We got a wild hair and went to St Louis for a quick weekend roadtrip. It's the first trip we've taken in over four years (not counting visits to family), and we had so much fun! Esther is really not accustomed to traveling in the car for hours at a time and the drive there was peppered with classics like:
"Are we there yet?" (We'd been on the road thirty minutes)
"Nope. We'll tell you when we get there. It'll be a long time from now."
Two minutes later:
"Are we there yet?"
Then she decided that St Louis was just too far and she'd rather turn around and go back to Kansas City.
So we got there right at rush hour Friday evening--lovely. But we went down to University City and ate some really great Thai food and bought a bunch of records at Vintage Vinyl. And had ice cream! Already looking a little road weary, huh?
The next day we went to the City Museum. And for those of you who have never experienced it, it was one of the most amazing places I've ever been to! It's housed in a HUGE old warehouse downtown and is built of recycled, donated, and found materials--an old fire truck, aircraft, cranes, architectural pieces, etc. Everything there is meant to be handled, touched, climbed on, climbed through, slid down. And there's a refreshing lack of "idiot" signage--there's one sign at the entrance that basically says it can be a dangerous place and to use your best judgment and they leave it at that. Nice.
It was really incredible to see Esther, who's usually pretty timid, climbing all over stuff five stories off the ground. And of course Ricky and I were crawling around with her. It was a bit unnerving--your brain is telling you that welded steel is pretty solid and safe, but the rest of you is saying "Uh, no--I'm really really high up and the wind is shaking this flimsy little tunnel and..."
And they have a cool aquarium with all kinds of animals you can touch, and a circus area with circus classes, and an arts and crafts area filled with recycled and donated materials, and ball pits, and lovely architectural salvage from buildings around the midwest, and a fun old-school carnival-like arcade, etc, etc. WE WERE THERE FOR FIVE HOURS. We could have stayed longer, but it was getting way crowded and we were pooped.
Then on Sunday we went to the zoo. I really like the St Louis zoo--it's compact and easy to walk through. I loved the butterfly atrium. And the giraffes. They come right up to you!
Then we hit Trader Joe's on the way out of town and filled the station wagon full! I miss TJ's.
And then we came back home. It was fun. I think we'll start trying to take a trip every year or so, if we can afford it. I hear Omaha is a cool town...