Saturday, August 16, 2014


A little over a month ago {that seems to be the trend on when I update lately...} we went on our last "hurrah" trip before baby #2 to STL. It was my home away from home most summers growing up, and now that my grandparents and aunt/cousins no longer live there, I still have an excuse to soak up the gateway city- Adam's brother, Gareth and my best friend, Hilary and her husband currently live there.

The hubs and I have been up there 3 times since we have been married- in fact on 2 of our 3 trips I have been pregnant- we just didn't realize it yet on the first one.  The first and third trips were also planned around the fourth of July holiday, while the middle trip was a spring break trip last year just shortly after the Bug's second birthday.

The 4th of July celebrations in STL are probably some of my all time favorite things- there are a lot of free activities {including concerts by major artists} and most things you pay for are still pretty reasonable according to the Oklahoma standard. My heart drifted to memories with my family growing up from time to time, but this trip was pretty special because I got to introduce Adam's mom- "Ouma" and the bug to my favorite time of year, and we had pretty perfect weather to go with it! It was in the 70s for most of our trip -summer in STL is usually hot and humid like in OK- minus the glorious wind, so the weather was a wonderful gift for a 7 month preggo.

With MC being a bit older this go around, we were able to really enjoy a lot more sites and activities with her. The highlights included The Magic House {a children's museum in my dad's home suburb of Kirkwood, MO} and Grant's Farm {an interactive farm owned by the Anheuser-Busch family that dates back to Ulysses S. Grant}, a trip down to the new Ballpark Village around Busch Stadium {no Cards game this go around, unfortunately, but it was still great to see the park}, Ted Drewe's for some famous frozen custard, and last but not least our little girl's first fireworks show. All in all- a fun packed 5 day getaway, spent with family and friends- just what we needed in our summer.

The Magic House

I swear that MC would have stayed her all day if we could- by passing lunch even- to play and explore. There are things to do around every corner and in every nook and cranny, plus a garden and water area outside as well. It is truly a child's play land (plus- lots of fun for grown-ups too!)

Grant's Farm

Grant's Farm {as I mentioned above} dates back all the way to Ulysses S. Grant. The Anheuser-Busch family now owns it and they have kept the charm {with of course some modern amenities}. So, just pay $12 to park and you are in to enjoy the whole farm- tram, shows, etc. {and 2 complimentary beer samples  a piece- as is custom for anything sponsored by Budweiser in STL}. There are a few things that cost extra- feeding goats and of course food, but overall not too bad to get a farm experience for the price of parking and no individual admission. They even have a few exotic animals like elephants and tropical birds.

However, on the day we chose to go {the day before the 4th of July} it seemed as if the entire city of STL and its visitors had the same idea. So, after about 2 hours of waiting in line in the car to get in to the park itself {and witnessing a car accident} we made it to the park. {We were so thankful that the bug was more patient and content than the grown-ups in the car. }Once we were inside though, we soaked it all up- goats, clydesdales and all. The hubs even got to go down on stage during the animal show to hold a really, really large snake and MC got to ride a carousel for the the first time.

Ballpark Village and the 4th

We didn't get to take in a Cardinals' game this trip, but we got to participate in the next best thing- going to the new addition around the stadium, Ballpark Village. We got to try out their new restaurant, see the stadium itself, and just take in some St.Louis landmark/scenic views.

On the evening of the 4th we headed down to Forest Park where Fair STL was located this year. It is usually around the arch grounds, but due to construction it was moved this year. And, although it was a bit crowded {as to be expected} we enjoyed some free music by Bonnie Rait, Gavin DeGraw, and other artists, a tight rope walker, and of course fair food and fireworks. Plus, we got some more free entertainment from the littlest one in our party- who knew sunglasses and water bottles could be so funny?

and lastly {but not least}, some time with Uncle Gareth...We don't see him often, but MC absolutely adores the time she gets to spend with him {and of course, Amanda too!} He spoils her with books and reads them to her and she spoils him with attention. Such sweet moments. We look forward to his next visit.

Thanks again, STL! You didn't disappoint yet again- until next time...