Tuesday, January 27, 2015

St. Louis: The Rest of Our Trip

We had time to visit another site before lunch, so we went over the the Budweiser Brewery for a tour.  It was interesting to see their process, and the kids particularly enjoyed seeing some of the Budweiser Clydesdales.

photo 1

Budweiser Tour

At the end of the tour, we were directed to the Biergarten where we offered a full size sample.  I tried an apple wheat ale, and Claire thought it smelled really good.  She kept asking to sniff it.  :)


We ate lunch at a small taco joint, and then Grandmommy and Granddaddy Martin left to return to Herrin while we went back to the hotel to rest.  We spent some time just driving around, exploring St. Louis, and after dinner, we were all ready for a treat.  My friend Maria used to live in St. Louis, and she recommended visiting Ted Drewes.  It was hot, and the lines were long, but we enjoyed our custard!


We flew home on Sunday morning.  It was an uneventful trip, and we were glad we made it on time - we need to prepare for a family dinner and the first day of school!

Leaving the airport - guarding our bags while Daddy went to get the van!

St. Louis: The Arch

Saturday (August 23) in St. Louis - we woke up early and walked over to visit the Gateway Arch.  It was truly impressive.



photo 2

Before we planned our trip, I didn't realize that you could travel to the top, so I was excited to find out that we would get to go for a ride.

Our pod
Arch - Pod

At the top

Will checking out the river

The sky was clear, and we had an amazing view!


The stadium, and our hotel (the Westin) was the brick building right behind it

Thursday, January 22, 2015

St. Louis: The City Museum

On Friday, we drove back to St. Louis to spend a couple of days there before flying home.  Martin's family had told us we should check out the City Museum, so we went there that morning.  You guys.  When we planned this trip, we thought this might be our only time to visit St. Louis.  After visiting this museum, we decided we definitely need to come back someday.  One of the coolest and most indescribable man-made places we've been.  So. Much. Fun.

Museum entrance

When we got in, we went straight up to the rooftop to check it out before it got hot.  

In the school bus that partially hangs off the edge of the roof:
CM - Bus


One of the climbing structures on the roof - Claire went inside and climbed to the top.

On the rooftop Ferris wheel

Inside, there was so much to see and do.  We spent all morning there, went for lunch, and then came back for a couple more hours.  We could have easily stayed all day if we hadn't been worn out by all of the climbing and exploring.  :)

A favorite for all of us was the Monster Slide - a 3 story slide at the entrance.  





Toddler Town, where kids can actually hang from the rafters.  :)
CM - Play area

One of our favorite rooms - Skateless Park.  I think Claire and Will could have stayed here all day running and jumping.
CM - Skateless Park


CM - Train

Another slide - this one was in the treehouse area

We had dinner that night at Bailey's Range - great gourmet burgers and fries.  The kids slept well that night!

Visiting Herrin (August 2014)

A few days before school started in August, we traveled to St. Louis/Southern Illinois for a big family event - Grandma Jane's 80th birthday party.  We flew into St. Louis on a Wednesday (the 20th), got our rental car, and drove to Carbondale, IL to meet Martin's family for their weekly Wednesday night dinner at Quatro's.  The pizza was delicious, especially after a long day of travel.


The next morning Grandmommy met us at Giant City State Park for some hiking.  It was beautiful with lush ferns and trees and interesting rock formations - it was a great place to explore with the kids.

1 - Hike




We grabbed lunch at the park lodge, stopped at the mall to pick out some gifts, then went back to the hotel to rest and clean up.  That evening we drove to Herrin, Martin's hometown.  We got to see the house he grew up in before joining lots of family and friends to celebrate Grandma Jane's birthday with dinner and cake at Mary's.  We especially loved seeing all of the photos from Grandma Jane's life and hearing lots of stories about Martin and his siblings.  :)  I'm so glad we were able to be there!



August Randoms

Finally trying to catch up on all of our 2014 photos!

From August:

We got in one more visit to Sea World with some good friends before school started:
Sea World 8-2014

Bahama Bucks for a treat after dinner one night - check out the results of that cherry sno cone!
Bahama Bucks

The rest:
August Randoms

Top row:  (1) Impromptu dinner out with some friends from Life Group after the power went out in our area - we definitely made the best of not being able to use our kitchens! (2)-(3) Another "last visit for the summer" - playing at the McKenna Children's Museum in New Braunfels.

Middle row:  (1)  All Claire wants for First Grade is her two - wait, make that FOUR - front teeth!  She lost four teeth in a span of 10 days - crazy!  (2)  Working together on a computer game at the children's area of the library (3) Will built a big castle in his classroom at church before everyone else got there (I was working in his class that day), and he asked for a photo beside it before he knocked it all down.  :)

Bottom row:  (1) Thursday afternoon, first week of school.  Claire was insisting that she wasn't tired, but I suggested that she go lay down for a few minutes.  She was out for a good nap, and still went to bed easily that night.  First week wipes everyone out!  (2) At the park with Will.  He loved showing me how high he could climb.  (3) A comfy (???) spot on the couch.