We jokingly called our extended weekend in St. Louis our “test run” for our big trip coming up. We did gain some tips from the trip, but we also had a ton of fun!
We started Saturday with a baseball outing with our church. It was hot and the kids were getting restless. And Dad was interested in actually watching some of the game. So, Mom took the kids for a bathroom break and to get some ice cream. It was hot. Did I mention it was hot? [Lesson Learned: The extra water bottles were a good choice!]
It cost the same to get some ice cream in a cup or a waffle cone, so the cone seemed like a tasty choice. I’m not sure the pictures accurately show the amount of ice cream that melted and dripped on faces, clothes and the ground. We gave those passing by some free laughs. 🙂 I couldn’t take any photos until one of the cones was gone and I could clean the goo from my hands. I didn’t need a sticky camera! [Lesson Learned: Pack plenty of wipes!]
After the game we had supper with some friends, where Andrew got shot in the head … with a ketchup bottle.
We walked by the Arch at night. I probably needed a tripod for this photo. Oh well. I am always amazed by the Arch!
We found our hotel and carried in way too many suitcases and “friends.” [Lessons Learned: Pack so we don’t need to drag out every suitcase every night. And, make sure Morgan has a bag to carry all her friends.]
The next day we had planned to venture outdoors, but it was pouring rain. So, the kids turned the hotel beds into a bounce house while the parents questioned their sanity. [Lesson Learned: Plans are good, but the must remain flexible.]
The rain cleared in time for another game at Busch Stadium.
The kids got to say “Hi!” to Fredbird. Paige was very excited to “touch touch” him. She was not as happy when he “touch touched” her back for this photo.
On the way back from visiting Fredbird, we watched a few batters from the cheap seats. 😉
The kids did amazingly well, sitting through two ball games in 100 plus degree weather. Paige enjoyed sitting in her own seat.
After the game, the kids got to run the bases. Andrew is rounding third on the left and Morgan is running along on the right.
Paige was catching up on some sleep after having two days without a proper nap.
We got some supper, headed to the Arch again and then hit up the hotel swimming pool.
It was Paige’s birthday, so we brought along some cupcakes. We were singing “Happy Birthday” to her, but she did not want to wait until we were done singing to dig into her treat!
The next day, we ventured to the new Citygarden in downtown St. Louis. It has cool architecture, artwork, native plants and some random pink flamingos.
It was cloudy when we arrived, but after a brief time of sprinkles, the sun came out again.
The fountains were popular with the kids. Surprising, I know! 😉 We did have one rule: Try to not get wet. It was impossible to stay completely dry, but they did a good job not getting soaked.
The kids really liked some rabbit sculptures.
Of course, Andrew found a map. He’s standing in front of a LED screen that acted as living artwork by showing those passing by on the screen. If you look closely, you can see all of us.
Morgan livened up the art by dancing. 🙂
Our next stop was a tour of Busch Stadium. It’s fun to hear stories about the team, visit seats and sections we’ll never be able to afford, and take some photos where we don’t usually get to hang out.
After lunch and another downpour, we headed to The Magic House Children’s Museum for an afternoon of fun shopping, playing with water and some hair raising experiences.
In the “construction zone” kids can pretend to build, paint and move dirt. We didn’t see Andrew for a while. He was, not surprisingly, in the “office” designing his own buildings.
Soon everyone had joined him.
The whole place is a ton of fun! Here are a few other highlights:
And a three-story slide:
After the Magic House, we ventured to a different hotel, checked-in and went out to eat. We found Albert Pujols’ restaurant. We enjoyed our meal and could watch part of the game that was going on in St. Louis that night on TV. Within minutes of leaving, we were listening to the game in the car and Albert hit a homerun. It would have been fun to actually be in his restaurant to see what happened. Oh well. That’s the way it goes sometimes!
For our last day, rain was again trying to mess up our plans. We hit a Target and and a mall while it rained. While Mom and Dad were discussing if we should head to Grant’s Farm (outdoor stop) in the rain or just head home, Andrew and Morgan were busy making a discovery. Andrew was very excited. “Look at all this money we found just laying around!” he said while showing us his hands that were full of coins. They had found a fountain at the mall and thought they hit the jackpot! We informed them they would have to throw the money back in. I’m pretty sure they thought we were losing it. Come to think of it, why do people throw money away into a fountain. I hope the mall gives it to a good cause or something!
We decided to take a risk and head to Grant’s Farm. It stopped raining just as we arrived, so it was a good call. [Lesson Learned: Go for it!] Grant’s Farm was once the home of Ulysses S. Grant. One part of his land is a national monument, the other part is a tourist trap. 😉 OK, that might be a little harsh. A large portion is owned by the Busch family. There is a collection of animals, including the Clydesdale horses. It has free admission, but you have to pay to park. It was a fun stop for the kids to see some animals and get sprayed with water. 🙂
I’m not sure you’d ever see this in the wild: Some zebras hanging out with Texas Longhorns (in the background.)
We concluded our stay in St. Louis with some treats from Ted Drewes Frozen Custard! Yum!
We headed home with lots of great memories and lots of photos! 🙂 This post has gotten long! [Lesson Learned: The big vacation will have to be broken up into multiple posts!] And, maybe our best lesson learned, getting away with kids is a lot of work, but it’s really worth it to enjoy time together as a family!