Tuesday, April 24, 2012

St Louis

WARNING: long and picture-heavy post ahead.

We headed to St Louis this past weekend for the wedding of one of Rob's good friends from high school.  Even though we have a lot going on right now, we were excited to get out of town as well as take Avery to her first wedding (also...we booked this before we had an offer on our house).

It's about six hours to St Louis and there was an event at noon on Friday that we were trying to make it to, so we left early.  We planned to leave at 5 a.m. but it was more like 6 a.m. by the time we got on the road.  Suffice it to say that Avery did NOT want to get up at 5:30 a.m., but once she acclimated she was pretty happy.  We stopped for breakfast in Springfield and she did take a short nap after that.
Doesn't look comfortable

Waking up

We made it in time for the event the couple had planned: an afternoon of games and cooking out at a beautiful park.  Unfortunately, it was pretty cold.  And there were no bathrooms.  So Avery and I stayed for about two hours and took off to check in to the hotel, leaving Rob behind to catch a ride.

While Rob finished up at the park I took Avery to the hotel pool.  She loved it.  I wish we would have had time to go back another time.  She didn't want to leave.

That evening we had sushi at a place downtown near our hotel.

They brought some miso soup to start with, and generously offered Avery a bowl, which I declined on her behalf not thinking she would be interested.
She showed me by attacking my bowl.  Guess she likes miso soup.

Rob ordered something that came in flames.

Avery ate every shrimp out of my dish.  They later brought her a dish of ice cream and then some fried noodle things.  I think they wanted to see just how much she could eat.

Saturday morning, we hit up the hotel breakfast (gotta love Embassy Suites) before heading out to the City Museum, which I'd heard from several people is a must if you go to St Louis.

The City Museum is hard to describe.  According to their website

Housed in the 600,000 square-foot former International Shoe Company, the museum is an eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects. The brainchild of internationally acclaimed artist Bob Cassilly, a classically trained sculptor and serial entrepreneur, the museum opened for visitors in 1997 to the riotous approval of young and old alike.
We had a lot of fun here.  We climbed, slid, and explored for about two hours. Avery showed no fear.  Even when we were several stories up, outside, walking on a metal catwalk.

Riding the toddler train which, ironically, had
a little person for a conductor.

Exploring in the toddler area

Add caption

Speaks for itself

We-or should I say Rob and Avery-went into the lower of
the two planes

Everywhere you see, you can climb
Rob said Avery was in there saying "come on mama, you can do it"

If you go to St Louis, I highly recommend this place.  There was more we didn't have time to explore, the rooftop was closed (the rooftop has a ferris wheel, a school bus, a splash park, and more stuff) as well as an aquarium we didn't have time to go to.  It is for kids of all ages as well as adults.  There were tons of places we couldn't let Avery sneak into, climb up, etc. because we couldn't fit to follow her.  But I loved watching her bravely explore.  I think this was the highlight of the trip for her.  

We got some pizza before we had to go back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding.

We were kind of nervous about Avery sitting through a wedding ceremony (especially a Catholic one), but she was very good. 

After the ceremony there was a reception on the bride's parent's lawn.  After THAT, we went back to the hotel for just a bit before heading to the reception that evening.  I forced Avery (and Rob) into taking a couple of pictures before we left the hotel.  Neither were too excited.

The reception was lots of fun.
Early on-lone person on the dance floor

First dance for the newlyweds

Dancing with dad

Claremore guys

Getting tired

Avery and I called it a night and went back to the hotel around 9:30.  We hit the road after breakfast the next morning.

Oh!  This was our first post-potty trained road trip and I'm pleased to say she did great!  No accidents.  She hates public bathrooms and would not use the bathroom at any stop on the way there.  Consequently, she ended up holding it all day long until we got to the hotel.

We had a great time and were so glad we were able to make it for Richie and Colleen's day!

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