Thursday, September 24, 2009

St. Louis or Bust

We drove to Hannibal, MO 3 years ago, when Austin was learning about Mark Twain in school. It took us over 13 hours to get there. Nearly three times the amount of time it should've taken. The wheel (not the tire. The WHEEL) fell off the truck and we had to stop 40 zillion times for bathroom breaks and of course, we got lost. Not such a fun trip. Anyway, while we were there, we took a little side trip to St. Louis. We visited the arch and took the Budweiser tour. We'd heard that St. Louis had a great free zoo and really wanted to check it out, but just didn't have enough time, so we put St. Louis on the list of cities we'd like to visit. Besides, Clayton, MO is just outside St. Louis and since my Clayton is named after Clayton, MO, I thought it would be cool to get his picture next to a sign reading Clayton. Then we can go to Austin, TX, and Savannah, GA, and Jackson, MS, and Lexington, KY, and Brooklyn, NY. (I've got it all planned out.)

So, when the St. Louis Convention and Visitor's Center contacted me with the opportunity to visit, I jumped at the chance. So, I'll be chronicling our adventures here in Missouri. Thankfully, this trip started out beautifully with an easy 6 hour drive (including traffic, a dinner stop & a bathroom break). Actually, we stopped at White Castle and I'm pretty sure you can't call that nastiness dinner. My van smelled like onions and grease for hours and it wasn't just from the discarded packaging, if you know what I mean. I'm getting queasy just thinking about it. I don't know why Joe and the kids like that place so much.

Then, as we crossed the river into Missouri, Joe had to start in on his Clark Griswold impression. "Ahhh, that's the Mississippi. The mighty Miss, the old miss, the old man....Deeep River..."

"Yeah, hon. Don't quit your day job. Now pay attention before we miss our exit!"

So we made it here with no problems. Now we're all checked in to our hotel. The kids are wound up like tops and having a hard time settling down to sleep. Should make for a fun night. I think we'll be hitting the Gateway Arch tomorrow depending on the weather.

Here are a few pictures Savannah took on the way here...














Yes, Jackson's here too. I guess she didn't get any shots of him. Tomorrow...

Meanwhile, Deb (my sister) if you read this, wait until I get back to have that baby!!!

The St. Louis Convention and Visitor's Center is paying for our accommodations, meals, and attraction tickets in return for my honest blogging about our experiences.

26 comments:

Michelle in MO said...

Welcome to my hometown, Dawn (and family)! The kids will LOVE the zoo! I hope the weather holds out for you, I know they are calling for rain. Have a great time and I can't wait to see the pictures you take while you're here!

PbH said...

Dawn - You are in my home town and didn't let me know! The zoo is awesome, don't miss the stingrays! Also take the kids to the science center across the highway - hwy 40/64. Did anyone let you know the highway is closed between Kingshighway and hwy 170 - yes, the one that is the easiest way to get to the zoo, NORMALLY! They will finish construction eventually - it's only been 50 years or so!
There is a great Italian neighborhood a few blocks south of the zoo, it is referred to as the Hill. Lots of great restaurants, and be sure to check out Missouri Bakery on the corner of Edwards and Wilson. Skip Rigazzi's, it is not as good as it used to be. There is a great old fashioned Main Street out west in St. Charles - many cute shops and good restaurants out this way too!

Have fun while you are here!

The Father of Five said...

White Castles R-O-C-K-!!!

Mmmm... I can smell the "onions and grease" now!!

Only, I saw way too many cheeseburger boxes there... The best are just plain white castle burgers with "everthing" (ketchup, mustard, and onions)...

Enjoy your trip!

p.i.k.a said...

hey, i see the pics.. how about 31/12/2216 and 01/01/2217?? then u came from future.. hehehe.. kidding..
btw, u have a perfect fam.. i love it..

Donna said...

We've visited St. Louis several times since Cliff's sister and her husband moved there. Usually we ride the motorcycle (it's a four-hour drive from us) so we can all ride together when we're there. There are some beautiful places of interest there.

noexcuses said...

Welcome to our wonderful city! I hope you all enjoy your stay, and get to visit everywhere that you want. There is something for everyone here, and much of it is inexpensive or free!

Go Cards!

Scrapingirl said...

Happy New Year!!! I see you brought in the year 2217. Were the roads crowded, or was everyone still at their parties? lol Have a great time.

Mississippi Mommy said...

How many hotel rooms do you get when you travel with the whole family?

