Road Trip-Day 17 (July 18, 2014)

(click here for today's pictures)
The Dennies take over City Museum!

It was only 12:45 last night when Campbell started crying. Robby and I felt like we had been asleep for hours even though it had probably only been 10 minutes. Campbell was pretty upset so I just pulled her up into our bed and as she climbed in on one side, Robby climbed out on the other side and joined Anderson. She kept saying that she wanted to sleep in bed with me but when she woke up this morning, she looked around and said "how did I get up here?" The other night, when Campbell was sleeping in a bed, she tossed and turned and tossed until Robby was afraid that she was going to fall out of bed, so he climbed in bed with her. I guess this didn't stop her moving around because Campbell woke up with a scratch on her forehead from where he scratched her as she tossed around in bed.

We all woke up at 7 and took a few shifts going down to breakfast. Anderson and Graham went down to breakfast with Grannymom. And a few minutes later, our happy Whitman just fell apart. Seriously, he fussed more than he has in a long, long time. He didn't want his milk, he didn't want juice, he didn't crackers, he didn't want to be held, he didn't want to walk around, he just didn't want anything. Finally, we figured out what was wrong-that boy wanted to leave with Grannymom. Once Robby took him downstairs, he was his happy go lucky self again.

Breakfast was good just very crowded this morning. I had my usual bagel and cream cheese and even yogurt and granola this morning (in case you wanted to know what I ate). Anderson was really pleased because they had vanilla yogurt-weird, huh? All my kids but Reagan love yogurt-and when we get the individual cups it is like Christmas.

Grannymom, Grandpa, Lilly, Jenna, Dana and Cash all rode with us to the City Museum. I had heard about it and kind of knew what to expect but I really had no idea what to expect. It was crowded when we walked into the door and the crowds only got worse during the day. It was all manageable just lots of little people.

The first thing that we did was to go down the 3 story slide in the front of the place. Dana took Keaton down and I took Whitman down it. It was a slide that you had to lay back so you didn't bang your head. It was a fun, fun slide and it was fast-at least for me. I could have done that one over and over all day long.

We went then to the roof top and there was slides, slides, climbing things, slides and more slides up there. The kids were immediately gone in 18 different directions. We were fortunate that there were enough adults spread out that they could see someone they recognized. Throughout the day, the big 3 would come and go checking in with us every little bit. But we had to keep a much closer eye on Campbell and Keaton. Once Campbell was shown which way to go to get to slide and come down, she would be able to do that alone but Keaton needed someone with her all of the time. My big kids and the cousins were all really good about helping her and even Campbell. Actually, we were fortunate that the kids would stay in groups most of the time.

On the rooftop, there was a Ferris wheel that we all did. Robby even took Whitman-we were all a bit worried about how he would do but that child loved the Ferris wheel. The only thing he didn't like was Robby holding on to him as the soared 11+ stories over St. Louis. Then we went down a slide-it was a tight squeeze getting into it but I even made it. Most of the slides and climbing things were tight squeezes-if you are claustrophobic or prone to panic attacks this probably wouldn't be the place for you.

The easiest way to get off of the rooftop would be the 10 story slide-but the catch was you had to be 48 inches to go down it. Grannymom happily took Keaton, Campbell and Whitman downstairs. Keaton and Campbell where happy because they had just gotten to ride on a ride that the others couldn't do since they were too tall. And that left the rest of us in line for the slide-except my Graham is 47 inches. I know that well because of our trip to Six Flags but I told him to stand tall and maybe he could get through and if not, we would find ourselves another slide. The cousins were all in front of the grownups in line and I couldn't see if he had made it past the height checker lady but Josh gave me the thumbs up and I let out a sigh of relief-poor guy would have been devastated if he couldn't have gone.

Soon it was my turn to go down the slide-10 twisty stories. I was a bit dizzy the first few steps that I took after the slide. But what was even more concerning was that the slide stopped in a cave like area. I couldn't see Shelley when I got off the slide nor could I see our kids. We finally found the kids and got out of the cave area-too enclosed for my taste. Finally, Les and Robby made it out of the slide and we were on to see something else.

I think that we then went outside-imagine a Rock Creek type place but everything was metal, outside, smaller spaces, more slides and 5x bigger. Les found us a good shaded place to sit and we were able to keep an eye (kind of) on the kids as they climbed outside-there was a bus to climb in, a plane, short slides, long slides, steep slides, water to cross on a tight rope, you name it, it was outside. This was my favorite place in the City Museum-the kids could roam and I could kind of see them.

