Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Vacation in ...St. Charles?

Having just filled our ten-year-old mini-van to the tune of $47.00, I stepped inside the Amoco kiosk to pay the cashier. Ahead of me was a woman prepaying for $5 worth of gas. At $2.79 per gallon, she was buying less than 2 gallons.

The cashier and I talked about the financial squeeze high gas prices puts on the average family. Then she relayed how someone yesterday purchased .79 worth of gas for her car. That's barely enough to start it up. It costs more to fill the lawnmower.

Getting back in the car, the radio was playing a commercial promoting family vacations to historic St. Charles, Missouri. The commercial was targeted to St. Louis audiences. Now, St. Charles is a cool historic place right in our own backyard, but you've got to wonder how bad things are getting if there's a substantial market of St. Louisans actually making their family vacation plans for St. Charles.

Skyrocketing gas and gold prices. Rising interest rates. Inflation becoming a serious concern. A president with plummeting approval ratings and a troubling Iraq policy. Who knows what's next in Iran? And today radio commercials marketing St. Louis family vacations to St. Charles.

All I can say is, through it all, there is a bright side: We're glad we're living in St. Louis. And we're glad we do have cool local places that actually offer good in-town vacation options. (Don't forget the Graffton/Pere Marquette area).

Oh, and that scooter is looking more and more like an attractive alternative! Hmmm. I wonder if there's a bridge you can take to ride your scooter across the Missouri River...


Urban Review - St. Louis said...

Well, it cost my nearly $3 to fill up my scooter the other day!!! If you were to buy a scooter with a motor larger than a 50cc you can certainly take it on the highway and on nearly every road. Honda makes an 80cc scooter which may not be big enough for highway use but will get you around everywhere else. If you get a 150cc scooter you should be good to go. Local scooter groups often do the river road and other scenic places.

So many regions, including ours, rely heavily on tourism. This summer is going to be a reality check when families don't arrive by the thousands as they have in years past. Some think people will just suck it up and pay the extra price at the pump and life will go on. Wrong!

But the reality is that even at $5/gallon it would not represent the full costs of obtaining the gas. Our gas prices have been subsidized for decades and we are about to pay for it big time, for decades.

Claire Nowak-Boyd said...

I think scooterability and bikeability are a good question to ask towards the folks who are fixing up the McKinley and who want to build the New Mississippi River Bridge (aka The New Superfluous Transit Project To Connect Far Suburbs Together At The Expense Of The Near North Side). I've heard that the McKinley will be bikeable upon its completion. 50cc scooters are legally treated similar to bikes, but still taking something with a motor on a bike trail seems wrrrrong.

Seriously, I am thinking about getting a scooter myself. I just met a fellow who drives an 80cc scooter who had the carburetor modified, so he gets 100 miles a gallon! Awesome! (He also lives on the Near North Side.)