Shonda Warren said...

Dawn~ sounds like fun, as much frun you can have with kids in the car! Your kids are getting so big and my gosh are they beautiful.
My hubby and I always seem to use classic line's from Chevy Chase films. It's hilarious!

Jo-Ann said...

I am going to be in St Louis in 9 days...too bad it is for my son's doctor appointment and not a convention. Your trip sounds like more fun.

May I suggest taking the kids to the City Museum? LOADS of fun!

Also, the Magic House is great too. Not sure if the older kids would like it as much, but I sure enjoyed it when I was there as an adult.

Hope you find Jackson! lol

Daisee579 said...

Oh I love St. Louis! When we lived in Memphis, we'd pop up on occasion. In fact, we got engaged at a lovely Italian restaurant on the Hill in St. Louis :) You'll hate the ride up the arch, but you'll LOVE the view!! Enjoy your stay!!

PS the zoo is free, but parking isn't. there is usually plenty of parking along the streets if you don't mind walking just a bit.

Jenny said...

Oooh, enjoy your time here! We did a staycation this year with the kids and friends, and did a lot of the touristy things St Louis has to offer. I'm taking my crew to Six Flags tomorrow...any chance we'll see you?

MaBunny said...

Wow, That is yet another place I'd like to visit! Hope you have a good time and glad you had a safe trip there:))

kim @ mommyknows said...

I love MO! Especially St. Louis, the museum under the Freedom Arch is one of my favourites.

We drove from Edmonton, AB to New Orleans a few years ago and fell in love with St. Louis.

Have a great time. I love the photos.

Jennie said...

Dawn and Meehans, welcome to St. Louis! I've lived here for the past 16 years, and I love it! You'll really enjoy the Zoo. I just took my daughter there for her first visit last week. It's the first of many Zoo trips because you can't see it all in one day!!

Have a great time here! And don't hate us because our baseball team rocks! Go Cards!

Christine said...

Hi Dawn! You are in my neck of the woods now! The zoo is wonderful and Clayton is not that far from the city either. Have fun while you are here and I look forward to seeing pictures!

Mom of 5 said...

Welcome Dawn and family! I am actually in a suburb of St. Louis called Arnold which is about 20 minutes south of downtown. My son's field trip was to the Arch in May, fun! I also recommend the City Museum. That place is super cool! It is beautiful outside today so I hope you enjoy all that you end up doing. You should eat at Hodak's (www.hodacks.com)which is in the city. Much better than White Castle and not very expensive. Can't wait to see your pictures!

Margee said...

Will you be in the public's eye while you're here? I would love to see you and your family. Also, don't bother going up in the arch if it's overcast--it's a waste of time. Enjoy your stay.

KatLuvsShoes said...

Looks like the trip to MO was a lot of fun, but I'm still curious what happened to the wheel?
Luv,

~Kat
Full-time MOM & Shop.com Shop Star
Twitter: katluvsshoes
Facebook: katrinarusso

Dayna said...

Love the dates on the pictures!!

bjtstl said...

Welcome to our city! I just moved here two years ago and find new things to do all the time! I hope you pick up the Friday "St. Louis Post Dispatch" newspaper, and check out the "GO" section that showcases what is going on this weekend. If you go to the "dancing in the streets" on Saturday, (www.grandcenter.org), maybe I will see you!

Michelle said...

Oh the zoo is so much fun! Make sure you take the train ride (we go every time we visit the in-laws in STL). I hope you're having a great time there! Are you going to make it to a baseball game? Or the Mystery House (SO worth it)? We need an itinerary :)

Brenda said...

Welcome to St. Louis Dawn! I love it here! There is a St. Louis BBQ BASH in Wildwood this weekend (West St. Louis County). It will be YUMMY!

Alice said...

The zoo's amazing, well worth your horrible ride over

Love your blog, btw, I'm following

Leanne said...

Beautiful pictures... I especially love the way your camera takes pictures of the future....

Have a fantastic trip, can't wait to hear about it!!

sjm4him said...

Savannah is a great photographer (esp for her age) but what is up with the date on her camera? Did the world fast forward 108 years and we're now in 2217? :) funny digi things. Brooklyn is SO BIG! and I love that her hair is so long. :) Thanks for all the blogs (I read from the top down) re: St Louis...I was there years ago and saw the arch...I love the rainbows...haven't seen one in ages! Thanks for the virtual tour! Have a great week, Meehans! :)

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