Wanting for beer frames sends us thirsting a couple blocks over to warehouse-turned-loft-lined Washington Avenue. We know it's trendy by the sushi bars, one of which, Wa­sabi, we stop into for a salmon and soybean snack. But our intended destination is the funky City Museum. Ostensibly, it's for kids, but its barrel slides, sea creature mo­saics, and shoelace factory are as fun for Pop as they are for Junior. Since we didn't have Junior in tow, we skipped the exhibits and headed straight for the museum's Cabin Inn the City, a log and mortar cabin-cum-bar where $2 Schlafly microbrews and an arty crowd win our vote for coolest bar in St. Louis.

Back at Busch Stadium, Cardinals game tickets are in ample supply this chilly, rainy evening, more telling of the season's start than the zeal of fans. Inside is what's known as The Red Sea, swelling with boosters wearing Cardinals red. Full disclosure: We are sworn Chicago Cubs fans. So perhaps that accounts for our enthusiasm when the Cardinals touch Marlins ace Josh Beckett, the Cubbies' 2003 playoff nemesis, for nine hits, winning 6-3.

Ducking out just before the Red Sea parts, we grab the last two $5 seats at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups, the city's destination blues bar among a trio on Broadway just south of the stadium. After a set by the Soulard Blues Band, we lurk outside the tree-shaded patio at the nearby Broadway Oyster Bar, eavesdropping on their band. It's not that we're too miserly to cough up another fiver each to get into another club, we tell ourselves. Okay, maybe we are. But mostly, we just can't face any more Budweiser.