Archive for the ‘Roadtrip’ Category

Ditchin Church

April 3, 2007

We took a mini road trip this past weekend… we needed an excuse to get away and didn’t have the funds to go very far. I could have used a beach, a cruise, or maybe even a ski trip.  Instead, we went to BFE Hays, KS.   Who takes a road trip to Hays, KS??  We do.

Hays is halfway between here and “home” and my dad and his wife met us there.  We stayed in a hotel that had a heated indoor pool with a big ole water slide.  The slide was fun – Julia even enjoyed it once she got over the initial apprehension.

It was nice to see my dad.  But, I was immediately reminded of how disappointing a visit with him can be, too.  I’m just nothing like my family – they are spontaneous people that don’t plan a second ahead and get frustrated or upset when they can’t predict what I want want to do next.  Or wait, I’m making it sound like my whole family is that way, when really it’s just my dad (he might as well be my whole family sometimes? but that’s a whole nother post).  Anyway, he didn’t show up until 9pm on Friday night, when they were supposed to be there in time for lunch.  They called and said they’re running late and would be there for dinner.  I’m so glad that I’ve learned over the years not to rely on him – I’d’a killed a man before waiting until 9pm to have dinner.

Oh well – they came and we had fun.  They wanted to do the historic museum sight-seeing … we abliged because, well – hell, there’s just not much to do in Hays KS.  We went to all two of their “tourist attractions” with them (a little known museum and a lesser known fort).   I would have rather spent that time enjoying the gianormous waterslide, but it wasn’t totally up to me.

At any rate, we had a weekend away.  The “real motive” behind the trip was, perhaps, simply to skip church.  Sometimes it’s nice to be away… and since I work for the church, it was like being away from work. Sorta.   I dunno – somehow it felt really nice to skip out on the one thing per week that keeps my life grounded.  Go figure.

Anyway – like I said, we had fun.  I’m rambling now because I can.

Julia is getting even cuter everyday, if you can possibly believe that.  Her sentences are become hilarious – as she sputters out things that come from the wilds in her imagination.  She’ll repeat just about anything we tell her to but it always comes out in Julia speak. (I’m a doorbell is really ‘I’m adorable’).

Oh and Julia has named the baby.  She came up with a name last week and it has stuck. She has not forgotten it and is absolutely clear when she says it.

Our baby’s name shall be MonkeyPants.   Yeah, I told you she’s cute.

This poor kid in my tummy will forever be the kid that was once called monkeypants.

I’m feeling pregnant.  My bowels don’t quite know what to do (TMI?) and I’m tired and just recently started getting cranky…  I’m always hungry but nothing ever sounds good.  I drink a gallon of water a day (at least) and my feet always hurt.  I can’t sleep and I can’t get any work done because I’m constantly finding myself wondering what life with two kids is like and will I be able to handle it.  That t-shirt I bought a few years ago that says PSYCH WARD might not be as funny when I’m working with two kiddos 24/7.

I’m only 14+ weeks along, people.  I realize that this is only going to get worse.  Please, find some words of encouragement for me.

But, it’ll be okay.  It always is, right?   Someday, we will start working on the nursery and the playroom – and someday it will feel like we’re really expecting a baby in this house of ours.  Someday, I’ll finally get a routine down for dishes and laundry (I tried FlyLady – I’m not good enough for it.  Thanks anyway..)  and someday my house won’t smell like drywall mudding.

Someday I’ll have two gorgeous kids that keep me laughing all the time.  They’ll help with household chores and they’ll rub my back or play with my hair on command.  They’ll read ME the bedtime stories once in a while (once a week? C’mon that sounds fair) and they’ll say things like “you’re so beautiful mommy.”

Yes, someday.

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A fabulous weekend

November 2, 2006

I guess it’s about time that I tell you all about our weekend trip to St. Louis! We left on Friday afternoon – about 2ish and arrived in St. Louis around 6pm, just an hour before the big game started. (Sidenote: Rich definitely knew his way there, as he was dispatched out to work in St. Louis the Weds before … so he had just driven out there on Weds, came back home on Thursday, and then we drove out together on Friday … it’s not a bad stretch of highway, but not exactly a fun four hour trip, either!) We were sans Julia and had every intention of living it up for the weekend as this was our vacation away from home.

We checked into our hotel. (Whoo-lah-lah) … the same hotel chain that we stayed in for our 5 year anniversary … only this time it was guaranteed to be much better since we were not sicker than dogs this time ’round. It was like an anniversary re-do – and without the kiddo this time! After we checked in, we went walkin around town to find some good grubs.

We found this nice little brewery called the Morgan Street Brewery.

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The food was fabulous and the atmosphere was amazing as Cardinals fans started piling in to watch the game. We took off right after the National Anthem, thinking we’d walk the streets a little more and find some other fun places to go. We snickered at the waiter who commented, “Leaving? Right when the game is starting? That’s just not right!” …little did we know..We walked around a bit and didn’t find much else to do so we headed back to the hotel and made our way to the lobby with a bottle of wine. After a few minutes, we started talking about how great the little bar was and how fun it probably is there – with all those Cardinal’s fans. … So, we went back. We stayed for the whole game and it was a blast!