At first Keaton was very timid and didn't even do a few slides. But as the day wore on, she quickly became used to the slides and would follow her cousins anywhere. I would always be surprised to see her keeping up with them and everyone working so hard to get her to the next spot. By the end of the day, she would slide down the slide near us and then run by saying "just one more time" over and over again.

After a long time of playing outside, we finally left the City Museum to find lunch. We went to a grocery store a few blocks away. The store was a mad house but they had a huge deli/hot food area. I could have stayed in that store forever looking at stuff to eat-I would have even gone back there tonight for supper. We just hit the lunch rush so it took a while to order our food (chicken quesadillas, mac and cheese, nachos and a hamburger), a while for it to be cooked and a while to check out but it was worth the wait. They had an eating area upstairs so we were all able to eat, drink and rest up for the afternoon at City Museum.

The kids walked the 3/4 of a mile back to the museum without any complaining at all. We started on a floor that we hadn't been to. And the room we were in first was like a skate park with ramps and hills for the kids to run and slide down. Talk about a room that was an accident waiting to happen! They all survived and then we went to the next spot.

Next to this area they had a circus room and the show happened at 2. We crammed in the room and watched the juggling performance. Even though Robby and I closed our eyes a bit during the show (seen one juggler, seen em all!) the kids absolutely loved the show-Whitman probably enjoyed it the most. He would clap and watch everything that was happening very intently.

After the circus, the little ones (Campbell, Keaton and even Graham) rode a train that you had to be under 48 inches to ride on. My Graham was enjoying the best of both worlds-acting short when he needed to and acting tall when he needed to as well. The others split up with some going to one area and others to another area.

We had Keaton, Campbell, Anderson and Graham with us (Grannymom had Whitman) and we went to one area that the kids played in for a bit. Robby and I went down one slide that was fast-so fast that we both said that we slowed ourselves down in it. I should have done it again and not slowed myself down-I have always loved slides.

Then we walked around a bit and even passed the probably little visited area of the City Museum that is actually a museum. We then met up with everyone back outside. By this time, Whitman was getting a bit tired of all this sitting in his stroller that he was getting to do so he was ready to play. Les had already left so Robby took one load of folks to the hotel (Grannymom, Grandpa, Whitman, Josh and Anderson and Graham (who both wanted to go with Josh). Then he turned around and came back for the rest of us.

Back at the hotel, as soon as we walked into the room the kids started putting on their bathing suits. They all swam and swam and even in the full pool they still had a blast. Robby and I said that they had just as much fun swimming as they did at the City Museum.

After what seemed like a very long time swimming, we went upstairs to change clothes for tonight. We all loaded up again and headed out to eat. Robby drove to the nearest location of Imos-a local pizza joint-and after all of us climbed out of the van, we realized that it was a take out only type place. So we all climbed back in the van and drove to another location.

The place reminded me of a Mazzios but the pizza was good (not really the sausage though, it had a different sauce) and most importantly, Whitman was happy during our meal. If I enjoy my meal is really all based on how the kids act and especially how Whitman is during our meal. If he is being a toot during supper, then I usually never enjoy it but if he is being a good little boy then I always enjoy it. My poor Whitman had been a bit on the unhappy side but tonight he was great-I think he really likes pizza so he ate the pieces off of his fork as fast as I could hand them to him. And the other kids were having the best time on an old video game. They "played" on it while they waited on our food and even after our food came. The seriously had a blast with it-imagine how much fun they would have had if they had a quarter to put in it.

On the way back to the hotel, we decided we needed a little taste of St. Louis and stopped at Ted Drewes for frozen custard. When we drove up, we saw the huge crowd-like a hundred people standing outside of the place. The kids started balking about the long line but that didn't deter us-and the line moved really quick since there were lots of windows taking orders. Robby accidentally ordered one too many frozen custards and Anderson did his best to help him eat it but they ended up trying to save it.

Then it was on to the hotel. My Whitman was sound asleep during our ice cream eating, sound asleep on the ride home (and it was a noisy ride home with all of the cousins working on ideas of a lemonade stand. Their notable ideas so far-a gerbil show that costs extra money and giving out free spicy chips so people will need lemonade to drink). Whitman even stayed asleep until I put him in his bed after getting the kids almost in bed.

It was a really fun day and after my laundry is dry, I will be heading to bed. Tomorrow will be just as busy so we better get to sleep.

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