I’m on a plane again. This time I am flying home from our little kid-free adventure in the St. Louis area for my husband’s cousin’s wedding.
We had a wonderful time. My refrain for the weekend seemed to be “I don’t have any responsibilities at all this weekend!” And that was a beautiful thing.
I already shared my giddy story about the flight to St. Louis. And it just kept on like that all weekend.
We stayed at a Drury Inn and I don’t think I could have been more impressed.
Every single employee was cheerful and friendly and the hotel includes a lot of ‘extras’ like sodas and popcorn, a massive DVD borrowing library, hot food and evening drinks or cocktails, a complete hot breakfast, free Internet and free long distance in the room price. Plus, after check out, we wanted to explore downtown near a different Drury Inn location. The gentleman at the desk called that location and arranged for us to check our luggage there while we went exploring! How nice was that?!
As impressed as I was with the hotel, what really made our weekend was just relaxing, visiting and celebrating with family.
We just sat around and visited and caught up. At one point it occurred to me that not one person had a mobile device out to check texts, emails or the web about anything. I was even embarrassed to step away to make a check-in call to my kids. It was wonderful to really visit with everyone without the distraction of anyone answering a text or a business call or even any other kind of call. We were all completely there, listening to each other and enjoying each other’s company.
My husband’s aunt and uncle told us stories about their foreign exchange students from the past. (Since we are now hosting our second foreign exchange daughter, this was of particular interest to me.) We talked about what our kids have been up to and how everyone’s summer has been. We talked about everything and yet nothing… We just connected and enjoyed being together. The fact that the weather was unbelievably gorgeous didn’t hurt.
The wedding was, of course, wonderful. It was unassuming, meaningful, and a lot of fun. I love that the bride made all the invitations and programs herself and I loved how the wedding and reception held so many personal touches. Their glittery frosting-free wedding cake was delicious and beautiful. I don’t know that my phone camera did it justice, so you’ll just have to trust it looked even better than this:
I explored the famous St. Louis Arch up close, but decided against waiting in a long line to buy a ticket for the ride up to the top. It is a beautiful, shimmering structure and just admiring it from the outside (this time) was enough for me.
Plus, my brother-in-law mentioned that some day he would Ike to go to a baseball game in the new Busch Stadium and there happened to be a game on that day.
We walked over to the stadium and he bought us Standing Room Only tickets and we watched the St. Cardinals play the Cincinnati Reds while the wind blew our hair and the sun shined. Of course we indulged in hot dogs and pretzels and just enjoyed being outside. And he loved the baseball.
Pretty soon it was time to head for the airport, so we strolled back to the hotel and climbed into a taxi they had already arranged for us. (Have I told you how impressed I have become with the Drury Inns chain?)
A perfect day. A beautiful weekend. And I still have tomorrow to enjoy with my husband and children. Good stuff!
If you are planning a trip for the family to St. Louis, check out my the MomsTravelTales Destination Snapshot: St. Louis to learn about other great hotels and thing to do there with the kids.Filed under Missouri | Comment (1)
Want a quick mom’s eye view on a destination? MomsTravelTales.com has you covered with our new collection of Mom-servations on destinations across the globe.
I’m especially excited to read this Destination Snapshot myself as we have a trip to St. Louis coming up in just a few short weeks. I’m quite thankful to our friends Pam and Marc and for sharing it with us! They have two adorable girls and really know family travel. You might have read Pam’s Destination Snapshot on their hometown of Memphis.
Here’s what they had to share about St. Louis:
City or town name:
St. Louis, Missouri
Is there an airport there? If not, what is the nearest airport and how far away is it?
Yes – Hub for American Airlines
Is this a place you have visited more than once? If so, what keeps you coming back?
We went there for our first time recently, but it is a popular trip for many families we know and we plan to go back soon.
What makes this place great for families to visit?
There are lots of affordable things to do without the hassle of huge crowds.
How long should a family plan to stay to hit the highlights?
A family can hit the highlights in an extended weekend, but there is enough to do to spend a week or more.
What are some of the fun things to do? What were your favorites? Why? What ages would these spots appeal to?
For kids there are lots of great choices.
1) The children’s museum is called The Magic House and it has great hands-on experiences for the kids.
2) If your kids want a place to really climb, learn and get out some energy all while learning check out the website for The City Museum.
3) The highlight of our trip was Grant’s Farm. Admission is free. It is a combination of a zoo and a petting farm with a little bit of civil war time education mixed in.
4) The St Louis Zoo also had free admission and the insider tip is if you get there early you can park on the street and park for free. It is a really good zoo for the exhibits, but if you have small ones, rent a stroller. It is very spread out compared to some zoos.
5) The St. Louis Science Center is near the zoo. It has an IMAX theater, a planetarium and lots of exhibits.
6) About 20 minutes outside of the city there is a Six Flags park also.
There is also the famous St. Louis Arch. There are trips where you can go in it which our kids did not want to try, but it is a sight to see and you can walk up and touch it, take pictures with it, and the like.
What family-friendly places to eat would you recommend? Anything special about them?
We ate breakfast and dinner in the hotel and lunch at the activities.
What hotels or other places to stay can you recommend?
We stayed at the Drury Plaza Hotel at the Arch, which was the #1 rated hotel rated by the reviewers at Tripadvisor.com and they were right on target. The room rates could be under $100, but we splurged for a two room suite with two queen beds for $148, which included an awesome breakfast, afternoon snacks (chips, carrots, fresh popcorn, etc.), and 3 alcoholic drinks for the grownups, soft drinks, indoor pool, and health club. There is a family friendly restaurant on site that is about the same as a Friday’s, Ruby Tuesday’s, Applebee’s. The highlight of the trip for our 5 year old was the breakfast buffet with so many choices.
You can walk two blocks to the arch or to the baseball park. They even have indoor parking.
There are a few other Drury places around town that are highly rated. There is a Four Seasons which comes recommended from friends as well.Filed under Destination Snaphots, Missouri | Comments Off