We made our way back to the hotel and passed out… happy to sleep without a baby (sorry, Julia) and excited about the prospects of sleeping in with no place to go in a hurry the next morning.

phpaznf1upm.jpgWe took this photo Saturday morning.

Rich was so great when planning this trip – he had tickets to go to the top of the St. Louis arch at 10:30 on Saturday morning. That gave us enough time to lollygag around in the morning and eat our “free” (included in the price) hotel breakfast, with cook-to-order omelets, pancakes, sausage, bacon, you get the idea. We walked to the arch – and the walk itself was worth the trip to St. Louis.img_3054.JPGarch.jpg

If you haven’t been to the top of the arch, you might be surprised (like I was!) to find out that you travel to the top in little 5-person capsules that are attached to each other like a train. It’s kind of a spooky ride, but well worth the trip. The little doors to the tiny capsules are intimidating – and we’re very thankful that both times (the way up and the way down) we only had four people… because, although there are five seats in a capsule, there’s hardly enough room for four and a half people. We had another person in the capsule with us take a picture of us while we were sitting in it – but you can’t tell how squished we are in the picture.

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We took many pictures while at the top of the arch. I didn’t want to come back down. It was stunning. It was gorgeous. I want to go back at night, sometime. I recommend that everybody get a chance to go to the top of the arch in St. Louis – It’s incredible architecture and a really enjoyable experience. Did I mention that I loved the top of the arch? Cuz I did!

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After the arch experience, we started walking towards the City Museum – a place we were told to go to by some good people from church. On the way there, we found Kitchen K – a great little place to stop and have lunch. The service was a little slow but the Cardinal-Enthusiasm of the server we had was fun to poke fun at. Plus, they gave us really great directions to the City Museum.

Now – the City Museum was another absolutely fabulous experience. Take a moment to poke around the website and have a peek. Not right now – do it later … you’re reading MY blog – pay attention here. 🙂 Now, the City Museum might be part of the reason it’s taken me this long to blog about our weekend. There are so many things to say about it and so much to type and try to describe that it’s overwhelming. I could never do the place justice by typing an post on this blog. WE HAD SO MUCH FUN THERE.

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It’s a really great place where grown-ups can be kids. I faced a fear of heights there that I didn’t even know I had. The outdoor playground was – seriously at a loss for words here other than SO VERY COOL! Rich was so patient and sweet – encouraging me up and through and around and under these huge metal structures that ultimately lead to something so very awesome like an old airplane or fire engine or a huge scary-even-for-adults slides. And on the inside of this building were these caves where you can roam around for hours and explore and find slides and places to crawl or climb. It was so bleeping COOL!

OK so after I just about dropped dead of exhaustion at the City Museum, we headed over to Busch Stadium so that we can say we were there and to check out the souvenirs. It was so uber crowded with people wearing red… but a great experience nonetheless. So, then we went to this silly little wax museum that is hardly worth a mention here (if you want pictures of a wax Snow White that’s missing fingers and covered in dust, e-mail me and I’ll send em to ya … yeah, it was that bad – but comical!)

After that, we headed back to the hotel to enjoy free drinks (um, HELLO! nobody ever told me that Amoretto and Sprite was so very delicious! and that Margaritas are so very toxic)! It was totally fun. Then, we did something very naughty … we took a dip in the hotel hot tub (get your mind out of the gutter! alcohol plus hot tub = naughty … not what you’re thinking!) We went back to the room and passed out to a very heavy slumber and awoke the next morning to another scrumptious breakfast.

Sunday we checked out of the hotel after our free scrumptious breakfast (oh yeah, I already said that – just rubbing it in there) and decided to head out to Union Station for ..what we thought was going to be.. some more sight-seeing. Turns out that Union Station is just a big mall. We were kind of disappointed, but then we realized we needed to get gifts for the awesome peeps we left at home (namely, the babysitters – LOL) and that was definitely a great place to do that.

We then ate at the Hard Rock Cafe – where we had mediocre food and crappy service. But, hey – we got another souvenir for SIL there, so it wasn’t all bad… and we can say we ate there. 🙂 After lunch, we decided to head home. Good thing, too, because that’s when we learned of the big Cardinals Parade that was going to start in about an hour from then. Yeah – had we waited any longer, I don’t think we ever would have got back on the highway before Monday due to traffic.

So – that was our fabulous, wonderful weekend. We got home right when we predicted we would and I was so uber excited to see Julia. Know what she did when we got to grandma’s house to pick her up? She took one luck at us, then headed back down the stairs for more Elmo. She didn’t give a crap that we were there! LOL – I had to chase her down for a hug.

I’m sad that the trip had to end – but it’s one of those things that you know can never last … it was just THAT good. (And, yes, we missed Julia.)

Sidenote: So get this … Rich had to drive to St. Louis on Weds for work. He drove home from St. Louis on Thursday. He drove back out to St. Louis with me on Friday and he drove home from St. Louis with me on Sunday. On Monday, he got dispatched back OUT to St. Louis AGAIN! The poor guy. He had to stay overnight and was halfway home on Tuesday when they called him and told him to go back a.g.a.i.n. Well, he got home at around 9pm… and I refuse to let them take him again.

Thanks for reading my long story about my fabulous weekend!