Wednesday, July 23, 2008


A huge sigh of relief. Ben and I got a vacation. Together. Without kids. It was amazing. I bought my mom a plane ticket, as bribery for her to come. Then we split the kids and gave two to mom and two to Ben's mom. It was much less stressful for everyone that way. I wasn't worried, because I knew everyone was well taken care of and no moms would have to go to the loony-bin when we returned!
Ben and I drove to St Louis for our first ever vacation alone (for more than just one night) since our honeymoon. It is a great city. Only 5 1/2 hours away and lots of stuff to do.We went to dinner at Mike Shannon's and then straight to the Cardinal's game and had a great time. I forgot how much I love baseball! We had great seats and saw Albert Pujols up close. (Chandler's favorite player!) Our hotel was right downtown and we walked around downtown and under the Arch after the game to check out the "nightlife". And we confirmed that we are getting old and called it a night. The next morning, after our room service breakfast, we went to tour the Arch. They have a huge museum under it. And I mean, literally "under"- underground! Then you can take a "tram" up to the top of the Arch. Yea, well, I didnt really think that thru when I agreed to it. The Arch is not very big as it gets higher. It really did not register on how we were actually going to reach the top. I did see the windows in the top and they looked awfully small. But I was thinking maybe an elevator, or lots of stairs or something. No. A space pod, I tell ya.
Amazingly small. 5 people fit in this and your head touched the rounded roof. It was a ball that we were riding in. It ratcheted us to the top and then we got out. I really had to talk to myself the whole way. There was a little girl, about 4 yrs old, in the tram with us and she was fine. So I said C'mon Gina, you can do it. Once we reached the top it was really cool up there. An amazing view. But it was, of course, sloped up there. It was not flat, you were climbing the arc of the Arch on top. Very cool.
You can actually see the bottom legs of the Arch in this picture (above).This girl probably thought I was crazy for taking her picture, but it is actually to show the arc of the floor and roof. Everyone is bent over looking out the tiny windows to the ground some 600 feet below.
For the rest of the day we just relaxed and did what we wanted, with no time schedule or nap schedule or feeding schedule! It was amazingly liberating! We went to a great restaurant recommended by my friend Rachel Ray. Ok, so she isn't my "friend" but she sure does have great taste in food!! It was called Cunetto's House of Pasta . It was delicious! Then we walked around a huge park to make room for dessert. Another place Rachel Ray recommended was The Chocolate Bar. Again, amazing. Really good chocolate drinks and desserts. Ben had this brownie with a caramelized banana on it. Crazy good!
The next day we went to another great restaurant called Rooster owned by the same guy as the chocolate bar and had a wonderful breakfast. I would totally recommend ALL of those places if you ever get to St Louis.
I even enjoyed the ride home. Five hours in a car with just your spouse is actually enjoyable. He didnt even ask "Are we there yet?" Its great to reconnect and rediscover why you married that person. I DO enjoy his company. I almost forgot how much.


6HappyHearts said...

Vaca w/o the 4 babies is a HUGE blessing!! Yea for Grandparents who are willing to watch the kiddos!!
I'm happy for you guys, you deserve it!!

kmoye said...

Awesome pics, the arch story freaks me out a bit but glad ya'll had a good time.

The Coleman Chronicles said...

I am so glad that you had a chance to get a vacation in before school starts. I know you love your kids but a vacation without them is good for you and them! Next year I will help with the babysitting!!

Your descriptions of St. Louis make me want to visit for the food and the arch-- heck, sounds good to me. Especially the Chocolate Bar!

Love to you guys

~Tara~ said...

A vacation? What is that? LOL, sounds like so much fun! Cool pics! Next time, LOL, we can meet up, I'm only 4hrs away from St.Louis and I love me some Rams!

~Tara~ said...

A vacation? What is that? LOL, sounds like so much fun! Cool pics! Next time, LOL, we can meet up, I'm only 4hrs away from St.Louis and I love me some Rams!