Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A weekend in St. Louis Part 1: City Museum

We had been planning a long weekend to meet up with Tony's mom in St. Louis.  St. Louis is about 6 hours for us, but only about 4 hours for our relatives in TN, so kind of halfway.  We had taken Andrew to St. Louis when I did my first half marathon in 2013, and we wanted to take him back so he could experience City Museum and the Zoo.  We decided to have very loose plans and find a hotel with an indoor pool, so we could have fun no matter what.  For me, the Type A of the family, this is a very hard concept, well not having plans, I love having fun of course.  I think it worked out very well in the end!  Just for a preface, andrew had had pink eye in one eye and a head cold earlier this week and I came down with pink eye in one eye Thursday before we left with the other eye getting infected Friday.
We started out the trip right with a visit to our local daylight doughnuts for coffee and doughnuts.  As we headed east, I could tell I was getting pink eye in my other eye as well.  Again, as least I already had the drops and Andrew seemed to be over it already.  
This is my "I hate pink eye face"
Oh well, I started on eye drops in the other eye immediately.  I will have to say that andrew was the best he has ever been on a trip this trip.  We stopped a few times to get out and potty, and stretch our legs, but he was content just watching the traffic, singing along with the radio, and talking to me.  We only had to get electronic devices out once, and that was very short lived.  We stopped at a cracker Barrel, and of course little red found a train.  We stopped at a gas station, and you guessed it, little red found a train.  He really has a knack for finding toy trains anywhere, and guess what, I am sucker for buying them!  The hotel was very easy to find in downtown, and had very nice adjacent parking.  Our room was HUGE, but I am so use to staying in tiny dumps for dog shows that I may be easily impressed.
The hotel boasted a heated indoor pool.  Well, the indoor part was right, but the heated part is debatable.  It was tiny, cold, and full at all times, but Andrew LOVED it!  We all took a quick freezing dip to unwind from the car trip, and then got ready to head out to City Museum.  We had taken andrew to City Museum in 2013, and all he could really do at that time was the toddler room.  This year, he could do it all and do it all we did!  The Museum is open late on Friday and Saturday nights, so we spent many hours there playing.  Here are a few of the pics!
Because robots are cool!

This is dark, but you can kind of see the 10 story slide and 5 story slide.  I did the 5 story slide and Tony did the 5 and 10.  Andrew decided no thanks on the 5 story slide
Yep, there is a reason why everyone wears knee pads.  I can't believe the places I climbed, squeezed and slid down. I am hugely afraid of heights and claustrophobic, and I managed to conquer those fears all in one night

This train has a loop that goes through all kinds of cool scenes.  Andrew wasn't tall enough to ride last time we came but this year he was and he rode multiple times!
I still can't believe that I did the things I did, all to keep up with one very fast and very fearless little red head.
I did a ton of army crawling.  I was a sweaty mess after all the crawling, running and squeezing.

Yep, found another train
My favorite part of the museum.  Really cool old vibe.

Little man was tired, but didn't want to leave.
Old school photo booth!
City Museum is the most fun place I have ever been.  I am so glad one of my FB friends mentioned it to us in 2013.  It's eclectic for sure, but so much to explore and play on for kids and adults alike.  We didn't even do the outside play part this time, so we have so much more to explore.  As I have said before, I am amazed at the stuff I did, and I have the bruises to show for it.  At one point, we were in a dark tunnel and I was having to army crawl to fit, and I thought to myself, I am going to have a freaking panic attack.  Luckily, I just couldn't because andrew would be gone and lost in that tunnel system and we would never find him, so I just had to suck it up and go.  To me, this is the highlight of our trip.  Here are a few tips if you haven't been before:

1.  Wear very comfortable clothes that you can climb, crawl, and slide in.  I would say something that stretches and won't tear when you slide down the various surfaces you slide on.  

2.  Bring knee pads.  My knees HATE me even 4 days post going.  You won't feel silly, everyone has them on.

3.  Eat either the homemade chocolate chip cookies or the little fried doughnuts.  YUM!

4.  Be prepared to get separated.  It is very easy to get lost and lose part of your party.  We all had cell phones on, and we wrote our cell phone number on andrew's arm band just in case.  We still lost tony for quite some time after he went down the 10 story slide.

5.  Some of the old school stuff requires money, like real paper money. I did see change machines and I am sure there were ATMs there as well, but just bring it so you can do fun things like the pinball machines and the old school atari games.  

6.  The night we were there, it was HOT inside, so make sure to stay hydrated.  The main cafe had bottled water you could buy, but there were also lots of water fountains.

7.  If you don't like TROVES of kids EVERYWHERE, this isn't the place for you.  I think parents dump kids off by the bus loads.  While we saw several adults having a great time and there were several places to get adult beverages, the majority of the population is young, exuberant children.

8,  Read the website here.  They have lots of great tips and lots of rules that are nice to know before you get there.

Okay, I think that is enough for one post.  Will do another post on Day 2 and 3 of our mini vacation!

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