Okay, I had other things on my mind for today but seeing how (by my estimations) about half of my readership lives in the Midwest, this is BIG NEWS. I hereby interrupt your regularly scheduled programming.
This is huge for low-budget interior decor enthusiasts like myself. You may remember that a year ago, my cousin got hitched in Dallas and we snuck in an IKEA trip while we were there, which resulted in the long, looong boxes being slid into the car in a very tricky way–we had to fold down the passenger seat and the right rear seat and put the boxes in all the way up to the glove box. Then I had to ride in the back rear seat, single file behind Doug all the way back to Kansas (7+ hours).
Now, for those of you in central Kansas that trip is down to THREE HOURS or less! Think of the eight hours saved round trip and smile to yourselves. I am definitely smiling for you.
Our anniversary is coming up on the 20th, but due to the anticipated arrival of Doug’s co-worker’s baby, we decided to take the week before off so as not to cause drama at the lab.
We tried to save pennies by staying closer to home (7 hours is not that far) but ended up splurging for a boutique hotel (the Moonrise Hotel) that I found online and couldn’t resist. We did score a deal by buying two nights and getting one free. The third night (the free one) I probably slept better than I ever have! Haha.
The first day we were there, we shopped the street the Moonrise is located on–the Delmar Loop. The street really isn’t a loop but with interesting stores and restaurants on both sides, it’s easy to walk up to one end and loop down on the other side. Our area reminded me of Hillcrest in San Diego and had lots of ethnic restaurants; something impossible to find in our town. At one of a few resale stores, I scored a pair of Coach tennis shoes for $24! Actually, it was perfect because I had forgotten a pair of good walking shoes. Providence!! At another store, Doug scored some retro swim trunks because the ones he had last summer seem to have mysteriously disappeared.
The following day we slept in as long as possible–we ended up getting up around 10. We went over to downtown to see the Gateway Arch, but since I had ridden up in it as a child and Doug had done it in 2009, we decided not to spend our money in that way.
Instead, we found out that while the team is away, Busch Stadium offers tours! At first I was skeptical of the $10 cost–not cheap, especially considering that there are two of us, but the tour actually turned out to be one of our favorite parts of the trip. We learned some insider info, including that there’s a buffet section! They offer tickets that include a great seat and access to an all-you-can-eat buffet. The price depends on how popular the Cardinals’ opponent is and what day of the week the game is.
During the tour we got to go in the radio press box, in the fancy area where the players eat after the game, on the field (had to stay off the grass) and in the dugout!! It was very cool, Doug was in sports heaven, and our tour guide was very funny.
Sunday, we went to the St Louis Zoo (free!) in the morning and drove a couple hours to my Grandma’s in Illinois for the afternoon and evening. Some of my other relatives were there and it was so good to spend time with the lesser-seen side of my family.
Monday, yesterday, sadly, was the day to make the 7 hour drive back home. Unfortunately due to hauling a couch gifted by my grandmother (she got a replacement and this one was lonely in her garage) we drove the truck, a manual shift. This means that poor Doug had to drive the whole time and it was my job to keep him in high spirits. Fortunately, even though it was raining through Missouri, everyone and everything made it back in great condition and we even shaved 30 minutes off the estimated trip time (according to TomTom).
It was so great to get away for an extra-long weekend.