Our third year in a row going to St. Louis as a family. Second year with Levi outside of the womb. This year we had so much fun! Leaving Thursday night in hopes our little guy would sleep most of the way began our adventure. And adventure is a word I use lightly because it wasn’t a grande adventure as hoped but we made the best of it in the circumstances in which arose. We stopped off in Paducah to eat dinner and wind down a little. As we were getting off the off ramp we noticed how strange it was that a police officer was standing near the edge of the road. Then we noticed he would not keep his eyes off of us. And little did we know but we would find out oh so soon. As the light turned green and we went under the interstate bridge a police car that was parked there slowly inched his way behind us. Then there were the lights. The police office standing on the road radioed in that we did not have our seat belts on. Now before you go on your rampage about us not wearing our seat belts please do not, we’ve had these conversations before and do not want to hear your thoughts due to the fact we have our own strong willed reasonings of not wearing our seat belts. Regardless of this fact, they had three cars pulled over in the same parking lot. Lovely! He handed us our $25 citation and we carried on with our evening stopping at Steak and Shake for supper where Levi won over the hearts of the waitress once again as well as the teenage girls sitting behind us. We hit the road, which was funny because as we pulled onto the highway who do you think pulls up next to us, but the officer that pulled us over and he waved and smiled, for the next three hours arriving at the hotel around 11pm. Only to discover there was only a king size bed in the room when we were suppose to have a pull out couch for Levi to sleep, no microwave and no refrigerator for drinks. We hit the sack….
Day 1: The City Museum and Cardinals game
I think we had as much fun at the museum as Levi did. This place is huge and full of so much stuff. We got there early which was nice because no one was there and Levi could roam without any interference from others. Him and Daddy had the ball pit all to theirself. He fell in love with the miniture train. So much so that after throwing a few fits about not being able to ride it the little man finally gave in and let me ride the train with him but only if I sat myself in two cars to balance it out and I had to hunker down going through the tunnels so he wouldn’t knock my head off. Levi loved it! And it was fun. Nice little guy that was. I really hope he didn’t get in trouble for that. All in all I think that was the highlight of the entire place. Oh and the indoor caves. We didn’t walk around to far because it seemed like an endless cavern. But we will one day because there is an 11 story slide inside. Awesome! After eating lunch we walked back to the hotel to rest for a little while before the game. We immediately found where the toddler area was so that if Levi got wiggly we could go somewhere to have him play awhile. Soon after the game started fans were filing in to the seats around us and Levi had no where to go but in our lap or between our legs. He did a lot better than I expected. We never had to get up to go play or walk. He played with the little elderly people sitting next to us and some behind us. And by the end of the game he was playing games on my phone. The only highlight of the game was the streaker running across the field yet again. I’m certain someone paid him off to do this because after it happened the crowd came alive and the game got a little action. They had fireworks after the game and we were trying to get out before the lite up the sky because we didn’t know how Levi would respond, but we were slow and didn’t make it. Surprisingly he did great. He never cried just hung on tight to us looking up into the night sky. I was so proud.
Day 2: St. Louis Zoo, Favazzos, Ted Drews
Up early and at ’em boys! Off to the wonderful free zoo we went. We love and adore the zoo in St. Louis. It is the absolute best! I think we saw animals this year we haven’t seen the other two times we have been and we missed some animals we usually see. But all in all it was hot and Levi had fun. The most fun I believe he had was yet again on the train. He was so excited while waiting in line to ride that we couldn’t hold him back. And when we got on he was all smiles. About half way through though he began to settle down and get a little sleepy. The train carried us around through most of the back side of places in the zoo stopping at 3 different stations before coming to a rest back where we started. We ate lunch in the same grassy area we did last year and of course being the photographer that I am I tried to snap the same picture of Kevin laying in the grass with Levi over head. Almost the same photo. As we were departing the zoo, Levi finally collapsed in the stroller never waking as we got in to the car. We decided to head back to the hotel, grab a shirt for me and head over to eat at Favazzos. This is the beginning of yet the major disappointment of our weekend though I did not know it as the time. I got up to the hotel while Kevin stayed in the car with snoozing Levi, and realized they cleaned our room but left no clean towels. I paid no attention to anything else. I headed back downstairs where I asked the front desk if we could have some extra towels delivered to our room since they didn’t leave us any. Sure thing. I went on out to the car. Favazzos was nothing as expected. The hype from employees was a let down. It was fancy and we felt very under dressed and out of place. They price was a bit more than I expected. And it just tasted like Italian. Nothing I couldn’t have made myself I think. So after that let down we decided to head over for some custard at Ted Drew’s. Oh my goodness! It was the best I’ve ever put in my mouth. My taste buds were having a party and I will never eat regular ice cream again I think. Delicious! And it will be a definite return visit every time we go from now on. It was more than the hype from my co-workers! With our bellies full of deliciousness now we headed back to our hotel to call it a day. Levi was beginning to get a little crabby and there was no kids shows on tv so I decided to let him play his games on the iPad to settle down for the evening….to my surprise I couldn’t find it. It wasn’t where Kevin said he left it so we began the man hunt of tearing the room apart looking for it as well as the car. With it not to be found anywhere Kevin informed the front desk. Nothing to be done till morning….
Days 3: Butterfly House, Fitz’s Root Beer
Up and at ’em a little slow on this day 3 Sunday morning. We spent most of our morning waiting on the lady of housekeeping to visit us about the alleged iPad being stolen. She finally arrived about 10:30, check out being at 11. She took our statement and told us we would be hearing from the GM on Monday as soon as she went over everything with him. As we were waiting on the elevator as everyone else in the building was leaving as well, I decided to hop on the elevator by myself to get us checked out while Kevin waited on one he and the luggage cart could get in. As I was in the elevator with a seemingly nice family they too stated they did not have a very pleasant weekend at this hotel. To my surprise as Kevin was on his way down he was informed of someone else who had their laptop stolen. Well, that really helped our case of them doing something we hoped. Yet I think it just fanned the flames even more. As we tried to let it pass and not ruin the rest of the day we continued to finish our weekend at the Butterfly House. I was really excited about this because I do like butterflies…but it was a slight disappointment for me. We probably didn’t spend 15 minutes wondering around looking at all the butterflies. It was nice and amazing don’t get me wrong but I’m really glad we had tickets given to us because I don’t think I would have spent the $12 to get in myself had I known it wasn’t going to be that long. It was pretty neat to have all these beautiful butterflies of all colors flying around you and occasionally one land on you. Levi had a few get pretty close and maybe one land on him and he did not like it. For lunch we stopped at the exciting Fitz’s Bottling Company where they bottle their own root beer in each individual bottle. It was really neat to watch and the food was pretty good. Levi loved the root beer float and I have to say it was the best part of the entire meal. Surprised myself by eating it all.
As we hit the road for home we were all tired and ready to be in our own home. Arriving home…I got out of the car, looked down and what do you know, my hub cap is gone. Dang it! I took some things inside, turn on the bathroom light and what do you know the light bulb shot! Can we start our vacation over again and pretend this one never happened. Ha! Maybe not. We made a lot of memories, Levi learned a lot and had a lot of fun and we will look back and laugh on all the craziness of one weekend one day. And just like someone said the other day, Levi might look back and see an iPad in a museum somewhere and say “Dad, you had one of those, it was stolen in St. Louis that weekend.” Wouldn’t that be something…..