July 30, 2010

On Being Tourists

With our wonderful house hosts being out of town, we have been left to our own imaginations as to ways to occupy our time in a new place this week.  I has been, in a word, insanity!

We have visited five malls.  Really, five different malls.  And Target and the grocery store too, come to think of it.  Lots of shopping.  The weather has been either really hot or really wet (as it is right now), and we have been trying to watch out money that goes out.  With that in mind we have been very sure to not eat at a sit-down restaurant, and to eat at least two of our three meals a day at home.  Bringing our own snacks on outings has helped on that front, too.

Since we are not really hobos (sorry to any hobos out there reading my blog, your life is incredibly hard and I hate to use you as an example, but really, it's the truth) we could not make our time all about going to shopping malls or bus depots to stay cool, so we headed out on other adventures, too!  Adventures like...

We went to the St Louis Zoo one morning before the crowds or the heat arrived.  As it turns out around here, the zoo is free, but the "extras" like the Children's Zoo and Carousel are not, unless you are there during the first hour.  Since we are early risers, we got there in time to catch the Children's Zoo which has inside and outside fun, and was a great choice for us.  Overall, it is a really fun zoo.  It has lots of history, and lots and lots of acreage to cover.  We have been twice now and have only gotten to about a third on each visit.  We might have to head there again in the coming weeks to finish it off!  Abby's favorite part is the penguins, but I didn't get a picture of the penguins on this trip, so... She also loved brushing the goats in the Children's Zoo:

While Anny went to meet with one of her new co-workers, Abby and I headed over to The Museum of Transportation, which is just around the corner from the house.  We will probably buy a year-long pass because of both the affordability of it and the closeness to where we are.  It's small and focuses much more on trains and cars than other types of transportation, but it's the Mid West and that is the deal.  Abby was SO small around the trains, and here is an example:

Yesterday we went to the Budweiser Brewery for the Tour.  We had a really good group of folks, and a fairly small one at that!  I think there were about a dozen people, but we saw another group that was at least 30 people, which means that by the time you sit to listen, they have to move you quickly on so that the next group can come through.  They are very clockwork.  Abby was REALLY good for the tour, which was awesome for all of us.  She loved the horses, of course, but also liked to just be on "the big walk" from spot to spot.  I was really impressed with how ornate all of, well, all of EVERYTHING was in the factory.  There are four (or five?) chandeliers that stretch for three floors of one of the buildings, and the picture below is of the classic AB Eagle.  This is a room that has use.  It is a work room.  And it is incredibly decorated!

When Anny was talking with her new-co-worker (see above) they planned an outing for today to The Butterfly House.  Amanda (co-worker) has a 15 month old daughter, so meeting up there was a perfect idea!  As it turns out, another teacher friend with a 2+ year old daughter came along too, and it really was a great time!  The girls were really good, the butterflies were plentiful and the laughter was too.  I only got one picture of Abby, but several of the butterflies.  Check this one out:

We have had fun, but are very much looking forward the return of the cousins and their parents tomorrow!  This is a sampling of pictures, for the record, and you can find more HERE!


  1. Wow, so cool that you're finding such fun and interesting thigs to do! By the way, it looks, from the photo, that you're letting Abby play chicken on the train tracks... Who's gonna call CPS??

  2. Sounds like you've been filling up your time nicely! Love the butterfly picture! Jealous of the free zoo! We'd be there all the time if one was near us!

  3. I love the remark about hobos, and then the follow-up picture of Abby roaming the train tracks. That's pretty much awesome.