Thursday, September 10, 2009

St. Louis fun

We spent Labor Day weekend in St. Louis, MO. It rained off and on all weekend, but we still had a great time. We arrived late on Friday night due to heavy traffic and rain. We'd promised the boys a swim, so we hit the pool at 11pm. Yep, you read that right... Thankfully it was an indoor pool, so the rain was not an issue.

It was pouring on Saturday, so we went to Magic House. We spent about five hours there - lots of fun for the entire family. (I think it was $8.50/person)

Hair-raising fun with the electrically charged ball
It takes three to blow a bubble this big!
Ever wondered what the world looks like from inside a bubble?

After leaving Magic House, we grabbed a late lunch and headed back downtown to see the Gateway Arch. It was dark by the time we arrived at our destination - 630 feet up in the air! (Free museum, Arch admission: $10 for adults $5 for children.)

View of the old courthouse and surrounding buildings
Seeing much of the city through tiny windows
The kids really loved it (my, how brave Zach has gotten over the last year!)
The Millennium Hotel and the new Busch Stadium
About 9pm, just came back down... The boys had fun doing superhero moves against the massive structure. You can take the boys out of Gotham City, but you can't take Gotham City out of the boys!
The Arch by day

The rain let up on Sunday, so we headed out to the St. Louis Zoo. We were finishing up after about five hours -- just as the rain was beginning to fall again! What great timing. (Free admission, $11 parking.)

This is the amazing hippo enclosure. The hippos are in the water (see their heads at the surface?). Their enormous bodies can be made out under water if you look closely, and there are TONS of fish swimming among the hippos (although I don't think this picture shows many fish). It was cool - we'd never seen anything like it before.
We loved the outdoor classroom where the kids got put their hands on bones, skulls, horns, and a cheetah skin (is it called a skin???)
The Insectarium made me itch all over; however, the Butterfly Wing was awesome.
Luke used the viewing thing backwards...
...and the cowboy in the midriff thought it was hilarious
(and we thought his sense of style was hilarious!)
Licking his chops?
Looking at me while looking at you
A quick family pic
"Brothers gotta hug" (Tommy Boy)

Monday was check-out day...

"What should we have for breakfast, guys? Banana Cream Pie or Chocolate Silk Pie?"
Bryan and the boys lug our stuff to the van.

We made a stop at the St. Louis Science Center on our way out of town. It was really neat; well worth the stop. (Free admission, $8 parking.)

The guys watching a "tornado"
Zach, hand-in-hand with a beloved astronaut, Buzz Aldrin

We booked our hotels using the "name your own price" feature at priceline.com. Initially we were going to stay Sat & Sun only, but decided on Friday morning to head out a day early. Friday night we snagged an awesome 3 1/2 star hotel in St. Louis West/Chesterfield. It ended up being this Marriott, which was gorgeous, and our room came with a great lakefront view! We paid (brace yourself) $40 for Friday night. Saturday and Sunday we'd booked a couple of weeks in advance. We stayed at the Downtown Hilton for $82/night, plus parking (ouch). It is a four star; however, we actually preferred the Marriott. Our room at the Hilton did have a view of the Mississippi River and the Gateway Arch, and the kids thought that was the best! Being downtown was fun (being able to walk around); however the rain interfered with most of our walking plans! For a family trip to St. Louis, we'd recommend the Chesterfield area. But, either way, we had a great time exploring St. Louis and are really happy with our little trip "on the cheap"! We're already dreaming up ideas for our next one.

1 comment:

The Rutledges..... said...

I loved the Magic House when I was a kid. Looks like you guys had a really good time!! (Blog looks good! You've changed it a little since I saw it last!)