Welcome to our Great American Road Trip! While we are not driving across all of America, Nick got me this adorable coffee mug before we left and therefore I simply had to call this trip by that name. How cute is this mug? I love drinking coffee from a mug rather than those hotel paper cups...it was so thoughtful of him to get me this so I could drink coffee like a real, live person!
There are so many things from family vacations, or trips, or whatever they are to be called that happen and then escape my memory. Especially from this Momma. I always think I am going to write them down but I am always too busy unpacking everyone to actually sit down and do it while we are on vacation. When I get home I always tell myself that I will remember everything and will write it down as soon as I can but laundry and life quickly take over and before I know it I've forgotten when we went to that one place and when we stayed in that certain city and again, I've lost it in the deep recesses of my memory.
So this trip I thought that I would write it down as it happens on here! What a novel idea seeing as I have this website and all!
We started out on Saturday, January 13th. We left about an hour later than I wanted to but I'm counting my blessings that it was only one hour. After all, packing for a 23 day trip was a lot of work! I am so much of a list person but this time the trip just seemed to sneak up on me and we suddenly seemed to just be chucking things at Nick to put in the car, hoping that everything would fit.
The roads were horrendous. The toll road was not great and sliding at 80 mph is really not great. Thankfully by the time we got to Chicago it cleared up and after that it was smooth sailing. We drove down Illinois to Springfield. We arrived soon after the NPS site was open and we were able to go tour Abraham Lincoln's home. It was so fun and neat! We learned lots of facts and the kids were able to earn a Junior Ranger Badge. I love that program by the way...it's like tricky homeschooling where they learn without me having to do it. Win, win! I will say, I was surprised that we were able to get through all of the house and earn our badges in under an hour. I think there must be more to do there during the summer months but seeing as there were frigid temperatures, we didn't stay long to check out the village experience that goes with the house. Next time though!
After Springfield we drove about an hour and a half to St. Louis, Missouri. Nobody in our family had ever been to Missouri so it was a lot of fun to cross the border into Missouri with a lot of whooping and hollering. I love our little family! This part of the trip was part driving to El Paso for work and part stopping in a cool city to celebrate Calvin's birthday.
We went into out hotel to get checked in and relax a bit. That's when we realized that nobody had grabbed Calvin's other shoes. Mom fail.
After that we called for a taxi and then took that to the City Museum. We had heard so many wonderful things about the museum. When we got there there was a bus on the top of the building and knew that we were going to have fun!
When we got there there were lots of things to do but we were all kind of cautious. After the kids kind of got lost from us we all warmed up a bit and were able to have more fun! We spent about four hours there and by that time we were ready to go. Nick loved walking around and seeing all of the building parts that they had. There were tons of building facades and the huge stone trim that goes along the top of buildings. I was impressed by the walls that were made out of printing plates. We both were impressed with how they made everything out of old building parts...rebar, conveyor belts, etc. We were very impressed and had so much fun!
After the City Museum we took a taxi back to the hotel. We let the kids swim and then we got ready for dinner.
We went to Cunetto's House of Pasta in the Italian district of St. Louis and we were able to meet up with our good friend Kyle! It was yummy food and lots of fun to catch up!
After dinner we had some errands to run and then we were in the mood for ice cream. Heading back downtown to our hotel, we went to Clementine's Naughty and Nice Creamery. They had really inventive flavors and they were made with all natural ingredients. It was amazing! Yum!
And that was the night! I would say we were super nervous about our car in St. Louis because we had heard really bad things but it ended up being fine.
Onto day 2...