St. Louis Museum of Transportation

Xander has a love for all modes of transportation… airplanes, cars, and especially trains! So I thought it was high time we checked out the local Museum of Transportation. If you google Museum of Transportation, the St. Louis Museum will come up first. That’s because St. Louis has the BEST museums! Xander nearly burst with excitement when he saw all the huge trains. Despite the nearly freezing temperatures and gray sky, he skipped and hopped along pointing out all the trains on display outside. They have  a TON! A couple trains can be entered, too, which Xander loved. One train he called ‘the cave’ so he kept telling us: ‘I want the cave!’ Admission to the museum is $4 per person and includes admission to an indoor (less hands-on) car exhibit. It was a great way to spend an hour. Highlights below. All the photos can be viewed on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/leighuf/sets/72157623089501238/

Train Engine

Xander, the conductor!

the "silver charger"

inside the 'cave'

many of these historic trains were terribly rusted.

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Busy!

It’s been action-packed here in the Mills household. A couple weekends ago Nick and I went to Shakespeare in the Park with a picnic basket full of wine, cheese, wraps, and Giada’s yummy caramel espresso bars. The weather was perfect (actually a bit cool) and we scored awesome blanket space (directly center stage) by befriending the art director prior to the start of the performance of The Merry Wives of Windsor. It was a good time. Then the next day we took Xander over to Grant’s Farm, a (free) park run by Anheuser-Busch. Xander loved riding the tram (aka ‘choo choo’) and looking at all the exotic animals. He rode the carousal, fed baby goats a bottle of milk, and, and tasted Dippin Dots for the first time. And then last weekend, for Nick’s 33rd birthday and Father’s Day, I planned a secret get away weekend for our little family of three. It was our first solo vacation as we usually travel with friends and/or family. I rented a beautiful condo at the Lake of the Ozarks, in Osage Beach, for 2 nights.  On the way down, we stopped at Hermann, MO (in the heart of wine country) to visit a microbrewery brewery called the Tin Mill. I emailed the brewery and arranged for Nick to meet with the brewer. Hermann is a beautiful little town and I hope to return one day and experience the Hermann wine trail.

En route to Osage Beach we drove through Jefferson City, the state capitol. We didn’t stop but were able to see all the government buildings from the highway. We arrived in Osage Beach in the mid afternoon and were relieved to find a Walmart (as I had forgotten to park Xander’s pack n play bed. Whoops!) Our lakeside condo was perfectly located in the heart of all the action. The owner upgraded us to her 3 bedroom, 2 bath condo so we had plenty of space. The balcony was huge and offered us many hours of boat-gazing. Xander loved listening to the race boats and pointing them out. While in Osage we visited local state parks, ate out a couple times, and enjoyed the many amenities of the condo (like the lazy river!!). It was a wonderful weekend and I can’t wait to go back. To view all our photos from the weekend at the lake, click HERE.

PS: If you live in the St. Louis area, here’s a link to the condo we rented: http://condoatlandsend.com/. The owner, Michelle, is awesome. She has a 2 bedroom and a 3 bedroom available to rent.

feeding the goats at Grants Farm

feeding the goats at Grant's Farm

beer sampler at the Tin Mill

beer sampler at the Tin Mill

one of the amenities at our condo-- kiddie splash area!

one of the amenities at our condo-- kiddie splash area!

view

view

 checking out the natural bridge at Ha Ha Tonk state park

checking out the natural bridge at Ha Ha Tonk state park

the Mills

the Mills

Lafayette Home & Garden Tour Highlights

This morning our little family of three headed downtown to check out the 40th Annual Lafayette Square Spring House and Garden Tour. Lafayette Square is an adorable historic area with fun restaurants and bars (my favorite is the Chocolate Bar where they serve a variety of dessert style martinis and beers. Yes, beers.) and an array of colorful Victorian style town homes and mansions. I’ve always wanted to check out this yearly event so this year, I marked it on my calendar and made sure to go! We got there right after 10am, the opening time, and secured a front row parking spot… amazing luck Nick has. Then the ticket guy gave me a free ticket (by mistake not sure… or maybe I batted my eyelashes. hehe) so Nick actually came along too. Originally Nick and Xander were going to check out the park and maybe take a horse and carriage ride. So, with a free $18 dollar ticket in hand, Nick and Xander accompanied me inside a few of the homes on the walking tour.

Lafayette homes are extremely colorful… especially the exterior trims and doors. Many of the homes were built in the 1800s and boast originial features. I especially liked the random ‘oddities’ like bizarre walkways or strange stone shapes on stairways or on the sides of the houses. Overall I was disappointed in the gardens but a couple were inspiring.  Most of the homes were decorated with antiques, which isn’t my style, but it was interesting to look at. My favorite interiors were the those of the historically restored homes. I loved seeing originial lighting, stained glass, flooring, and ceiling woodwork. To view all my photos, click HERE.

For those of you in the St. Louis area:

Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 on tour weekend, and may be purchased by calling 314 772-5724 using Visa or Mastercard or by using the “Buy Now” button at the right.  Group Sales of 20 or more are $12.  Children under 12 accompanied by an adult are free.

fun wall planter

fun wall planter

stunning stained glass & banister

stunning stained glass & banister

Lafayette Square Home

Lafayette Square Home

oddity

oddity

another oddity

another oddity