We spent the weekend in Saint Louis visiting my sister, Jenna, and her new hubby, Steven.
I found a good deal on a suite in a Hilton hotel and booked train tickets. No rental car was needed since Jenna drove us around. I’m so lucky to have a sibling live in an awesome city to visit – even if there was freezing temperatures and an ice storm. We definitely want to go back to see some of the downtown highlights. We saw the arch in the distance lit up at night.
Amtrak – I thought this would be a good way to travel with kids. It was about an hour longer than driving but the kids could get up and use the bathroom, get a snack from the snack cart. Outlets were available at every seat to charge phones and ipads. The train tickets are dirt cheap – we would have spent more money on gas driving. It was different….
Scott hated it. He vowed never to ride the train again after the St. Louis trip. This was not the same type of train he and I took from New York to Washington DC a year and a half ago. The train from NY to DC was a high speed train. We had internet access. We were also in the “quiet” car. No kids. Our seats were massive and could lay all the way back into a bed. Huge difference than the KC train.
The KC to STL train was smaller, louder, wobblier. It felt similar to being in coach on an airplane for 5 hours. It was either the train or strapping the kids down to car seats for 4 hours. Pick your poison. I don’t think it was as bad Scott makes it out to be. It’s nice to know that is what a train ride with kids is like, for future reference. The girls liked the train. They didn’t really screaming/fight/cry at all so it was a success in my eyes. Probably drive next time though. Although, now I can argue to Scott that the girls did wonderful for 5 hours on a train – they can easily last on a plane ride to say…oh I don’t know..Hawaii?
Kids Museum – While in Saint Louis, we found a children’s museum called The Magic House. It was freaking awesome. I would go back to St Louis just to take the kids here. It’s inside a mansion-sized house. I can’t even begin to tell you everything they have. It really reminded me of the Smithsonian but for kids. They had a bubble room; a giant 3 story slide; a story-room where the books are oversized and the pages spilled into the floor with interactive historical pieces (like trains, teepees, a civil war hospital tent); a huge “town” (similar to Exchange City, for those in KC) that had a bank, a pizza shop, a market, a whole house with bedrooms, kitchen, and living room; a fake library, a fishing pond with a stream where you could release your “fish” into and watch the fish swim under the glass you walk on; a mini version of the President’s office; a mini stage to speak to Congress; one of those metal balls that you touch and your hair stood straight up.
Every thing was educational and hands-on. One thing I noticed is they have staff everywhere always teaching and asking if they could help or answer any questions about an exhibit. If I lived there I would take my kids there at least a couple times a month. I feel like we didn’t even get to see everything. We didn’t get to do all the outdoor stuff because of the temperatures. One of the outside exhibits was a fake construction zone where the kids could interact all the way from the planning to the (fake) vehicles to the interior design of a house! The girls didn’t want to leave after spending all afternoon there. If you’re ever in St Louis, please take your kids to this place!!!
NHL game – We also went to an NHL game. The St. Louis Blues play downtown. Scott splurged on nice seats about 4 rows away from the glass. Since I grew up in KC, I am not very familiar with hockey. I knew Scott was on KC’s traveling junior league in high school and have been told he was very, very good (and a fighter). So this experience was a little different for me – I was amazed at the amount of people that actually like hockey. I was shocked how many people like and encourage fighting. Scott was getting annoyed with me at the game – I kept pronouncing the opposing team, the Sabres, like “Sah-brays” (it looks like a Spanish word!). I kept forgetting what the ice cleaner vehicle was called…knew it started with a Z…Zebroni…Zambabwe…Zambezee Zinger…Zlamboni…Zamboni, that’s it. Zamboni. The girls loved the game simply because it was like a giant dance party. They played a lot of dance party music in between plays. The mascot, “Louie”, the bear, came over and played with Emma and Kate. Louie put on a big peek-a-boo show with Kate. The whole section was watching.
It was a fun little action-packed trip. First trip of the year for us! Many more planned, many more to be blogged about….