Sunday, June 8, 2008

St. Louis

School was out for Big E and Sous Chef on Tuesday. Wednesday morning we left for St. Louis to catch up with five mom friends from OP and nine kids. All together, our trip consisted of six moms and 12 kids. We were a daunting group and the restaurants were always in a panic when we asked for a table for 18! With the exception of a very bad storm while driving out on Wednesday, the drive was fairly easy.

We went to the St. Louis Zoo on Thursday, which is very nice. I am still in awe at how big elephant poop is! I am sure I have seen it before, but maybe not this close up or something, because that vision is really sticking with me. It was the size of my head or BIGGER! CJ's favorite part, of course, was riding the train. He probably would have stayed on it the entire day. We also saw a sea lion show that was really cute.

On Friday was the best part of the trip. We went to the City Museum in downtown St. Louis. This is definitely the single coolest place I have ever been - with or without kids. It doesn't outdo some of the cities or beaches I have been to, but when I think of just one individual place, this is at the top! I knew within five minutes I was going to love this place. The decor, the music (every single Coldplay song was played while we were there!), the fact they had a bar. What more can you ask for when trying to find a place to entertain your kids? But this place is not just for kids. They do corporate team building events, private parties and wedding receptions! It's a blast.

Outside they have an area called Monstro City. It's lots of metal structures and wire tunnels weaving and twisting up to about five stories above ground. Inside is just too much to go into. You will have to look at the website. We only made it to the Mezzanine, Enchanted Caves and we saw the Circus. CJ and some of the smaller kids rode the little train. I am afraid of heights, so the Monstro City was fun to watch, but it made my hands and feet sweat just watching my kids climb in slinky like tunnels four to five stories above ground! They loved it, though, and I did go up on some of the more solid structures, but it made me dizzy, wobbly and sweaty. I also managed to climb a five story structure, which was inside in a really industrial looking area with lots of rods and grates to climb on and go down the five story slide. It was fun, but I did only do it once!

While we were there, downtown St. Louis had a tornado warning. So our group and hundreds of others were herded into the first floor area to weather the storm. It passed and everyone went back to playing. The scary part was when they first announced the tornado warning, our kids were scattered everywhere. We would only see them every 30-60 minutes and we immediately got our shit together. One mom stayed put to hold on to the ones we found and me and another went out scouting. We managed to find everyone - the youngest boy, who's almost three, was found huddled under a desk with a security guard!

On Friday night, the kids were all swimming and they were splashing around and playing with some other kids at the hotel. I could tell it was getting out of control and I could tell by the look on Big E's face, he was no longer having much fun with these kids, but they kept following our kids whenever they went to another part of the pool. At one point, Big E was at the edge of the pool talking to me and one of those boys came out of the water and elbowed him in the ribs. I was out of my chair so fast! I splashed the kid right in the face and told him to get over to the side where I was. He came over and I told him, "you stay away from him (pointing to Big E). Don't touch him again. Don't even be in the part of the pool he is in. If I see you anywhere near him, I will have your ass out of that pool so fast, you won't know what happened. And if that doesn't work, I will get the manager in here to see to it that you do not get back into this pool." He looked scared to death and only said "yes, ma'am." He then went back to his group and said something because they all turned to look at me. I assume it was something along the lines of "that bitch told me to stay away from her precious one." Really, it doesn't matter what he said because they left our kids alone after that. Brandi, one of my friends, said she had never seen me move so fast. I told her "I know how to be a mama bear!"

On Saturday, we went to Grant's Farm, which was also fun and since it's owned by Anheiser-Busch, there were free alcoholic beverages. Once that announcement came over the tram, our crazy group of moms started cheering. We quickly realized we were the only tram car that thought this was the best part of the farm as the other riders did not respond at all regarding free beer and alca-pops. Our tram employee was so proud he got onto the microphone to announce "that cheering came FROM MY CAR!"

Here are some pictures from our fun week! Unfortunately, I don't really have any of the inside of the museum, which is so cool, that my pictures would not have conveyed how awesome this place is. You'll have to check out the website or wait until next year! We are already talking about going back to St. Louis with this group and going to this museum again. It was that fun and they have a few additions going on.

The twelve kiddos.

Monstro City at City Museum where you can climb through wire tunnels that are about five stories in the air! You can't see the airplane in this one, but you will see it coming up.

This is Lyman on top, then Big E and then Sophie.

I'm not sure which of our kids are in this picture!

This is CJ coming from high above the ground in one of the tunnels.

This is Sous Chef on top and Big E crawling in the small space below Sous Chef. Thank goodness for zoom lenses!

I don't know that child closest to the camera, but the boy in the tunnel above him is CJ!

This is the indoor slide that comes down from the third floor.

I just thought this picture was too cute not to post it!

And this one!

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