When the kids woke up this morning, I said to Josh, “At least we slept in!” He said, “We did? What time is it?” I was about to say it was 9:45 am till I looked at the clock and it said 7:30 am. I totally dreamed that we slept in… guess that’s what wishful thinking does for you! Well, thanks to daylight savings, it was actually 8:30 am.
So, we got up, ate some cereal in our hotel room, packed, and got out the door. We had decided we wanted to go to City Museum today, but since they don’t open until 11 am on Sundays, we headed out to see the Gateway Arch first.
I had a big fat mommy fail this morning. I totally failed to check the weather forecast for the day and dressed the kids (and myself!) in jeans and short sleeves with no socks (what can I say? we’re not exactly a sock-loving family!). And I didn’t even bring coats on this trip… just hoodies. Needless to say, it was in the 30’s this morning and of course windy at the Arch.
The kids (and me!) were freezing and whining and fussing. We managed to get a couple pictures in front of the Arch, but that was it. We’ll make sure to hit it up again next time we’re in St. Louis.
After our disaster at the Arch, we headed over to City Museum. We took Max and Ava there years ago when I was about 8 months pregnant with Lia. We had no idea what we had gotten ourselves into back then. This time, we were prepared! Last time we went, we walked in with a bag full of stuff (you know, snacks, diapers, sippy cups, etc) and a stroller. Bad idea. This time, all we brought in was our Swiss Gear shoulder pack and the camera.
We spent a few hours wandering around the museum and having a blast. We opted out of doing World Aquarium this time since we wanted to get on the road before it got too late. I stuck some PBJ’s and Clif Fruit Twistables in my bag, so the kids had a quick lunch while we were there as well.
After we toured pretty much the whole place (FYI, the roof area is closed this time of year), we hopped back in the car and headed on down the road. We gave the kids three options of where to go: Louisville, Nashville, or Memphis. Surprisingly, they voted unanimously for Louisville. So we hopped on I-64 East and drove.
We didn’t get too far out of St. Louis before we had to make an emergency run to Best Buy to buy a new cable for our GPS. It suddenly stopped working. Good thing there was a Best Buy super close! Right down the street, we saw a KMart and decided to stop in for a couple things since we were already right there.
We got back on the road and kept driving. Max and Ava spent a good portion of the drive across Illinois reading off names of cities in their atlases and giggling hysterically. It was pretty funny to hear them mispronounce all the city names. Lia colored in her coloring books, on her wipe off book, and also on herself.
We continued on I-64 through Illinois and into Indiana. Somewhere in Indiana, the kids started getting a little antsy. We pulled off the highway, turned down a Country Road, and then turned onto a dirt road with a line of trees. Somehow, some way, we always seem to gravitate toward dirt roads lined with trees. But, whatever.
I pulled out the bag of punch balloons I brought and blew up seven of them (2 of them popped before I managed to get them all blown up). Also during that time, a car pulled up behind us. A guy got out and wanted to know what we were doing. He was a neighbor and said the land owners were out of town, so he was just watching their property. We explained that we were just tired of driving and wanted to have a punch balloon fight. I think he thought we were a little weird, but he was super nice and said have fun.
Once we managed to get 5 punch balloons inflated all at the same time, we had a great battle. It was short-lived, as we popped two more balloons and the kids started getting a little upset about it. So we tossed the balloons in the car and took a few pictures in front of the cool trees.
We got back in the car and headed for a gas station so I could heat up the kids dinner: Spongebob macaroni and cheese and Chef Boyardee ravioli. We had to stop again about an hour later because Lia threw up on herself. She started coughing and well, she has a sensitive gag reflex.
After we got her cleaned up, I made a run into Walgreens to get her some Mucinex. And then another run in to take Max to the bathroom. Then another to take Ava & Lia to the bathroom. Lia threw up again. I had to clean her up again. Then when we got back to the car, she had to go to the bathroom. Fun! I think we were at Walgreens for well over 30 minutes!
Luckily, we weren’t too far outside Louisville by this time and I got our hotel booked through my awesome Priceline iPhone app. We ended up at the Days Inn on the Eastern side of Louisville. At some point (I’m guessing when we crossed into Kentucky), we passed into a new time zone. SO, we lost 2 hours today! 1 to daylight savings and 1 because of the time zone change. At least I know we’ll get one of those hours back later this week!
The kids were pretty tired by the time we got up to the room and they settled down to sleep about 10 pm local time. Tomorrow, we’re gonna head to the Louisville Slugger Museum and then probably head back out on the road South or East. We’ll see what the kids say.
St. Louis Arch – 5 stars – Okay, so technically, we didn’t even ride to the top or visit the inside area. But the Arch is just cool in general and worthy of 5 stars. I can’t wait to take the kids on a warm day later this year so we can enjoy it more. I think they would love to see the view from the top as well!
City Museum – 5 stars – Okay, so City Museum is AWESOME! It’s kind of hard to explain, but it’s like a huge 3 story playground. But it’s quirky and eclectic and just plain odd. Parts of it are indoors and parts are outdoors. I think honestly, it’s best for kids 7 or up. BUT, if you don’t mind being active with your kids and climbing a lot and twisting and bending your body into strange and sometimes uncomfortable ways, it’s totally great with little kids too!
