Monday, November 12, 2007

30 Hours in St. Louis

6 am Saturday morning. The apartment doorbell rings. Once. And then twice. Pushing through sleepy cobwebs, I suddenly come to the realization that it's SIX... Trisha and I were supposed to be ready to go at 5:45! And that's how the St. Louis roadtrip began. It was a fantastic 30 hours.

Thanks to the boys and their understanding, Trish and I threw ourselves together in 12 minutes and we were soon on our way. A quick stop at Panera yielded some breakfast and we set off South to the Lou. The 4.5 hour drive wasn't so bad (especially for a Hawaii kid) - the company was great and Ben, Trish, Adam, Paul, and I played some great music along the way, not too mention a few 20 minute cat-naps. woo!

Our first stop was Ben's house in the city. His parents work in and are a part of an urban outreach church and live in the same neighborhood. From the outside, the house looks deceivingly small, but when you go inside, it's amazing how many rooms there are spiraling up through all three stories. The best part is the loft/attic which doubles as LEGOLAND! We had a team pow-wow up there to make our plans for the day. Right from the start we were playing with toys and generally being little kids - it was so great. After lunch with Ben's family, we ran outside into the 60 degree weather (YEAH!) and jumped on the trampoline... more kid activities! Trisha and I laughed so hard we almost wet our pants... good thing we didn't. :)

We set off from there to the City Museum [], which is really a short way of saying "Huge Big Kid Playground." It's a three or four story building converted from an old shoe factory (I think) filled with places to crawl, climb, jump, and explore. There are huge caves with passageways and crawlspaces, tunnels made from metal, slides from one floor to the next, all of this filling the building from floor to ceiling. I can't really describe it; it was unbelievable. There was a giant "Extreme Dodgeball Pit" outside with places from within and without (?) to throw rubber balls at those inside. One room had skatepark-esque bowls and ramps made for running around on and with ropes to swing onto and off of the platforms. It was pretty much FANTASTIC. Plus, Talitha drove out and met us there so I got to see her! We spent almost 4 hours there before heading back to Ben's to shower.

We headed out to the suburbs next to have dinner at Adam's. Along the way, 5 blocks from our destination, one of the back tires was struck by a chunk of metal and flattened. The boys fixed it all up with the spare in half an hour and we finally made it to Adam's... very ready for dinner. We hung out with his parents and little brother and sisters before heading downtown...

To the Loop! We got some bubbletea, walked around windowshopping, and had fun. Yes, FUN!

Sunday morning we headed to Ben's church, had some lunch at his house, got our tire fixed, and hit the road again. It was another great drive... lots of music, laughter, and dancing.

So that was my 30 hours in St. Louis - which actually includes the driving, so maybe it was more like.... 22 hours in St. Louis. Pretty short? Yes. Worth it? TOTALLY. I laughed so hard all weekend and felt like a little kid - it was just great. Woo!