mi it was not hard to drive around most of it, and we did. However, since it is so small you have a unique opportunity. I have lived in many cities and towns, but I have never been able to say I have been on EVERY street in the entire city. In Clayton I would accomplish this, but not in my car. It would take me months, if not more, to see every bit of the city on foot. That would be a goal of mine. To run through every street and alleyway that the city had to offer. Seems like that would be a lot of fun and a new challenge to keep me occupied.

Alright enough with the exploration! Time to get to work! We had condos to look at. So 5:30 rolled in and we were waiting at our first Condo. A funny man in an FJ Cruiser stepped out (FJ Man) and started looking around and Laura, with the intuition of the ages, says “I really hoped he is not involved in this at all”. Well the Realtor stepped out and we all met, shook hands, and exchanged all the commonalities of a modern day society. John was a little late becase he had just got off work, but we were all there and started to look at the condo. It was alright. It had potential, but the funny FJ man was not helping us fall in love with the place in the slightest. He was pushy, edgy, and stoned (stoned is all speculation, but the other two adjectives he was for sure). We all moved on with an uneasy feeling, but none of us discussed it too much because we had to get to the next condo.

The next condo was beautiful. We all fell in love with it right away and we spent a few hours there checking it out, taking videos, and giving verbal descriptions to those that were in need. We all eneded up in the living room talking about how crazy the FJ man was and during that moment I felt like this place was home. The entire condo had a homey feel to it, and this just solidified the feeling. We all felt like the other condo had a strange feeling and none of us were overly enthused about that option. We all discussed how we felt and even the Realtor jumped in with her feeling about the FJ man. It was a good time. We had picked out a future home that felt like home.

Now we were off to Dinner at Pi Pizzeria. This was a great restaurant, with amazing pizza, and even better conversations between family. We had a great time discussing all sorts of thing. I had a
great evening and even found a great new beer that is worth a notable mention, 1554. A new top 5 favorite on my list. We even found some Gluten free beer that John could have, so he had his
first beer in 25 YEARS!!! He liked it but Laura loved it 🙂 I think she may not have been a very big fan of beer until she met this one. Well this will be the end of this Clayton post. I will share the rest of our second day later. This post is already becoming too long. Stay tuned for part two.

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