St. Louis. Zak and I have been here at least a dozen times, in fact he even asked me to marry him in a darling gazebo in a cute town right outside the city. It really is a great place and we’ve always had a blast, and today was the same. (Although no one is leaving with a diamond ring.) Knowing we only had from noon on, we prioritized and left only one spot on the list: The City Museum. This was our third visit and the girls really had the time of their lives. They are at great ages for it and we could let them wander and explore knowing that they’d meet up with us at some point before too long.
I enjoyed the day, but it wasn’t my favorite visit to The City Museum. I think I’m going through a bit of a cultural shock. It was so hard to leave the majestic playground of nature and enter an urban playground. I found myself thinking of the mountains, the wildflowers, the deep blue sky with white fluffy clouds. I missed the quietness of a hike and I wished my odor was from hiking hard all day, not from being in a crowded, hot space. I also got a really stupid blister on my finger from one of the huge slides and that irked me. I’d rather have a blister from my hiking poles or boots or pack or something.
I did try really hard, and I think I succeeded in not letting the girls know my frustrations. It was fun watching them. They’d disappear into tunnels or tubes or up ladders or down slides and then reappear minutes later with an excited glow and a story about where they were led. Zak and I would follow them if we felt we wouldn’t get too stuck or too hurt, given our old age, and the magic they discovered was awesome. (We also enjoyed some nice benches in the shade with local IPAs too.)
We returned to a favorite stop on a previous trip, Square One. It was perfect for tonight. Great service and awesome food. After dinner we finally found a Target. We’ve been on the lookout for quite a while, but haven’t come across one that wasn’t too out of the way. We haven’t stepped foot in one since our big “Last Target Trip” about a week before we left. I have to say, it was like being right at home. I just love that store. We bought nail polish and hair product. (I haven’t worn any color on my toes since I knew it would get ruined in my hiking boots, but I am not going to Florida with naked toes.)
And now we are in Illinois, strange. I give Zak 100% of the credit for getting us 5.5 hours from home, yet leading us south tomorrow. During the planning process all winter long he’ll ask me questions and for my opinion and I must of said, “Whatever.” to this crazy idea of going to Florida now. Oh well, I guess I can use some beach time. And we’re going to squeeze a short getaway to the Everglades in. My mom and dad have lots of stories about my last visit there. Let’s just say, don’t ever take a grumpy teenager to a swamp in the middle of summer and expect it to end well.