Thursday, September 2, 2010

St Louis Vacation - Day 3

Sunday, July 25, 2010
Our last day of vacation.
Since we had to head back west to Kansas City, we decided to have lunch in the small German community of Hermann, MO. Finally, we get to eat something different than what we have at home!
Hermann was named after some old German guy (named Hermann, duh!) who defeated some Roman invasions a really long time ago.
It is also famed for its local winery and German restaurant as well as its historic community. Greg, who loves German food, was thrilled at the chance to dine on authentic German cuisine. I was really looking forward to touring the beautiful vineyard.
We checked out of our motel with plenty of time to make it to Missouri's Rhineland for lunch. With Greg driving this time, I relaxed in the back seat with Sabrina and enjoyed being chauffeured!

The scenery was incredible! Located along the Missouri river, everything was very green and lush. Made me feel like we had stepped back in time.
When Greg and Sabrina rode the train on Friday, they had a brief stop in Hermann and immediately fell in love with it's charm. We took a drive through town to find and settled on the Stone Hill Winery and Restaurant for lunch.
Greg said the architecture of the restaurant reminded him of places he visited while in Germany on two occassions.
Sabrina was not excited.
At the end of our meal, Sabrina ordered cheesecake for dessert and I decided to try the black forest cake. The cheesecake was delicious but the chocolate cake set off my heartburn with a vengeance like no other!
Several Tums later and still rather miserable, we walked through the Stone Hill Winery store but had to forego the tour. I felt horrible!
This picture below was actually one of my favorites! I just love seeing Greg in a dress!
We drove through the town and checked out the homes and buildings and then made our way home to Kansas City.
I feel fortunate that we had the opportunity to get away for a few days and experience something different.
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

St Louis Vacation - Day 2

Saturday, July 24, 2010

We began our fun-filled day at the City Museum in downtown St. Louis. This place was obviously designed especially for kids.

As you can see from the pictures, you can climb and play on everything! Greg and Sabrina climbed through wire tubes, went down slides with cushioned rollers and played on everything. I did a lot of watching and laughing when they got stuck!

The place was packed, as you can imagine for a Saturday and to top it off, someone was getting married there that day!

It wasn't the kind of museum you'd normally think of. Yes it had stuff to look at, but cool stuff, not the normal boring stuff in a museum.

There was a little shop that made shoe laces on an old fashioned kind of machine. Really cool to watch, and LOUD!!!!

On one level there was a huge room with all these buckets for kids to stack and play with. I really enjoyed this room the best. Mainly because it was the best air-conditioned room in the whole place and because it had really comfy chairs for the tired parents to sit and watch.

After having visited the Arch just the day before, Greg and Sabrina crafted their own arch out of buckets and stood proudly to have their picture taken!

I hated to leave this room!

Sabrina found a friend she could really connect with!

She loves her Tae Kwon Do classes and sometimes the kids get to sumo wrestle during the last half of the class.

She thought this was funny!

Once on the roof top, there was more stuff to climb on! There was even a ferris wheel on top of this 11 story building. Greg and Sabrina rode it, but I did not. You guess it! The hurl factor!!

There was a fountain with stepping stones. The object was to walk through the fountain sprays on the stones and not get wet. The kids I saw were actually in the water and it smelled really bad so I wouldn't let Sabrina in the water. Besides, once she caught a whiff of the water, she didn't really WANT to go in!

I really enjoyed this place!

It had a school bus hanging over the edge of the building so you could walk through it and look down to the street level. They also had an airplane set up the same way at a lower level.

When we were about ready to leave, I asked Sabrina where her cell phone was. She had clipped it on her waist band when we left the motel and it was not there when she checked. She was really upset and we sent Greg to the car to make sure it hadn't fallen off in the car.

While we waited, I asked a museum worker if they had a lost and found area. She said, "It's right here." I asked if anyone had turned in a cell phone in a leopard case. She turned around and in a split second, she handed it to me! Sabrina was so happy, she started crying!

We decided to have lunch at one of those trendy "St Louis only" type of restaurants. Arby's.

It was close to 2pm so it wasn't busy. Which turned out to be a good thing. We discovered they had XM radio and it was tuned to an 80's station. Greg and I were singing along to old songs like Devo's "Whip it!" and other classics from White Snake, Toto and Tiffany. Sabrina thought we were weird, but laughed appropriately at our silliness!

After lunch we went to the botanical gardens. This place was beautiful!

They have a geodesic dome area called the Climatron, similar to the Botanical Center in Des Moines.

I swear it had to be 105 degrees with near 100% humidity. The second you step in, you are immediately soaked with sweat.

They had a scavenger hunt for kids called Dino-quest. As you walk through the Climatron, the map directs you to look for hidden dinosaurs.

Except for being really hot and sweaty, this was a really awesome place!

Finally, we were done site seeing and went back to the motel to get cleaned up for dinner. Taco Bell.

We can't even eat anywhere different while on vacation!

