15 August 2010

Family Vacation in St. Louis

This year's big Akins family vacation was just a hop, skip, and a jump away (for us) in our friendly neighbor to the east - St. Louis. We hit as many highlights as the 12 of us could in a week (including Trader Joe's where I first learned of this St. Louis specialty - pretzel bread!).

bump shot at the arch

Sergio, my aunt Jetta, and three of the four kiddos journeyed to the top of the arch in those tiny little washing machines. (The Claustrophobia kept me from enjoying a ride in one of those when I wasn't pregnant - I didn't think I'd enjoy one much now that I take up even more room.) The rest of us stayed below and watched the documentary about how it was built and bought nostalgic bits at the 'mercantile shop.'

We all had a blast at The Magic House, had more chaotic fun at The City Museum and enjoyed a great time on our hot little excursion to something called "The Awakening."

Hollis and the Beanstalk (The Magic House)

musical (literally) chairs (The Magic House)

clowning around (City Museum)

Reuben on the run (City Museum)

Ling and the man who is "Awakening" (artist: J. Seward Johnson)

Minli says "thumbs up!"

And the kids LOVED (sarcasm) the Cahokia Mounds in Illinois, the site of the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilization north of Mexico and an UNESCO World Heritage Site. In all seriousness, it was a pretty amazing place to see. And actually, (no sarcasm) there were some things the kids enjoyed; perhaps not the mounds themselves, but the learning center is pretty well equipped with lots of interesting, prehistoric things to see.

Papa atop Monks Mound - the largest of the Cahokia Mounds. Curiously, Monsanto is in the background on the left.

In addition to ancient things above ground, we saw some incredibly ancient things below ground, too, at Meramac Cavern. The Claustrophobia didn't get to me here, nor to my dad, I don't think. We all enjoyed our long but cold tour (and it was hard to complain about the tour being cold, given how hot it was the rest of the week).

Ling and Tyler inside Meramac Cavern

And when we weren't out and about, we were all happy to hang out, make duct tape wallets, read, eat, chat, fiddle with our iPhones and play Scrabble. Or Bananagrams. Or Jenga.

Sergio teaching the kids Scrabble

Or hang out and watch movies...


Guy Gadbois said...

I think the picture of Reuben with his hands in his hair, obviously exasperated at his rack of 5 Es, a J & a V is hilarious.

Barleywhiner said...

I recommend the City Museum to everybody I know with kids, when they say they are going to St. Louis. It's pretty hard to describe what it actually is though!

Emily said...

Believe it or not, I think Reuben might have one that game - even with 5 Es on that rack.

City Museum is definitely unlike any other place and hard to describe!