Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Schwartz's vs St. Louis

The St. Louis City Museum has got to be one of the coolest places we have ever been!  It was so worth it and I can't wait until Sarah is a little older so she can enjoy it even more.  We're already trying to talk the Boys into taking a big family trip so we can all go together and let the kids just go nuts.  And I spent a ton of time snapping pictures and sending them to Annie to try to get a Combs/Schwartz trip together so Jessie and Sarah can run and climb and play together.

There was just something so unique about that place.  When the Joiners were describing it they said something about how you can be walking along see a hole in the wall and then it's a slide and your kid pops out 20 ft away from you.  And they weren't kidding.
Oh, don't mind this hole in the floor.  It's just one of the many random entry ways into the caverns below.

Take this little spot for example.  That big log is a slide that you can obviously slide down.  Or you can climb on top of it (see the metal in front of it that makes part of the "cage" that goes around it).  Or you can come up from underneath the elephant's trunk (see there's a boy about to pop out).  After we were climbing around in there for a little bit Sarah and I somehow got separated from Cam and we came out from under the elephant and Cam ended up on top of the slide.  I guess she zigged when we zagged.  But it was just tons of fun!

So when we got there as soon as it opened in the morning at 9am because I thought it was only open until noon (the website said 12, but didn't have am or pm, it was 12 as in midnight).  And it was great because we were the only ones there really for about 30 or 40 min.  We checked out the tree area and Sarah loved looking at the big tank that had lots of turtles and the biggest catfish I've ever seen!  (Top left picture looking at turtles, bottom right corner in front of the tank).  

Here we are first thing as soon as we got there exploring the tree climbing area.  So cool!  A little hard to navigate some of the tighter places with Cody strapped to me in the Moby.  I did conk his head a few times but he was such a good sport he didn't mind.  I think he was loving all the new stuff to look at.  Then we headed over to the circus area on our way to find toddler town.

Action Chris here showing how the rope swing is done in the circus area.

Sarah wanted a turn so I was letting her feel the rope.  We eventually let her swing by having Chris hold her bottom as she wrapped her legs around the rope and he moved it back and forth for her.  She loved it.

So at first we didn't know what these big concrete pits were supposed to be until we saw some other kids slide down them.  Then it made perfect sense.  And they were fast slides too!  I think I squealed a little when I went down because it surprised me how slick they were.

Cody finally fell asleep when we got to the Toddler Town area.  They had 3 different block pits with different kids of block (wooden blocks, foam blocks, those big pillow like blocks).  In toddler town was also the arts and crafts area where you could make a paper craft (a wand the day we were visiting) or paint or make something with clay.  It was all free and everyone was very nice.  Since I don't do hands on arts and crafts with Sarah ever she really didn't get the concept.  (Something I need to work on before we go again.  We don't even own play dough because once again...I hate messy things.)

After Cody woke up he and I found a cozy corner near the weird "mysterious mayhem" (I think is what is was called) exhibit with a comfy chair and not many people around so he could eat.  Everyone who knows me knows I'm not a rock star.  I'm not very comfortable with nursing in public so the fact that I didn't run out to the car to do it is pretty impressive.  But that was one of the nice things about this museum it as so large and had some many cool things to do and lots of nice little quite areas also with comfy chairs to sit and handle that business.  It also had a plethora of bathrooms nooked into all the areas so that was nice too.  

After Cody was done, Chris, Cam and Sarah came and found me and we headed over to one of the restaurants in the museum.  It was downstairs so of course why take the stairs when you can take this awesome 2 story slide!  Those bars on the side turned so Sarah stuck her feet out and scooted down the slide touching every single one.  Silly girl.

I'm a big cheap skate so I wasn't thrilled that we were going to have to eat there since I was sure the prices were going to be jacked up but they weren't.  It was priced about like McCallister's or Newks and the food was really good.  I had a turkey and bacon panini that was really yummy.  If it wasn't for the fact I'm supposed to be not eating dairy we would have just bought one of their yummy pizzas and it easily would have fed all of us and they were only $16.

After lunch it was Chris's turn to wear Cody in the daddy pack and my turn to climb around with Sarah.  I LOVED IT!  So much fun!  At first Sarah was a little nervous because of the metal.  It freaked her out to see the ground beneath her and made her unsure of her feet.  So I had to awkwardly carry her in a few places.  But after a little bit she got the hang of it and was scurrying around and I was having to work to keep up, especially when she went in small places and I had to army crawl to fit!

Eventually we wound our way over to the caverns area and crawled around in those tunnels but it was too dark to take any good pictures.  I had to use Chris's flashlight app on his cell phone to see down there.  The cavern area also home to the 10 story curly slide.  It's a single rider only no kids on laps so Chris was nice enough to take the kids down so Cam and I could go down the slide.  We got done at the slide just in time to make it for the circus show they put on at 1.  It was a cute show put on my some students of their circus school in town.  But Sarah was winding down and getting ornery.  So we had to skip playing in the cool outside area and save that for next time.  

Sarah and Cody both had to grab short naps on the way over to the temple.  We wanted to pick up some stuff at the distribution center.   Then being the best Mormons ever we went straight from the Temple to the Budweiser Factory.  Ha!  Ideally we would have gone to Grant's Farm but it's not open yet for the season and someone told me that part of the factory tour was to meet the Clydesdale Horses and see their stable and Sarah loves horses so we thought what the heck.

I thought the whole tour smelled terrible.  But I've never seen a factory before so that was pretty interesting.  I guess our school never took us on any of those field trips.  Next time we'll definitely wait until a little later in the year to go so that we can visit the horses at Grant's Farm instead of the factory.  

And what would a trip to St. Louis be without a stop at Lambert's in Sikeston?  I LOVE THAT PLACE!  Seriously, one of the pulls for why I picked a trip to St. Louis was definitely the draw of getting to stop at Lamberts.    There was a wait of course so we played out front for a while as we waited.  

Cam and I are in full geek mode about The Hunger Games coming out next week so she was excited about going to Lamberts so she could try to find her own Peeta.  

The portions are massive!  The salad said it came in a bread bowl.  Cam thought that meant a bowl they served bread in.  She was a little surprised at this massive thing they brought her.  To take the leftovers home they brought like a clear plastic trash bag to slip it in and tie it shut.  

All in all it was a great trip!  And there are still plenty of cool places for us to visit as Sarah gets older.  So I'm looking forward to more family get away weekends.  (Especially if I can score such a great deal on a hotel.)


  1. your family is so cute!


  2. Loser- you were in my city and we didn't hang out?! J/k I'm sure you had plans with other folks so I'll forgive you this time i expect to see u though!