After dinner, Sabrina begged us to let her into the motel's fitness center. That little squirt ran a half mile on the tread mill! I think she wants one for Christmas now!

Stay tuned for the third and final day of "St Louis Vacation 2010!"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

St Louis Vacation - Day 1

Friday, July 23, 2010

We decided to actually go somewhere for our vacation this year instead of staying at home. Greg and Sabrina boarded an Amtrak train at Union Station in Kansas City and started out on an adventure across Missouri.

I chose NOT to ride the train due to a bad experience on a trip to New Mexico when I was 12. It's not that I'm against adventure, but if you already know you are going to be sick, why torture yourself, right?

Anyway, we decided that by me driving separately to St. Louis, it would eliminate the need to rent a car when we got there so as far as I was concerned, it was a win-win senario!

One of the first things we did when we got there was to have lunch somewhere down town. We chose this little eatery that is specific to St Louis, the St. Louis Bread Company. We decided that it really was a Panera in disguise. It had the same food as Panera, the same decorations as Panera and even their take-out bags said Panera. We just couldn't figure out why they called it something different. I guess it's one of those weird Missouri things like saying Mizzourah instead of Missour-EE.

After lunch we checked into our motel which was actually fairly nice considering the area it was located in looked like London after World War II. We decided they must be trying to "revitalize" the area.
Then we headed to the arch.

If you haven't been there, here is a shot of a tree-lined park leading you to the arch. Very beautiful.

We saw a movie about Lewis and Clark and then Greg and Sabrina went up in the arch.

You guessed it, I did not go up due to the hurl factor! They, however, enjoyed every swaying moment of it.

While I waited for them, some grandma-type person sat on my purse! I couldn't believe it! When I yanked it out from under her, she only said, "Oh thank you!" and slid her tushy right up next to mine.

She weirded me out so much I had to leave. Yes, I have personal space issues. I'm sure it was her evil ploy the whole time!

Once we were back at the motel, we dined on delicious cuisine that is only available in St. Louis. Dominos Pizza! Only THEY didn't try to fool us tourists with a different name.

We decided we were too hot and sweaty to go anywhere else so we watched HBO in our room and enjoyed the fact that we had cranked the A/C down to 60 before we went to the arch!

Stay tuned for days 2 and 3!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sabrina is a Yellow Belt!

My 9 year-old daughter, Sabrina, is in Tae Kwon Do at the Millenium Blackbelt Academy. She's been taking classes for about 5 weeks and on Saturday, June 26, 2010 she had her first belt testing.

She was nervous so the night before we practiced her form, blocks, punches and kicks until I was exhausted!! She was still going strong!

On the day of the belt testing event, we showed up early and Sabrina warmed up and chatted with her classmates.

Promptly at 12:00 noon, Master Mike began the testing session. White belts in the back, then yellows, then oranges and so on up to the young man who was testing for his black belt.

They began with everyone doing the same blocks and punches. Then onto the forms. Sabrina flawlessly performed her Tae Geuk Il Jang (first form) even though the other (adult) white belt messed his up. They progressed through belt levels and launched into the board breaking!!

I was really nervous, but very hopeful! We had practiced Sabrina's Hammerfist technique at home and she's really strong, but Sabrina's never actually tried to break a board before.

After everyone was in place, Master Mike said, "Sabrina. Go break that board!" Sabrina walked up and in one smooth powerful stroke broke the board perfectly in two! We were so excited and proud! Her eyes were huge when she turned around. Sabrina had completely surprised herself! I, of course, got teary-eyed!

Sabrina after breaking the board!!

Sabrina with Master Mike.

Everyone at belt testing!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm tired! Or "tarred" as they say in Mizurah

These last two days at work were very tiring. Today we had three classes of fire extinguisher training. It was educational and fun, but all the running made me really tired.

Thankfully Sabrina doesn't have Tae Kwon Do tonight since another class is belt testing. She's still got swimming lessons at 7:30 so I'm not in my jammies yet!

I'm so looking forward to my massage tomorrow!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday - Back to work

Had a nice trip to Iowa for My niece's graduation party. Thankfully we did not get rained on. I'm always happy when someone in my family has a happy event so I can see my entire family!

My daughter, Sabrina - age 9, had an absolute blast with her cousins. She doesn't get to see them very often and since it's the closest thing to siblings for her, she really takes advantage and squeezes as much fun as possible in a short amount of time!

We went shopping, did home pedicures and went swimming. Boy was I tired!

We got home after 10 pm Sunday night and I'm really glad we took Monday off to recover! We slept in until 7 am which is really a treat for me. We went to see the new Marmaduke movie, had lunch at Subway....well, we really didn't eat it there. Their air conditioning was broken and it was hotter inside than out. I felt really bad for the workers!! We went grocery shopping and rented "Leap Year" from the Red Box. It was really good! We watched it twice.

Greg got home from his Michigan trip around 8:30 pm. Just in time to read her a bed time story!

I'm back to work today and I'm in need of more caffeine! Thanks for reading! I'll write more next time!!