Should’ve Said No

We’re back in Illinois! After 31 days on the road we’re back to the state we live in. It was an awesome journey out west, so awesome that driving through suburban St. Louis was a bit unnerving. It was actually pretty weird recognizing every chain store. The trees and landscape could just as easily have been suburban Chicago. Even the license plates feel like we’re back where we began. We’ve joked a lot about how much we’d like to live in Colorado and being back here certainly reminds us of some of the reasons why. Just two mornings ago as we drove away from Denver I watched the mountains receding into the distance. It’s kind of depressing knowing it’ll be months or years before I see them again.

On a happier note, we only drove for a quick three and a half hours today from Kansas City to St. Louis. We spent the afternoon at our favorite grown-up playground, the City Museum. If you haven’t ever had the pleasure of the visiting the City Museum, make plans to go now. If you’re from Chicago, where most of our readers likely are, it is worth every minute of the drive, every dollar of the admission and hotel expense. If you’re from anywhere else, it’s still worth it! It really is beyond words, the art/museum/playground space that has been created there is unlike anything anywhere else.

Sadly, both Molly and I didn’t enjoy it like we had in the past (the girls still had an awesome time). We talked a lot about why and I have four main theories. It’s probably a combination of them all but I like the first the best:

  1. We’ve been there too many times. I think the true magic of this place is the sense of wonder at beholding it for the first or second time. The not knowing what magic lies around the next corner or what amazement has been created under that hole in the floor just wide enough to squeeze through.
  2. We’re getting old. Some of those squeezes hurt!
  3. It’s so different than the natural world that we’ve been in for the past month. While it is an amazing place, an awesome creation, it is so different from the other amazing places we’ve seen that it was a bit jarring.
  4. It was really busy, people wall to wall.

It was still amazing to see the spaces, passages, and attractions that were there, just not as amazing as in the past. Once the girls were finished with absolutely everything they wanted to do, and they wanted to do a lot, we headed off to dinner. On one of our previous trips to St. Louis we had gone to Square One Brewery and Distillery for dinner. We happened to be there on Monday, which is the absolute best night to go because it’s make your own mac and cheese night. Even though it’s a Friday and we knew we wouldn’t get the awesome goodness of the mac it had been such a nice patio that it seemed like the perfect spot for a low key dinner after the craziness of the museum.

The food and service didn’t disappoint. We had a sweet waitress that we chatted with about the trip, who caught on to our non-rush and need to relax. The food, although not cheesy, was still super delicious. On each of our previous road trips there are a few dinners like this that stand out in my mind as happy memories. I think tonight may be one of those dinners from this trip.

So, as I began, we’re back in Illinois. But not for long. Tomorrow we’ll drive right across the southern part of the state and then on through Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia as well. For some crazy reason we’re on our way to the beaches of Florida now. Maybe when I came up with that crazy idea someone should’ve said no.

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