Spring Break -Part 2 (or On Being Snowed In: St. Louis Style)

Part 2 of our Spring Break…

Thursday of our week off we drove to St. Louis, MO.
(It’s about a six hour drive from here.)

What is fun to do in St. Louis for families? (Just for you, Kelly!)
Our top picks:

1. City Museum 
(This is honestly the main reason we go to St. Louis.)

An old shoe factory that’s been converted into the most awesome artist colony you’ve ever
seen.  Artists have turned empty spaces into a magical wonderland for both children and adults.
Your imagination can go crazy (and so can the kids!)  Plan to spend an entire day here.   This is the most expensive thing we do in STL and it’s around $13 a head I think.
There are lots of clubs and restaurants in this area also so you won’t be bored!

city museum stl
My kids want to live here!

Inside the “caves” 15 story slide!

Opera Poster exhibit I adored

Waiting to hear it play

2. Forest Park (Home of the 1904 World’s Fair)
So many things to do IN the park (and many for FREE)- We’ve been in the summer and rented bikes there- that way you can explore the park and go from attraction to attraction. 

  • St. Louis Zoo (FREE, and as my happy husband said “They have BEER!” If you park in the zoo’s lot it costs $10, but you can also park along streets in park for free.)
Beautiful butterflies
  •  St. Louis Science Center (free)

  • Grand Basin (or the grounds where you can fly kites, picnic,  or just let the kids run- and free)

We happened upon a nice guy flying a kite so high up you could barely see it.  He let us all “fly” it for a bit and talked about the science of kite flying. 

My family visiting the second silver tree in a week- second state!
  • Missouri History Museum

  • St. Louis Art Museum (free)


Dear Old St. Louis

3.  Fitz’s American Restaurant
In the DelMar loop- A fun family place to go after the park, Fitz’s makes their own Root Beer and soda right there.  You can see the bottling plant working while you eat. 

Be warned- This is a float SPLIT in 1/2!

 4.  The Gateway Arch  (This was the first time we didn’t stop to see it.  You can ride up to the top, or just explore the park and the Museum of Westward Expansion under the arch which is free.)

5. Anheuser-Busch Brewery 
(We didn’t visit the brewery this time either.  It’s a neat FREE tour of the factories and stables for the Clydesdale horses.  I find the history and actual factory very interesting.  Some like the free sampling and snacks at the end of the tour… Kids like the horses the best I think.)  Grant’s Farm is also supposed to be a really neat place to visit but it wasn’t open this trip due to weather.

My honey had to work the next week so our plan was for us to drive up and stay til Sunday morning, and he’d fly back the following week after working at his company’s office there.

However, Mother Nature had other plans!  Snow started Saturday night and by Sunday morning this was our view from the hotel…

Snow Dancers Outside the hotel
 12 inches of snow by the time it was over!
Another day of vacation is never a bad thing, right?

On the way back we stopped at Lambert’s Cafe “Home of the Throwed Rolls” in Sikeston, MO.

Really a fun place for kids- they actually yell “ROLLS?” and if you want one you raise your hands and have to catch them.  Really hot, good, homemade rolls.  Wish the butter was real…
The kids liked the giant drinks and all through the meal they come around asking if you want this or that.  Make sure you’re hungry or share a meal.  We shared and still had leftovers for days. Oh, and they don’t take credit cards…(this is when a teenage daughter who doesn’t spend money comes in handy- Thank You, E.)

For more fun in St. Louis check this out:
They have a great food festival Labor Day weekend that’s FREE and fun!
 St. Louis in Fall

*If you’re driving up from LR, also check out Blue Owl Bakery in Kimmswick, MO (fun!), Mastodon State Park and Museum of Transportation right before you get to St. Louis.  REALLY fun with kids! 

Spring Break (Part 1) or On Painting

Spring Break has come and gone…

Here is a breakdown of last week-

Part 1:
We tried to get old house packed out and ready to sell and paint living room and hall at our new house and hang pictures.  (Half accomplished anyway, still a lot to do!)
I’ve struggled with paint colors so much at this house- plaster makes everything look different when you get paint on the wall.
With lots of help I settled on:

Sage Tint by Benjamin Moore for living room 
(on walls it looks almost like a robin’s egg blue)

Amulet by Benjamin Moore for hallway/stairs
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

We managed to squeeze in a quick day trip to Bentonville to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit at Crystal Bridges.  I have always been a Rockwell fan, and this was the exhibit to end all- I think all of my favorites were there.  Seeing the brushstrokes and sketches really makes you understand the complexity of the paintings.  It was absolutely amazing.

Maybe my favorite?
Or This?
Max’s fave

Artistic kids (My fave)

My mom brought my niece and nephews, and my aunt and grandpa met us there for a fun day.

Coming home we stopped in Eureka Springs for dinner at DeVito’s! 

What is your favorite Norman Rockwell painting? 
Not sure?  Go see the exhibit at Crystal Bridges and let me know! 🙂

On Being Outside… (or Spring Break part 1)

We just finished up our Spring Break and sad to go back to the norm…
We started with a hike up Pinnacle Mountain (along with the rest of the county I think…)
 to put our rock climbing practice to the test.
Climbing Kid

Almost to the Top
Fairies or Gnomes live here

Stuck in the Cypress
What I saw the most of…

View from the top

On vacations (or not wanting to come home…)

We are back to reality.  
Durn it.
It was a great week!  
We drove down to Cape San Blas, FL on Saturday and got there in the dark.
The next morning we got up to this…

View from our bedroom
Walkway over the dunes to the beach
We saw a lot of this
And this
Ate some great gulf shrimp
Creole Shrimp over grits at “The Hut” in Eastpoint
Went fishing- didn’t catch anything but saw lots of dolphins!
There was virtually no cell phone service which was great because hubby couldn’t work (well, he snuck in some computer time but it was not much so I won’t complain.) 
On the way home we stopped at the U.S.S. Alabama in Mobile to let the kids run a bit.  They had a great time looking at the ship and lots of cool airplanes.   Ate lunch at Felix’s Fish Camp, and it was great.  
Now to lose the five pounds I gained…

Home Again, Home Again

Jiggity Jog, we’re home!  We had a fun Spring Break in San Antonio.  Left last Saturday via Amtrak (2 sleeper cars for my gang) and spent the day on the train to San Antonio.  It was fun, and the kids had fun I think riding the rails.   I got a bit ill when we finally arrived until I got my “sea legs” or “rail legs” I suppose… The ride back I remembered the Dramamine and have been fine.  

We stayed at a great place for families, the Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa.  They had a lazy river and beach for the kids, free bikes to ride on the nature trails, great food… a place that makes it hard to come back to reality! 
It was so nice we really didn’t want to get out and do much of anything else, but did manage to see Sea World, the Alamo, Riverwalk,  Witte Museum, two movies, the San Antonio Zoo…  
The kids loved seeing their cousins (me too!)  

We got in last night at 1120 PM.  My uncle Jimmy watched the house and pup so well I don’t know if Cole will like us anymore!  (Thanks Jimmy!)