Sunday, April 19, 2009

St. Louis Vacation

The kids and I traveled to St. Louis for our Spring Break.  This was our first time driving there -- we usually fly.  It took us 11.5 hours to get there and only 10 to get home.  My people are troopers.  We only stopped once in each direction ... and it wasn't because I made them cross their legs!  I offered to stop and they'd say 'NO! We want to get to Grammie's house!' 
We had a great time.  We always do.  We were only there for seven days but we did enough stuff to fill an entire summer -- because that's the way we roll.  You can click here to see all of the photos.  I'll just post a few here.

You should know that I'm laughing as I type "all of the photos" because I took almost 1000!  I narrowed them down to my favorite 199.  The link is to those.

My people are travelers.  We can pack a lot into a short visit.  Here's a quick summary of what we did:  

The kids met their cousin Jonathan for the very first time.  He's 14!  They loved him so very much.  He was a great kid and was so nice to the kids.  They tried their best to make him stay longer, but he had to fly home.  Sarah called him her cousin-toy.  I think this is the perfect description.

After Jonathan and Aunt Linda left we went to pick Frank up at the airport.

When we got back to the house we found out that Sam Johnson had been kidnapped!  The kidnapper left us some clues and we had to search high and low for him!

Once Mr. Johnson was safe and sound in Paigie's arms we were able to relax and make plans to go to the new mall for an Easter Egg Hunt.

After the hunt we went home to decorate some eggs.

That night we celebrated Sarah's birthday.

The next morning we we more than pleased to find out that the Easter Bunny was able to find us in our Missouri home.  Sarah was worried, but she left a note in her room at home and was feeling mostly confident that the Bunny would find us.

After finding our baskets and about a million eggs we had a late lunch with Aunt Betty.  The kids love Aunt Betty.  We visited her a couple of times during the week, but on Easter she came to us.

On Monday morning, Mr. Frank flew home and the rest of us went to the St. Louis Science Center.  My kids love that place.  We even have a membership.  The ten-hour commute is a bummer, but the Science Center is great!  

Grammie and Poppy kept Paige and Nate entertained while Sarah and I spent almost the entire day in the science lab.  It was really cool.  We have never been in this part before.  Sarah and I got to solve a case by comparing fingerprints.  We got to extract the DNA from some wheat germ.  She got to solve the mystery of a stolen dog by testing the ink on the ransom note against the ink in the pens of the three top suspects.  We measured liquids with a pipette and also got to do an experiment with some tiny tiny worms (whose name I can't remember).  She was really into it and took her job seriously.

The next day we went to my favorite store -- The Craft Alliance -- and then had lunch at a place called Pi Pizza.  We had to eat there because Barack Obama told us to!  It was yummy but expensive.  Also, they were stingy with the bread.  

After lunch we went to a place called Turtle Playground and the kids climbed like crazy all over a family of gigantic turtles. 

After Turtle Park we went to the St. Louis Art Museum.  The kids were not thrilled to be going to a museum -- they voted for the zoo -- but, once we were there, they loved it!  They didn't want to leave until we saw every single room.  I think that on this day it was ME who was begging everyone to stop looking at the art and start going home.  I was pooped!  However, the girls had their cameras and they were having so much fun taking pictures of everything that they didn't want to stop.

The next day we went to the Magic House -- another Gorman kid favorite.  We stayed there until they kicked us out.  Honestly.  The kids were having so much fun and, in the end, were playing in a little pond in the yard.  I thought we could just leave through the garden gate, so I let them take off their shoes and get all soaky.  I was WRONG.  A lovely 
man came to tell us that they were closing and that we had to leave by going back through the building!  Apparently, the little garden gate was an emergency exit.

Thursday was our last full day to visit.  We were going to go to the zoo but decided to take it easy.  Instead, the girls followed Poppy around while he worked in the yard, we made cookies with Grammie, Poppy took the kids fishing, and we played in the park.

For our drive home we planned to head for Indianapolis and then head north toward Michigan.  I was merrily driving and following (blindly) the directions of my navigation system -- we call her Joyce -- when I realized that we were way past Indianapolis and were heading EAST!  So, instead of driving through four states to get home we ended up with a bonus state.  We went from Missouri to Illinois to Indiana to OHIO to Michigan.  No matter, though, because I think the new route was even shorter than the original one!  Ha ha!  That's an argument for just listening to Joyce and leaving my own map at home.

I don't know if we were happy to be home -- we miss our Grammie and Poppy (and Sukee) -- but we were happy to see Daddy and we were VERY happy to be out of the car.  The kids went crazy helping me unpack the car.  I was so happy for the help until I got to the house and saw how well they put everything inside!!!

Happy day.  I'll write something new soon.

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