Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Vacation in Missouri

I’m recapping the rest of our stay with my in-laws in one post. This may get long so I’m sorry in advance for the pictures and ramblings!

The day after Christmas, we all headed into Columbia, Missouri, which is about 20-30 minutes from my in-law’s house. We went mainly because I wanted to do some after Christmas shopping at Hobby Lobby and Target. I needed new Christmas wrapping paper and I love to check out the after-Christmas sales.

Can I also just say how much I love being able to just run to Hobby Lobby and it not be a big deal? I hate that a trip to places like Hob Lob, Target, Old Navy, etc, are a full day trip for me. I so want to move to a city where I can have all of these things near me and not have to drive 90 miles to shop.  Okay, end rant.

Between Hobby Lobby and Target, I’m all set on wrapping paper for a few years.


The black/red/white paper on the right is from Hobby Lobby. I’m in loooove with the polka dots. Perfect for all occasions, too, not just Christmas!

We drove around the University of Missouri campus. Possible place for Stephen to get his doctorate? Deanna would love that!


We went to a popular pizza joint, Shakespeare’s. The pizza was good but not the best, but the atmosphere was really neat. You could watch the pizza guys throwing the dough through the window on the sidewalk, or when you first walked in you could watch. We lifted Christopher up to let him watch and he thought it was really neat. One of the guys saw him and gave him a ball of dough, which of course C loved. He said “thank you!” and they were like “wow - you’re a polite little guy!”



Notice the dinosaur under his arms? It’s a brachiosaurus, but on an episode of Dino Dan there’s a baby one that Dan names “Long Necky.” (Neckey? Neckie? Neck-ey? Ay yai yai.) Christopher received this dinosaur from Santa and it was one of the first things he saw and he said “Santa brought me a Long Necky!” So, Long Necky made the trek to Missouri with us.


After dinner at Shakespeare’s we drove to the “Crazy Tree” that some friends had told them about.

IMG_4889That’s a lot of lights.

Exhausted after a fun day!

We left my in-law’s house around 9 on Thursday morning to head to St. Louis. It’s about a 2.5 hour trip and I was in the back seat with Christopher and Deanna, so I made sure to grab my headphones before we left the house. =)

IMG_4913A little Adele to keep me sane.

We first went to the St. Louis Science Center. It was free admission, just $10 to park. I would highly recommend this to anyone with kids! It was really neat and we only saw a fraction of it. You could spend the whole day here, which I would actually recommend, especially for kids 5 and up. There’s a place to eat lunch (Pizza Hut express and a snack bar with different things) and there’s like 3 or 4 floors of stuff, a planetarium, Omnimax Theatre… SO SO much stuff to do.  We’ll have to return and spend the whole day sometime.

We spent the majority of our time on the bottom floor.  Three guesses why????

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Actually, Christopher was scared of it. It moved around and made noise and there was a “hurt” triceratops on the other side of it. Christopher loved looking at it from the floor above when we first walked in, but when we went downstairs and I wanted to take his picture next to it, he was clinging to my neck and wouldn’t look at the camera because he was afraid it would get him. I couldn’t help but laugh, don’t call me a bad mom!


Digging for fossils…

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After we left the Science Museum we headed to the Gateway Arch! I was so excited to visit the Arch – it’s something I’ve always wanted to do!  Since we had spent the morning and early afternoon at the museum then had a late lunch afterwards, it was a getting close to dusk by the time we got to downtown St. Louis.

We accidentally took the wrong exit and ended up going over the Mississippi River. As we were going over it I saw an “Illinois” sign and realized we were crossing the state border! I had never been to Illinois, so I took a screenshot of my location. What can I say, little things excite me.


I LOVED getting to see the Arch! LOVED it! Is that weird? Am I a total nerd? We got in line to get into the entrance (underneath the ground/arch) and saw a sign saying that the ride to the top was sold out. SAD FACE! I was upset, but we still got to go underneath and view the Westward Expansion museum. The next time we visit St Louis we plan on going back to the Arch and buying tickets to the top ONLINE in ADVANCE. None of us even thought about needing to buy tickets in advance. Duh.

Regardless, really neat experience that I thoroughly enjoyed!






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Thursday was a long day! I think we were all exhausted because all 3 of us slept until 10:30 the next morning! My mother-in-law actually had to wake me up because we had an appointment that I needed to start getting ready for! The guys stayed at home while Deanna and I went into Columbia and got a manicure and did some shopping. While we were in Missouri my favorite pair of shoes (black glitter Toms) got a hole in them, and I wanted a new pair and just couldn’t wait so we found a store that sold them and I bought these ADORABLE black herringbone glittery pair.  Can’t see the glitter in the pic… but it’s there.


That evening, Leonard’s kids came over for dinner. We had a good time visiting and catching up with them.

Nana & PopPop with Brooke, Baxter, and Ava.
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PopPop and Ava
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Christopher & Ava. I love this picture!
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Saturday morning we had yummy French toast (Deanna always makes French toast as a “going-away” breakfast) and loaded our things to leave. Christopher was NOT ready to leave. He told us we could go and he would stay and we could come pick him up later. =) Sweet boy. He was so sad to leave his grandparents house and kept giving them “one more hug.” Pretty soon he will probably spend several days alone with them and I know he will enjoy it immensely!

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We had such a great time! We stayed up late, played cards, talked, ate great food… So glad that we got the opportunity to spend Christmas with them. (Although I was SO MAD that we missed the biggest Christmas Day snowstorm that Polk County has seen in years! Six to eight inches of snow. Are you kidding me?!?) 

We can’t wait to visit them again!

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