Not In Jersey: Daddy Camp – Trip to St. Louis Daddy Camp – Trip to St. Louis - Not In Jersey

Daddy Camp – Trip to St. Louis

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Today I have a very special guest post from my husband! On December 30th-31st he took our kids on a trip to St. Louis, MO, giving me my first ever night alone in our house! Please excuse his pictures – he used his phone to take them. Enjoy!

Being that I travel for work a little (maybe a lot in Dara’s opinion), I thought it would be only fair to give Dara some “time off” and an uninterrupted night of sleep so I decided to bravely take all 3 kids on an overnight trip to St Louis.

We left early on a Sunday morning for the approximately 4 hour drive. The kids were pretty well occupied for the drive with our portable DVD player installed in the car.

First stop was the Budweiser Factory Tour.  After eating a packed lunch, we started the hour tour and saw the Clydesdales first.

ClydesdaleWagon 

Next was the Brew House.  The building was pretty old and they had a nice chandelier inside.

Brew House Chandelier

The kids were very interested in the bottling plant.

Kids WatchingBottling 

The tour was about seven blocks downhill and they had trolleys at the end to take us back up the hill. The kids especially liked that part.

TrolliesKids on trolley

The last stop of the tour was the tasting room.  Two samples of beer for me and soda and pretzels for the kids.

Tasting

We made a stop at the gift shop on the way out and got this Clydesdale.  Simon really liked it.  He told Dara we got it at the beer factory as soon as we got home.  Overall, I was pretty impressed with the Budweiser Factory Tour.  It was free which was nice and you got to see a real working factory, unlike our recent trip to the World of Coke in Atlanta which was all simulated.

Stuffed Clyde

Next on the itinerary was the St Louis Zoo.  We walked a loop around the zoo and saw all sorts of animals, including penguins, gorillas (who tried to scare us by running in to the glass), giraffes, camels, zebras, elephants, and rhinos. 

We walked a lot, but this zoo was definitely more compact than the Kansas City Zoo.  You were able to see more in a shorter period of time.

PenguinsGorillaZebrasLog

Last attraction for the day was the St Louis Arch.  Gabbie wanted to go up, but they were sold out for the day when we got there.  We were fine with that as we had been up the arch before when we passed through St Louis on our trip to Kansas from New Jersey.  We took a few pictures and headed back to the van.

Kids ArchArch

After a long day, we were all hungry for dinner.  We went to a Kosher Indian restaurant.  They had a buffet and the restaurant was not crowded which made it easier for me to eat with three kids alone.  The kids ate white rice and Naan while I tried pretty much everything.  It was pretty good.  Simon liked it so much that he cried when it was time to leave.

We finished dinner and headed to the hotel with a quick pit stop at a convenience store to pick up some milk for Simon so I could put him to bed. 

Getting checked in to the hotel was not too hard and I gave the kids a few minutes to explore our hotel room and get it ready for bedtime.  We facetimed Dara to say goodnight and then I got the kids to bed.  I let Gabbie read while Simon and Zachary were falling asleep which worked well as Zachary and Gabbie were sleeping in the same bed and this way he was sleeping by the time she was ready to go to bed (i.e. no fighting).

The kids slept well.  Nobody got up until about 5:30 AM which is enough of a full night’s sleep for not being in their own beds.  We fell back asleep for a little bit but then got up and went for a swim in the hotel’s indoor pool and hot tub.  The water in the pool was kind of cold, but the kids liked the hot tub.  Sorry, I had nobody to take pictures here.

Back to the room for a bath and showers and then a quick breakfast.  We were going to go to a children’s museum today but snow was moving in and I thought it was best to hit the road so I was not rushed to get home before things might get worse in the evening.  We made a quick stop by a kosher deli to pick stuff up to bring home for dinner.

We took our time back to Kansas City with a stop in Columbia, MO for ice cream.  It was snowing on and off, but luckily the roads were not bad. 

Made it home in time to deal with an emergency at work and for Simon to have a really long temper tantrum.  Through that, we still enjoyed our dinner from St. Louis.  The food was really good.  Fresh deli meats and rye bread.  We can’t get that in Kansas City so we appreciated it.  I bought enough to have leftovers the next night which were even more enjoyable minus the work emergency and Simon’s temper tantrum.

Overall, it was a nice trip.  Good bonding time with the kids and hopefully Dara enjoyed the break.  I was ready to be home and share the parenting again :)

Don’t I have the best husband ever? Now if he would only take the kids away as often as HE goes away by himself…