So, Saint Louis. I could make lots of excuses for not doing this sooner, like being busy and what not, but I’ll skip those. 🙂 You’re welcome.
We met early Saturday morning at Grant’s place, and hopped into three cars to make the 2.5 hour drive to Saint Louis. We stopped in Hopedale to pick up a bunch of people that live there, and wanted to go along. It’s about an hour away, and several families from church live around there. So, with our cars packed out, we drove down to Saint Louis, and parked near the Arch. We went inside and stood around a while while everyone decided what to do. The people that came along to go to the Cardinals game realized that they didn’t have time to go up the Arch before their game, so five of the rest of us got tickets to go up and then toured the museum while we waited for our turn. It talks about Louis and Clark and has all kinds of direct quotes from their journals, which are hilariously misspelled, and things like covered wagons and indians and horses. Finally our time came to go up the Arch. We stood in line for a while, got an awkward group picture taken, and waited in a few more lines for a long time. An old man approached and started asking us all kinds of questions about what church and what religion we belong to, and all the normal questions. I let the other girls answer and hid my smile. Then he asked how our men look. Kyle was quite amused, since he was standing right there. Finally we packed ourselves into our little capsule of an elevator and made our way up. It was Sherri, Dina Marie, Kyle, Mara and I that chose to see the top. The elevator was so cool, since it had glass doors and you could see the workings of the Arch on the way up. After a long, creaky ride, we arrived at the top. We were supposed to have only six minutes up there, but I’m pretty sure we could have stayed up for quite a long time without being chased out. As it was, we leaned on the edge of the windows and looked at the city and talked for quite a while before we went back down. On one side we could see the river with a helicopter taking off and landing from it, and the other side had a splendid view of the city, complete with the baseball stadium so close we could see the fans filling it. It was definitely worth doing. Maybe when you guys come visit we can do that one day. Ahem.
After we came back down and met with the rest of our non-baseballers that didn’t want to go up, we decided we were starving, so we drove way across the city to a pizza place. It had big glass windows through which we could watch the cooks effortlessly toss the dough around. Pretty neat. We decided to try a pizza with “Amish chicken” on it. Regardless of the religion of the chicken, it was pretty amazing pizza. So good, in fact, that we polished off three large pizzas, all except one unfortunate piece which Sherri told the waiter to take. Luke was greatly grieved to discover it was wasted, so grieved, in fact, that the topic still regularly comes up when he is around. 🙂
After our Amish pizza, we headed back across the city to a Science center, which was basically a children’s museum, similar to the Discovery Place in Charlotte, although not quite as big if my memory is correct. We killed some time there, then met the happy baseball fans at the zoo to finish our day together. It’s a huge zoo, and a very pretty one. It would be nice to tour just as a garden, even without the animals, or for a place to have events. In fact, there was a wedding there the day we went! I got to see the giraffes at the very end of our tour, so I ended the day on a happy note. 🙂
We piled our weary selves back into the cars for the long drive home, and a stop at A&W to nourish ourselves. 2.5 hours is long when you’re thoroughly tired out, but I managed to have a good time nonetheless, although I did sleep through the last part of it.
And that is my boring description of a very fun day. It feels like a different life to get away from school and do fun things with adults that don’t need their shoes tied and their loose teeth prayed for.
Speaking of which, I had no idea that being a teacher would be such an INVOLVING job! I mean, I could have guessed, if I had used my brains a little more, I suppose, but it didn’t occur to me that I’d have to remind them to use the bathroom and dry books when they spill water on them and scold them when they burp loudly in class, and all those things! But it’s a good job, even though it’s quite exhausting. I wonder if being a mother is so hard. Probably more, only I hope I don’t have seven 7-year-olds all at once if I’m a mother.
I suppose since I’m at it, I might as well go ahead and tell you all about camping last week, especially since I need to do lesson planning right now and not blogging. If other responsibilities are pulling, blogging generally looks much more appealing.
I decided to wait and go down to the campsite Saturday afternoon with Bradley, Stacie, Sherri, and Jessica instead of going earlier so I’d have a chance to get my lesson planning good and done, and to stock up on sleep for the weekend, since a youth campout isn’t the best place to sleep, generally. So we packed ourselves into the car once again for a two hour trek. The chosen place was at a manmade lake with over two hundred campsites built next to it. The lake is built in many fingers, which is well suited for having a lot of waterfront campsites. We drove through miles of flat corn and soybean fields, and suddenly, bam, we were in the middle of a woods, (or “timber” as they call it here) complete with hills! That’s right, trees and hills!! We located our campsites as supper was being made. This is how they camp here: with EVERYTHING!! We had a trailer with extension cords and a mini fridge and lights strung up. But hey, we did sleep in tents (some of us), and at least some of our food was cooked over the fire.
After lots of hamburgers were consumed and the dishes were washed, we sat around the fire for hours, talking and laughing at each other. Somebody had taken two tiny cherry tomatoes and mixed them into the bag of peanut MnMs, which caused much merriment for those of us that didn’t happen to crunch down on one. The moon came up after a while, big and bright, so we enjoyed its path over the lake, and kept talking around the fire. I even got to watch Keldon Kennell dig out an ingrown toenail. Since they’ve discovered I like gross stuff, maybe I’ll get more offers to watch things. 🙂 At maybe 2 AM or so, I finally hauled my weary self to bed to toss and turn for a few hours on the hard and cold ground. Ah, the joys of camping.
The next morning dawned bright and cheerful, with warming sunshine for my cold bones. I was sitting by the fire, staring into it, I suppose, when Bradley says, I’ve heard that you sit and stare in the mornings, and now I finally get to see it in the flesh. HA. I hadn’t had my coffee yet, so I had a good excuse, right!?
After a leisurely breakfast (Parfaits with fresh raspberries, yum!) we gathered around the fire for a mini service, involving guitar and a bit of discussion on what God desires from us. Church was over pretty soon, and a group of people went to play volleyball while a faithful few grilled a bunch of delicious chicken for us. Since I obviously wanted so badly to play volleyball! I instead took a walk around the lake until it got too muddy, and played around on Bradley’s guitar.
After lunch our car had decided to go home pretty soon. At least, we thought we had decided, but then Bradley and Stacey went for a little walk, and Sherri found out that the decision to stay or go home early had rested on her, and she had nicely said whatever, when she wanted to stay, so we ran away and piled onto Justin’s boat for 45 more minutes of fun before going home. And oh, what fun! The sun was shining, the wind was blowing, we were bouncing on the waves, some of the guys were wakeboarding… it was great fun! It was much nicer to end the weekend sunburned and sandy and wet and laughed out than to go home early.
And that is the end. Till next time!