Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer in the States - Misc St Louis activites

Can you see the groundhog popping its head up from my parents' yard?  So cute!  although the giant holes they bore through the yard are not so cute...
Jaden and Nicholas after their groundhog hunt.  We found 2 for sure ...
My dad and my brother both own 1955 Studebakers and they were in a car show one beautiful Saturday morning, so we took the boys.  I gave them each (including Dakota) an iphone or camera or ipod and a list of cars to take pictures of ... like the oldest car, the shiniest engine, the best paint job, you get the idea.  Not sure how Dakota's pictures turned out, but Jaden and Nicholas' were pretty funny!  They did manage a fairly decent picture of my dad's car...
My dad's 1955 Studebaker
This is all we got of my brother's 1955 Studebaker.  I think it was Nicholas' "favorite wheels" winner.
This car was pretty cool.  For a $1 donation to the local food pantry, you could write your name on the car. 
Nicholas signing his name
Mom and Jaden checking out the camera after our friend Ana's wedding
Mom acting silly for Jaden's camera.  I'm sure she didn't think I would post it to my blog. 
Ana and Bill had a table piled high with legos for the reception.  What a great idea!  The boys spent the entire time there and I got to visit and enjoy adult conversation!
Jaden and Nicholas with Ana and Bill
No trip to St Louis is ever complete without visiting Purina Farms.  We love the dog shows and the tractor ride!  The fact that it's super close to my parent's house and it's free doesn't hurt either!!  :-)  And of course, it was another beautiful day to spend outside!
Checking out the coy pond at Purina Farms
Jaden is technically too tall to ride the tractors, but they were nice since he was with Nicholas and they let him ride.
This may be their last time on the tractor trikes ... Nicholas will probably be too tall next summer.
Waiting for the tractor ride

Trying to get a selfie together is tough with goofy Nicholas!

Finally!  Got a good one!!
We went to a Cardinals baseball game one night with Maria and her girls.  Maria's niece was singing the national anthem with her school choir.  It quickly turned in to a VERY late night for us.  There was a rain delay and the game didn't even start until 8pm (bedtime).  We watched a few innings, walked back to the car, drove Maria home, and didn't make it home until midnight.
Cards game with Maria.
The boys have always enjoyed going to the Magic House, but I'd never taken them to the City Museum in St. Louis!!  What a fun place!!!  Although I think they should have named this children's museum shoots and ladders since all we seemed to do was climb, explore, and slide!  So much fun!!!  Next time though - no crocs / flip flops!  Sneakers would have been a MUCH better choice in footwear!!  Oh and it was another beautiful day outside! 
Arriving at the City Museum.  Lots of climbing structures inside, outside, and on the roof.

Can you see the kids climbing through the tunnel, and the bus hanging off the roof?

Another one of those St Louis birthday cakes

Boys went straight to the roof to sit in the bus overhanging the roof

You can even open and close the door of the bus from up on top!

One of the rooftop slides the boys enjoyed going up and down!

That would be Jaden at the top of the spire on top of the roof

Yep - ferris wheel on top of the roof too!

So close!!!  Jaden missed the 10 story slide by 1"!

So he climbed up the other rooftop slide

Ready, set ...

 After exploring the rooftop, we went back to the outside area at the entrance and climbed everywhere ... it is a truly amazing place to play!! 
Boys had to make their way to the airplane and the rocket ship

Inside the cockpit
Can you see the slide looks like a dragon?  That's Jaden and Nicholas entering the slide through the dragon's mouth
Victorious!  They loved all the slides!!
We were at the museum for several hours before we even made it indoors!!  The indoors was just as amazing as outside with all the places to crawl and climb and explore.  I learned a very important lesson that day.  I'm too old to follow my children when they say "Mom!  Come check this out!  Follow us!!!"  They had me squeeze through areas that were only 6" wide, other areas where I had to army crawl on my belly through a 12" opening, and all kinds of other crazy spaces!!!  I have to say - it was crazy fun!  There was also a room full of skateboarding half pipes, a carnival area with a train to ride in, and so much more!!!  After about 6 hrs, the boys were pooped!!  I think we missed some of the rooms, but we were all exhausted!!  What a fun place!!  We can't wait to go back!!

On yet another amazingly beautiful day, we met Maria and her girls at Castlewood State Park.  We played on the playground, splashed in the creek, played soccer and kickball and went for a nice hike before calling it a day.  No one wanted it to end.  This weather was so unusually beautiful and we were making the most of it!!

Boys with Cassie and Zoey
Too close to the edge for Maria's comfort.  Who knew she was so afraid of heights!!  We loved all the green!
Another beautiful spot along the top of the cliff
I believe that's the Meramac River below, but I could be wrong.  I can't believe I grew up in St Louis, and had never been to this park!
Jaden spotted this cave from the cliff and was determined to climb down to it.  Maria was in a bit of a panic, but after accessing the situation, I deemed it okay.  Jaden was so very proud of himself!!
Random tree trunk along the path
perfect spot for some pictures

A great time together!

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