Monday, August 1, 2011

St. Louis-Day 2!!!

This was my favorite day. After waking up super early ( why can't my kids sleep in?) and eating, we headed to City Museum downtown. We had little expectations but this place was THE COOLEST ever! We luckily arrived at 9Am when they opened and spent a fortune to get all four of us in but this school bus was hanging over the edge of the roof above is. We HAD to pay the extra $5 per person to get rooftop access and check it out, right?
This place is out of this world. The outside has thousands of metal structures that are all connected together and that you can climb on and through, some hundreds of feet in the air. We started outside, before it got too hot and the kids did amazing! This is us inside a plane on our way through a tiny shoot that would land us on top of a castle.

The museum is the tan structure behind all this stuff. But everything on the outside is reachable, if you are willing to climb or slide or drag yourself through tiny spaces to get there.

Mara blew me away with all she attemped. And I must tell you, I'm pretty proud of myself, really. There were a few times I was a bit panicky but Alaric asked me to do something with him or I didn't want the kids to see me freak out. I used to love heights. And then 6 years ago we went to Europe and I was climbing on the roof of Notre Dame in Paris and all of a sudden decided then I was scared of heights. Whether it be the open air factor or the fact that the building was so old and I was concerned it would crumble, who knows. But ever since, I am more nervous that I feel comfortable with. So- Brian took this picture as I slid down a metal grate with Mara suspended high in the air as my "look at me, and take a friggin' picture" shot. DOn't a do a good job covering my fear? My hand is holding on for dear life.

Then the roof, which was worth the $5. They had a ferris wheel. Again, i was challenged. I did great however- even though the ferris wheel is ON TOP of the 11 story building. Unfortunately Mara had to ride with me and kept asking me to let go of her ( I had her in a death grip) and to let her breath while the boys swung back and forth and enjoyed.

Dont all rooftops have a 20 foot preying matis on them?This ball area was awesome- these are those huge rubber balls you buy at the grocery store...thousands of them!

Then home for naps ( and pillow fights)Then to the City Garden. Its this outdoor area with statues and flowers and monuments and water features- everywhere. People are encouraged to become one with the fountains and play. and play with did. Look at my little ninga!The kids had a blast playing with all the other kids and adults who stopped through to take a dip or soak their legs, etc.

Having so much fun, with Pinochio!The fountains were my favorite! And I loved being able to play with them in the water with scrapers and the Arch nearby! What a great City feature

Back to the hotel for some hallway running before dinner. Let me tell you about our hotel. Residence Inns by Marriot are BY FAR the best place to stay. We discovered them 5 years ago when we went to DC when Alaric was a baby and got a great deal that first time on-line. We now try to only stay at these places. They are Marriots and are beautiful, well maintained, and have great staff. On top of that, they are all suites and offer two room options. They all have a kitchenette too. So, we get a two room suite with a kitchen, little table, desk , living area with pull-out and TV in one room and a bedroom with a Queen , bathroom, TV, etc in the other. The kids can go down in the living room on the pull out and we can be in the bedroom watching TV and not having to worry about all being in the same room going to bed at 8PM.

And the kitchenette is priceless. Just having cold water to bring with us and juice for the kids with their medicines and fruit to snack on is great. But, we also try to save money any chance we get. Having a kitchenette allowed us to pack lunches and bring with us for two days at parks and museums and we probably saved $100 just on two lunches.

Residence Inns also have hot breakfasts for free that are amazing...waffles from scratch, regular continental stuff, and then two or three other hot options every day. All you can eat! That saves us a ton. AND, if all that weren't enough- every MOnday, Tuesday, and Wednesday- they host a social hour. You'd think it would just be one free drink or soda and some crackers or chips. NO- we learned in DC and have continued to be super suprised and excited that these social hours are full meals!!! Monday night we had fish fillets, fries, peas, chips, veggies, and dip, cheese, brownies and THREE free beers or wines! The calendar is in each room but they have things like meatball sandwiches, bbq, hamburges/hotdogs, taco night, asian bar, etc. AMAZING! And with Brian's government rate in St. Louis, it was only $110 a night! For all that!

OK, back to the trip....

after dinner at the hotel, we headed to the pool for some more water and play time!

and some hottub time too!

the kids thought I was hilarious that I could blow up my bathing suit in the hot tub!

Then back to the room for baths, and ice cream in front of the TV! LOVED IT ALL!!!!

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