Volume 1 - Let's Get the Hard Stuff Over First
Volume 2 - Iowa Family Time
Volume 3 - St Louis
Today I'm writing about our time in St Louis with Paul and Sarahlynn and the girls. I want to be completely honest about this - it's hard for us to visit their house, and it's not their fault. Or ours. Or anyone's really. Every time we go out there we think more and more about relocating there, which makes it a little hard to come home. Moving right along...
We arrived at their home just as Ellie and Ada were finishing up their lunch and getting ready for their naps. After a two minute "huh" from Abby as she adjusted to standing after sitting for a few hours, Sarahlynn took all three girls to Ellie's room for a quick story before their naps. Abby assumed, almost literally, the exact same position as the moments that we left St Louis at Christmas time: playing along the left side of Ellie's room, draped in beads! Too cute.
We had a great time catching up with some of P&S's friends for dinner the day that we arrived. I love pizza. I love good people. Get me good pizza and good people and I'm one of the happiest guys around. (Their little boy is incredibly cute, too. I was just glad that Abby did not crash him over on her way around the couches!)
A while back I had hatched an idea while at Ikea - they have a three-picture-frame that I have always wanted to put in our house, but never found a place/need for. (Ask Anny - I'm anti-hanging for the most part, but only at our house.) Since this is the third summer that Abby, Ellie and Ada have seen each other, and we have had professional pictures done the last two summers, we should get the frame and do another photo shoot, and our window really left only Thursday morning. It was hard to get all three girls, each with very different attention spans, facing the same way and smiling at the same time. While the very last shot was the best, I am putting this one up because it totally captures Abby lately - laid back and letting others do the hard work:
On Thursday evening we took a trip out to a local wildlife refuge (I wish I knew the name) where they do not allow guns, pets or running. I've been to places that do not allow the first two, but I have never been to a park that did not allow running. It is a beautiful facility - paved paths through the woods and hills were perfect, though a bit slippery from the downpour just prior to our arrival. I am pretty sure that each of us, parents and children slipped, though Sarahlynn came out the worst by tweaking her knee. I did manage to nail a perfect picture of a leaf, but something in the background messed up my shot:
So on Friday we left from St Louis to Iowa, but came back to St Louis on Sunday for a few more hours to be able to spend with Ellie and Sarahlynn, as they did not make the trip because of an important obligation at home. We arrived to a wonderfully light dinner (after eating in Iowa, it was just right!) and chatted the night away once the girls were asleep.
Our plan for Monday was very fluid - our only real travel goal was to make it to Columbus, OH, on our first day of travel, because it is pretty much half way and would make our second day easier. In the morning we decided to tag along to chit chat while Ellie had swim lessons, and then spend a few minutes in the pool afterwards. It ended up that we played in the pool for almost an hour!
After a lunch of Imo's Pizza (is there anything better?!?) we finished loading up the car and hit the road.
In retrospect of the whole trip, the drive from DC suburbs to St Louis suburbs is a long one, but a fairly easy to do trip. We will be pretty quick to make this trip again in the future, no matter which direction we might be headed.