Road Trip-Day 18 (July 19, 2014)

(click here for today's pictures)
Riding to the top!
This morning when Grannymom tapped on the door to ask if any of the kids wanted to go to breakfast, we made sure that Whitman was ready to go. We sure didn't want for him to throw the same type of fit that he threw yesterday morning when he thought he was shorted a trip to breakfast and shorted on some Grannymom time. But not only was he dressed and ready in time to go, so was everyone else. Robby quickly got ready and asked if I was ready and I told him that I just needed 3 more minutes. He said that he would go on down and rescue Grannymom and just a few minutes later, I went out of our door and Robby was still waiting on the hotel elevator. It must have been a busy morning-it did arrive just as I came outside so I did run down the hall to catch it.

This morning the kids all ate well again-and so did we. Whitman really ate. The past few days it seemed like he had stopped eating-could be because we have to constantly give him pieces of candy to keep him happy-people don't like to hear a baby fuss (I think I have become immune to it!) Poor kids tummy is probably so full of candy that he couldn't bear to eat anything else. But today, he ate his breakfast really well.

Robby pulled the car around and we all loaded up. Our first adventure of the day was the St. Louis zoo. They opened at 8 but we didn't make it until after 9 but man, was it crowded. We fought the crowds all day long. The zoo is free but you can pay extra to get admission to their other attractions and that is what we did. We all would have forgotten to use our zoo passes for half off of the pass if Shelley would not have said something about it.

The first thing that we did was shuffle through the River's Edge. We saw a few animals in this section but we mostly saw people. Did I mention that is was really crowded? The zoo is probably a really great zoo but with the crowds, it was hard to tell. Made me appreciate our rarely crowded Little Rock zoo even more.

Then we waited in line for the train. The train ride was pretty impressive-it was all the way around the zoo and had at least 4 stops. I never would have thought of it but one man said it was unfortunate that you couldn't see the animals while on the train and that was true. But it had tunnels-lots of tunnels! And the most exciting part ever for Campbell was that her and Cash got to say "All Aboard" at the very last stop over the microphone. Campbell was so excited about this and couldn't wait to get off of the train and tell everyone what she had done.

We saw a few more animals-at some point we saw the hippos and they were so incredible neat. They were right in the water next to the windows. There were 2 hippos that were just almost cuddling and then 2 more that were sparring with each other. It was just so much fun to watch-well, it would have been even more fun to watch if all of the people hadn't been there. But the kids pushed their way up to the glass and were able to see the entire show.

We touched the sting rays during our zoo visit. I don't think I had ever done that before. The line was decent for this activity, we then washed our hands and then started petting them. They were plentiful and the pool was shallow enough that the kids' arms were able to reach the string rays-even Keaton was able to pet them. They just felt slippery to me-almost like touching a soft bar of soap.

Next was a 4D movie to see. It was in one of those simulator things and the line was long, long. But we waited anyway-probably when we started waiting we didn't realize how long it would take us but then by the time we realized how long it would be, we were really already committed by waiting so long already. So we waited on-about an hour for the seven minute film. Whitman couldn't go on it so Grannymom and Grandpa happily took him to sit down and rest.

The kids will probably have the worst sunburns ever tomorrow because of our wait for that ride. It was a nice day with the breeze being decent and in the shade the temperature was really nice. But in the direct sun, it was hot and I am just afraid that will be burned. They passed the time by playing the Quiet game-I think that just may be my new favorite game to play!

The move was cool-Robby said that sound and movement was off but I didn't realize it. I was too busy watching Keaton and Campbell. Campbell was right beside me and she just held on to my arm. Keaton was next to Robby and I asked her during the beginning of the movie if she liked it and she just smiled and nodded yes. But then I asked at the end and she shouted back "no." I really think that she did like it. And though I used to not like simulator rides, I did like this one.

Next up was a spin around on the carousel. Whitman was walking around while waiting on us and when Robby picked him up to take him on the carousel, that baby got mad again. He fussed and cried the entire time in line and then did the same on the carousel. I am sure the people around me thought I was a horrible person making some scared baby ride the carousel. He wasn't scared, he was just mad.

We really hadn't seen too many animals on our little trip but we had done enough to be pleased with our morning/afternoon at the zoo so we loaded up and headed to Fitz's to see root beer being bottled. Parking was easy and there wasn't really a wait so that was all great. We split into two tables so we just had our kids come with us-they weren't happy about it but they soon forgot about it when they each had a mug of root beer in front of them.

And after eating-and man, did they eat. Graham even finished off a whole hamburger. After eating, we ordered 2 floats. The nice waitress split them for us and somehow our two floats, even after being split, looked like 4 huge root beer floats. They were so big that we couldn't finish them and that is saying a lot!

Back at the hotel, the kids had about 45 minutes to swim. They swam and swam in that time-playing keep away, playing kickball, racing and who knows how many other games. Then we quickly changed them into their clothes, skipping showers, so we could make it to the arch on time.

We had timed tickets for 6:50 that Robby had ordered online-he heard that some people waited for 3 hours to get tickets to the top of the arch today-eeek! We didn't have time tonight to watch the movie or see the exhibits so there is still plenty left in St. Louis for us to do (like go on the riverboats outside of the arch-they are closed this week because they are working on the arch leeway).

Even though the tickets were for 6:50, the line was still long-first the security line was long and then the line to get into the arch was long. But it was manageable and soon we were in the little pod heading up to the arch-I was with Grannymom, Grandpa, Graham, Keaton and Whitman. We had ourselves a nice little pod and I do think that Graham, even though he was being silly, was a bit scared. Keaton wasn't phased at all by the sometimes bumpy ride to the top-she just sat holding on to Grannymom (probably after that 4D ride today, nothing would phase her!)

I had forgotten how crowded the arch is on the top-it is crowded but it sure is neat. The kids loved looking out of the windows-especially Whitman and Keaton. They would just look and look. It is pretty amazing to think that you are that high in the air-amazing and scary! We didn't stick around too long and were soon in the line to come back down off of the arch. On my ride down, I rode with Campbell, Keaton, Josh and Anderson. The ride down was much quicker and soon we were outside of the arch taking pictures.

After a few pictures, Les noticed the time and mentioned that Ted Drewes was calling his name. They missed last night because of the ball game so we thought the polite thing to do would be to join them tonight as they ate their custard-wouldn't want for them to get lonely. So back to Ted Drewes we went. The crowd there tonight was even larger and it took a bit longer-it was still worth it. I had a turtle-with pecans, caramel and chocolate-and it was really good. But I was pretty impressed with Keaton's strawberry. Whitman liked every kind that we put in his mouth-he wanted to eat, eat, eat our custard and could not get enough. When we were finished, Robby picked up the bowl that we had been giving him bites from and Whitman stared to cry!

After we finished our bedtime snack, we came back to the hotel. The kids played on their kindles for a few minutes before bed and then it was lights out on our last night of the 2014 Road Trip. That kind of makes me really sad-though my trip isn't over yet since I have everything to repack before bed so we will be ready to leave in the morning!

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