We first went when Max was 3 1/2 and Ava was 1 1/2. You can read about that visit and see pictures here.We really just wanted to go the World Aquarium, but it turns out it’s inside City Museum. And you can’t just go to the aquarium. You have to pay for the museum too. Well, we had no idea what the place was like. I was 8 months pregnant and it was SUPER hard for me to climb around in the tunnels. Right when we first got there, Ava ran through a tunnel that I couldn’t get through and almost fell down a stairwell coming up out of the ground. I about freaked out, but once we figured out that we had to stay RIGHT WITH the kids, it was so much fun!
Well, it’s a little harder to stay right with the kids when they outnumber you, but we did a pretty good job. There were a few times today when we had to threaten to leave if they couldn’t stay together. The other issue we ran into was that it was hard for Lia to crawl through the crazy tunnels and such, so she was slow and Max didn’t want to wait for her. But we managed to get through it and they all had a blast.
I definitely recommend doing some research if you are planning on taking kids to City Museum. It can be awesome if you know what to expect and we’ve never been anywhere like it!
Days Inn Louisville, Kentucky – 4 stars – I don’t really have any complaints. The room is nice enough, the internet is fairly fast (especially compared to the Holiday Inn last night!). There’s a fridge and a microwave in our room and free continental breakfast in the morning. I booked this through Priceline for $27 ($38 with taxes and fees). I did have to pay an extra $10 once we got here in order to get a room with 2 beds, but I guess that’s fine. It’s still a great price! And, it’s quiet here, unlike our hotel last night. Now, the beds aren’t nearly as comfortable, but that’s fine.
Things I learned today:
1. It’s REALLY important to check the weather ahead of time and dress the kids appropriately if you want to keep whining and fussing to a minimum!
2. There’s a good chance you will fall on your face if you try to run up the skate ramps (3rd floor). Kids seem to be able to do this with no problems at all, but I tripped like 3 times!
3. My kids apparently LOVE the applesauce to go pouches I bought. The good news is that it’s like a squeeze pouch of applesauce… perfect for eating in the car plus each one is a whole serving of fruit! The bad news is they love them so much they want to eat 2 or 3 pouches at a time.
4. If you buy something for the kids that is enclosed in a foil bag so you can’t see the contents, it’s probably because it’s totally not worth the $3.99 they are charging for it. (I bought the kids some ‘travel kits’ that consisted of a 13 page activity book and 6 teeny tiny markers. Boo.)
5. If your kids can read at all, atlases can be VERY entertaining. Not only did Max and Ava think all the city names were hilarious, it was awesome to hear them say the names of places we’ve been and then say, “hey! We’ve been there!”
6. I officially declare Chef Boyardee ravioli to be too messy to eat in the car. I don’t know what I was thinking on that one.
7. It’s actually pretty fun traveling with no real plans. We’re hoping to be home by Saturday, so we figure Wednesday morning we have to start heading back toward Kansas City. But for now, we’re just taking it day by day.
Favorite quotes/conversations today:
Josh “Do you think you could touch the Arch if you jumped really really high?”
Ava “If I had a trampoline I could!”
Max “If you have a trampoline that was taller than the Arch you could!”
Max “Where are we going?”
Me “Louisville.”
Lia “Louisville?”
Me “Yeah.”
Max “Where is Louisville?”
Me “in Kentucky.” The kids giggle uncontrollably. “What’s so funny?”
Max “Kentucky!”
Max “Mom, the Mississippi River is huge! It goes through like 4 countries!”
Josh “Horsies!” Me “Um, those are cows.”
Max “I have to go potty NOW!”
Josh “2 more miles. 2 more minutes. Think about unicorns and rainbows.”
Lia “Go to our road trip!”
Me “We’re already on our road trip.”
Lia “No! Got to our road trip! Because we can’t see our road trip. We can’t find it. Where are we going?”
Ava “Mom, I can see a castle!”
Me “Oh, that’s a church.”
Max “It kinda looks like Cinderella’s castle.”
Mom with kids underneath the St. Louis Arch.Kids climbing through the tunnels at City Museum.Girl in tunnel at City Museum in St. Louis MissouriMom and kids in hamster wheel.Girl on monster slide at City MuseumBoy in tunnel in St. LouisToddler in blue tunnel at City Museum.Boy looking through bars.Kids building towers with sponges.Dad and son building sponge tower at City Museum.Boy kicking over spong tower.Boy laughing and getting hit wth sponge blocks.Toddler building tower.Mom and son having a spone fight at City Museum.Mom and daughter sponge fight St. Louis Missouri.Boy jumping on chairs.Mom crawling through tunnel.Girl playing on skate ramp.Toddler sliding down skate ramp at City Museum.Boy running up ramp.Boy sliding.Boy sliding down skate ramp St. Louis Missouri.Boy swinging on rope swing.Girl sliding on half pipe.Boy sliding head first on ramp.Toddler running through tunnel.Toddler playing in giant ball pit.Girl getting hit by ball in pit.Boy having fun at the ball pit at City Museum.Boy buried in balls St. Louis Missouri.Boy playing in ball pit.Girl playing in ball pit.Kids climbing at City Museum.Kids on giant outdoor slide.Toddlers hands covered in purple marker.Little girl drawing on herself with markers.Girl in carseat coloring.Brother and sister tickling in backseat.Brother and sister giggling.Boy and girl looking at road atlases.Toddler hiding behind her hand.Family portrait by four cool trees in Indiana.Kids sword fighting with laffy taffy sticks.Girl with laffy taffy mustache.


  • I love the quotes, especially the one about the Mississippi going through four countries! LOL! And I like Josh’s technique of thinking about unicorns and rainbows instead of the need to go potty. I’m going to use that!
    We made the same mistake about the city museum when Jonah was only 7 or 8 months. They’d have a blast now, but Hana was too scared to go through the tunnels anyway.

  • Woah LOVE LOVE LOVE that first image! HUGE PRINT!!! and LOVE LOVE LOVE the shot with you all + trees!!! And that wooden slide… I would have gone down that thing 100x. You are gonna have some massive new art to hang on your walls at home!

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