This weekend Bobby and I got the chance to go on a vacation by ourselves. The only time Munchkin has been away from us (aside from a movie and dinner) was the night Little Man was born and the night I went to a high school reunion. Little Man had never been away from us overnight. And, we have not been on a vacation since our honeymoon. Sure, we have gone places but they are never just focused on us. We visit family, go to weddings or reunions, or go on band trips but not anywhere by ourselves (don't get me wrong we love the these kinds of trips).
So, I earned a 2 night hotel certificate for Marriott from Pampered Chef and could travel anywhere in the United States. We thought about going to Gatlinburg since it is only about 3 and 1/2 hours away and we really miss the mountains. However, this weekend was the UT/Florida game in Knoxville. Now coming from California where the biggest thing was the Lakers when they were winning it was kind of a shock that people love these teams so much. It is almost a cult! We have friends who got married a couple of years ago the day of this game. People told them they needed to have TV's at the reception. The thing is I don't think they were kidding!
Wow, I am rambly tonight! Anyway, back to St Louis. After therapy on Friday we dropped the kiddos off at our friends Ron and Angelas. They have a little girl a little older that Munchkin and a little boy a little younger than Little Man. We got to St Louis about 7:45 and headed right to the Cheesecake Factory. That was kind of my birthday dinner. Afterwards we headed to the Residence Inn to check in. I highly recommend this hotel! The staff was really friendly and extremely helpful and our room was really comfy. Pampered Chef provided us with a Studio Suite. There was a full kitchen, a sitting area with a fireplace, a king size bed and a separate bathroom area. After checking in we headed back to the movie theatre. The one movie left playing was Black Dahlia. Not a movie we would recommend. Thankfully the guy only charged us for 1 ticket. He rang it up for both but it only charged for one.
After sleeping in for the first time in 4 years we got breakfast at the buffet. The food was really good. Bobby being the hotel waffle connoisseur said they were really fluffy!
We got directions to the arch, grabbed our sun glasses and took off. When we got out of the car there was a ticket booth where a few people were in line. The girl at the counter told us we could also buy tickets inside the arch. After waiting in line to get through security there was a line of about 300 people waiting to buy tickets. I stayed in the big line while Bobby ran back out to buy tickets. Apparently we got some of the last tickets before they started limiting them. When we asked why they stopped selling tickets the guy told us that they were having some technical difficulties with one of the trams. When we told him when our ticket time was he said to go ahead and go so he could keep the line short. After seeing the spectacular view of St Louis all the way out to St Charles we got on the South tram (aka space pods) and waited to get moving. We got stuck at the top of the arch for about 5 minutes. A voice kept coming over the speaker saying things like: we realize the doors are not opening we are working on the problem and will get you our as soon as possible, and we are having technical difficulties and will get you moving shortly. Now this right here is for our friends over at addisonrd. Apparently the Gateway Arch is a PC Arch and not a Mac Arch. The reason Bobby decided this was the case is because all of a sudden the lights went off and came back on and we started moving. We guessed we just had to reboot and everything was fine! The nice voice didn't bother to tell us we were going to start moving so we were a little freaked out.
After the Arch experience we went and found a letterbox that was close by and then to the City Museum. Some friends of our told us about this museum and really liked it. It was interesting but both of us were hungry when we got there and Bobby gets grumpy when he is hungry. So, he was not as impressed as he could have been. His big comment was "My life is full of chaos, and then there is this place!" Most likely if our kids were a few years older and had been with us he probably would have like it more.
Since Salient travels through St Louis quite a bit Bobby thought he could find a good movie theatre and a Red Robin. We didn't really have a plan and we love Red Robin so we started driving to where he thought it was. When he decided he had no idea where we were we found a mall exit that had a great movie theatre. He bought tickets for the movie The Illusionist and immediately realized he thought he bought tickets for Prestige. As the movie started he leaned over and told me if that movie stunk we could go next door and watch Invincible. But, it turned out to be really good! As luck would have it, there was a Red Robin at the exit. Yum!
The next day when we went to pick the kids up Little Man was thrilled to see us but he did fantastic. He didn't like going to bed and hated his bath but overall did really well. Munchkin was not as happy to see us but she and our friends daughter had so much fun they didn't want it to end.
It was so nice to have that weekend together and now that we know the kids can handle it hopefully we will get to do it more often. And, who knew St Louis was so cool!