Sunday, June 24, 2007

St Louis

Kellan and I just returned from a fun trip to St Louis where we met my mom and sister for a relaxing week in the summer heat. Before joining them, we spent a day at Grants Farm. I correctly assumed that the free Anheuser-Busch "our beer brings families closer together" (propaganda? what propaganda?) zoo/farm was a heavily kid-oriented activity, so Kel and I went there on our own. Still, it made for a fun day out and passed the time before picking everybody up at the airport.

There was a tram. Need I say more?

It was HOT. I let Kel get soaked in the misters.

Hanging out with some NON-alcoholic liquid refreshment.

We couldn't find the exotic lizard anywhere in this enclosure. Hiding from the sun I suspect.

You feed the goats with bottled milk. Its quite a bit of fun, but impossible to capture on camera because I had the bottle and Kel wouldn't get near the goats while holding it. They sort of maul you, and at his height, I don't blame him. These photos are actually of Kel laughing at me getting mauled by the milk-drinking goats. Complicated, no?

There was great excitement when Auntie and Grandma arrived. And the next day, we were on to bigger and better things.

The Missouri Botanical Garden is a family favourite. Something for everyone. Here is Kel "driving" the wagon outside of the Children's Garden.

Some of the remaining Chihuly glass pieces are in the pond behind Kellan.

Those bell ringing genes again...

Mom and Amanda in the temperate garden.

We also visited the Gateway Arch Riverfront (for the tourists among us) and took a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi.

On the boat. Family portrait courtesy of one silly three year old.

A scenic drive into the Ozarks brought us to Meramec Caverns. We took a peaceful boat trip down the Meramec River. Definitely the day's highlight for Kellan.

And then it was time for our cave tour. Unfortunately, the boy who was jumping up and down with excitement and saying, "I love it, Momma!" only moments before, absolutely freaked out when he realised that we were being asked to walk towards the dark cave, rather than away from it. Mom and Amanda enjoyed the tour. I got a full refund. And Kel spent the next 90 minutes threatening me with a stick. Lovely.

My very favourite part of the trip was a day spent at the City Museum. Wow. Really, wow. It took my breath away, start to finish. Kel loved it more than anyplace he has ever visited. He has been asking to go back ever since. And we will. Definitely.

The only "complaint" from the day is that it is absolutely impossible to take photographs in the museum. There is far too much sliding, climbing, and simply walking around in a state of total awe to be thinking about photos. The best that I got are of Kel eating a much needed lunch. Good restaurant too!

Exiting a "log" in one of the nature themed downstairs rooms.

My sister the monkey.

MonstroCity was Kellan's favourite part of the museum. That, or the three storey slide to the first floor which we did over and over again. That thing was fast! These are a few photos of Kel and Amanda climbing around outside.

We did lots of other fun activities in St Louis (out of time here!), and ended the trip with a visit to the Magic House. Something to ease the pain of dropping Auntie and Grandma back at the airport.

Once again, photos were an impossibility. He actually sat still and played "tea party" in the attic room for awhile, so here's what I got.

Kellan as the ice cream man. He was serving everybody. A boy's dream come true.

There really was so much more to this fabulous children's museum, but not within my abilities to capture on camera.

We'll be making lots more trips south to repeat some of these activities on a day-trip basis. It was a wonderful trip, start to finish.