Saturday, April 14, 2012

Quick Trip to St. Louis

 A few weeks ago Nathan's company asked him to head to St. Louis for a few days (with only a couple days notice), and after a lot of internal debate, I decided to go along with all three kids.  I was terrified at the thought of all of us in a hotel room! It turned out my fear was justified when we hardly slept the first night.

 The next  morning we had breakfast in the hotel where my spoiled children received little rubber ducks and coloring books from the staff. Nathan headed to work, and we headed to the zoo.

We started out looking for the elephants as Nadia insisted, "The elephants will see me because they like me."  The elephants hadn't ventured outside yet that morning. Luckily this did not discourage the girls and on we went. The girls really enjoyed the hippopotamus, and when we came to the huge fish tank Eli was fascinated.  I think he would have stayed all day if it hadn't been for the girls complaining they were hungry already.

 After lunch we visited the insect house.  Surprisingly, no one, not even Nadia, was interested in most of the bugs, except for the butterflies of course.  In the butterfly house, Eli thought he could grab one of the butterflies until Nadia shooed it away.

 We headed for the penguins next. The girls were excited to see the penguins until we got there. Turns out none of them really like the penguins. Once we were in their building Nadia thought it was too loud, Bria didn't like the smell, and Eli just screamed until we were out.

 On to the rest of the zoo. Bria says the camels were her favorite; Nadia's favorite changes each time she is asked. Either way I no they aren't interested in birds. I tried to show them a pretty bird, and Nadia replies, "It's just a bird Mom."

The girls enjoyed the zoo until around 2:00 when everyone was getting tired.  We headed back to the hotel after several attempts (and tantrums) to see more of the zoo.

     After a quick dinner, we went to the pool.  Eli was so excited when he saw it; his little elgs just started kicking away. I think he thought it was a huge bathtub!  Neither of the girls wanted to leave the stairs, and really Bria wanted to stay in the hot tub.  Eli loved swimming, and would even move his arms and kick his feet!  Back in the room we let the girls fall asleep to a movie which helped. They went to sleep between 9 and 10 instead of midnight!

     The next morning was similar except we headed to the Science Center.  The girls were fascinated by the giant marble run in the entry way.  Then they spotted the dinosaur in the basement. Since it moved and roared they didn't want to get too close.  They explored the room with dinosaur fossils, and Nadia decided Brachiosaurus was her favorite dinosaur.

Then we went to the weather exhibit. Bria and Eli really liked the tornado, but Nadia was a little nervous about all of it. We watched a demonstration on extreme weather where they made a cloud the kids could play in.  Then we had lunch and explored the rest of the building.

They enjoyed building a small arch (with another little girls help), walking across the highway, and exploring the bird display.  There was challenge area set up where you matched the sound of a closed container with the object you thought made the sound.  Bria impressed the lady in charge of it with how well she did.

 After several other exhibits that weren't interesting to little bitty people, I let them make stuffed dinos at Build-a-Bear. Bria named hers Sauna, and Nadia named hers Tauna.  We got Eli a little Triceratops that didn't seem to leave his mouth the rest of the trip. We spent the rest of our time there playing with the motion activated floor pad (not sure of its real name).  Where ever they stepped something would change on the pad. Even Eli loved it!  After playing with it a while, we finally headed to the hotel to meet Daddy for a quick visit to the arch before it got dark.

 The girls were excited about the arch. I don't really know how they even knew what it was, but as we drove in to St. Louis on that first day Bria saw it and exclaimed, "Look! There's the arch."  They ran around the base of it until it started to get dark. As we left Nadia threw a huge fit because I couldn't carry her and push the stroller.  We even had people walking by telling us we should make sure to get a picture of it!  At least they could empathize with us.

The next day we were a bit lazier and didn't even make it for breakfast until Nathan was about to leave for work.  After breakfast we packed everything up, and with the help of the hotel staff, we managed to load it all into the van (not an easy task with three little kids).  After we checked out we headed to the Butterfly House in Chesterfield to see all the Blue Morphos (they had thousands imported for the month of March).  The girls were thrilled with all the butterflies, but Eli was not.  Well he enjoyed watching the butterflies, but after a few minutes he was sweaty and fussy from the high humidity.  So we took a couple trips through and then played in the park awhile.  All the kids napped as we headed back to the city of St. Louis.

 Once they woke up we headed to The City Garden which has sculptures the kids can play on.  Bria loved the one that chimed when she jumped on, and Nadia liked the ones that looked like bunnies.  Eli liked anything he could get his hands on! They all enjoyed the stepping stones and the waterfall.  We played there until Nathan finished at work and then we headed home.

     It was a quick and exhausting trip, but I am glad we got to go!