Monday, June 11, 2012

Meet Me in St. Louie (was there any other title? Honestly?)

A month or so ago I told Chup I thought we should take the kids to see their Umi and Grandpa in St. Louis. My kids were drawing a blank when it came to knowing their Clark Grandparents. They were all really young when my parents left for their LDS mission and it'll be another year until they return home to Utah. Plus, as it turns out, my children are all adventurists (which makes me like them even more).

But Chup wasn't sold on the idea of four plane tickets purchased with his hard earned miles and two plane rides of two and a half hour each with three children. I told him I'd give it a few days to see if my incessant pull to head out Midwest went away.

It didn't.

So Chup bought the tickets and we were St. Louis-bound. From the moment we arrived last Monday we played to a non-stop tune of discovery. I mean, we didn't stop motion for five days until we were home in Utah safely crashed into our beds. Three of us came home sick, worn out from enjoyment, lifeless and more zombie then living. But not Chup, he's still bouncing about.

I wasn't going to make a travelogue of our family trip, but this morning I read a letter from my nephew on his LDS mission in Japan, he said,

"[There is] importance of showing our gratitude to God by writing things down."

And I really want God to know grateful I was for this trip, how grateful I am to believe in a Heavenly Parent who wants his children to enjoy themselves here in this little cocoon of mortality.

So, here it is, our trip to the St. Lou:

Chup is very OCD about plane rides, he's grown accustomed to the wanton ways of first class. Warm, wet towels, that sort. Flying with children in coach with only the choices of peanuts or pretzels are subjects of nightmares to this man, so it's a good thing our seating arrangement worked in his favor.

His side of the aisle:

My side:

But the other thing about Chup and flying is his OCD tendency to over-prepare, thus he produced a backpack of wonders including snacks, drinks, fish crackers, toys and gum balls. This made him like a magnet to Ever and most of the flight looked like this:

How did Erin enjoy her first flight?
We can safely say it was pleasurable for her:
Once we landed Ever took no time in delving into her charms, Umi and Grandpa were smitten at once.
They never had a chance:
Ok, this is going to take forever if I have already posted FIVE pictures of just the airplane ride/airport.
Let's get moving.

The next day we went to Butterfly House, a tropical home to 80 species of nature's winged art. I think Ever and Erin loved the butterflies most, but Anson was surprisingly intrigued my the exhibits about bugs, specifically the cockroaches. Is this a gender thing? What is this? Umi then took us over to the St. Louis Carousel and bought us all tickets to ride. Even though she said it made her a little sick to go around and then put her finger in her mouth like she was gagging, she still hopped on.
Ums, what a sport!

Anson told me his horse was named "Smoke"
I said, "Smokey?"
He said, "Nope, Smoke."

Quite a looker, that Smoke:
 I think we can safely say Erin's ride on the carousel was at least somewhat more enjoyable than her flight. Cute little darling, it's like she doesn't even mind I bought her a Target top two sizes too big.
After we made the rounds (up and down too) we let the children pick one thing in the gift shop (as the tourists do), Anson helped himself to a giant lollipop. Ever fueled her obsession with pandas and picked out a fluffy stuffed one with an admittedly empathetic face--the sort of stuffed animal you could tell your biggest dreams and pressing fears to night after night--who knew? I've never liked stuffed animals myself. Anyway, this is the moment wherein Ever realizes she CHOSE POORLY.
Wowee! This post is taking forever to write. I know I claim professional status when it comes to blogging, but this Mommy Blogging about the Family Trip is some serious time consumption. Hats off ladies! It's either my chest bursts and my baby goes hungry, or I make this the China Wall of posts.

How about I post more tomorrow? Maybe Thursday too? Goodness how long will this last? (Also, Wednesday, Chup will reveal his Father's Day Present Guide. I know you're already on my back about it, sorry it's late!)

*all pics from Chup's Instagram account: Christ8pher