Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Five Favorites - Travel Edition

If you've been following along, you know we just returned from a wonderful time in St. Louis. Here are the five favorites, travel edition:
1. Mountains and Hills
Let's face it, if you're born in the flatlands, it's what you know. Things like hills and very large hills ;0) make you a little queasy, especially in the snow and other foul weather (this is what my friends tell me). For me, though, there is nothing more mind-numbing than ten hours of this.
Yes, the sky is huge and beautiful but it makes me want to drive 120 mph. The policemen frown on that for some reason.
2. "City Playgrounds"
Having grown up in the country, I do appreciate the availability of acres on which you can let your children run free. Being citified now, I appreciate even more the opportunities for us to stretch our legs.
Forest Park - like South Park and North Park but bigger and FLAT. You can see them wherever they run! 

I am in love with this hallway outside of our hotel room. It BEGGED for a little kid footrace so, the day we left, they were off!
3. Man's Amazing Tributes to God
On our trip we were fortunate enough visit two shrines. Both beautiful in different ways.
Our Lady of the Snows is special to me because DH and I lit a candle there in 2004 to pray for a baby. It's like our native Levoca ;0)

The Shrine of St. Joseph is an AMAZING place. The statuary alone is breathtaking. The fact that it is the site of the second miracle attributed to St. Peter Claver makes it extra awesome. We were lucky enough to have a private tour from the man who works in the rectory. It was like All Saints Day revisited.

Called the "Altar of Answered Prayers" - completely carved from wood (and the "drapes" on the sides are painted wood)

Above the altar are King David, St. Joachim, Our Lady, St. Anne and Abraham

Love my little priest-to-be ;0)
4. Friends
I'm sort of sad when I think that most of our friends with similar values and ways of raising children have moved. Then I think of how great it is that we can have these field trips all over the country!
backyard whiffle ball and

leaf jumping

we are so blessed to have such wonderful friends! (can you tell who needed a nap?)
5. My Adventurous 5
Without these brave little people, none of this could happen. They are always up for a new adventure.
Hotels are always fun (but I give a big FAIL to Nickelodeon and Disney Jr. for evening programming...we watched the Food Network -mama was happy)

some were scared

and some were REALLY scared

but we made it to the top!

it's so cool to see the whole city and county (one benefit of FLAT)

this is post-ride in the capsule...when they realized it was all ok

the jewel box in Forest Park

she only does solo poses...I think it was the tutu

Where will we go to next? (we need a bigger van. the girls wanted to come along)
Mostly I am so very thankful for our multitude of blessings. Having the four days to work through the trials and successes as a family was the most valuable part of the whole exercise.
Oh, and my very favorite part was returning home to my well-rested husband. We are so blessed!


  1. Looks like a fun time had by all! Beautiful churches. And I didn't realize Pat didn't come with you? If not, that's crazy, and I commend you! ;^)

    And make sure you add the cheese state to your vacation rotation! We'd love a visit from the Roccos in these wide open spaces! (we're not *quite* as flat here)

  2. Sue, this looks like the vacation I'll be taking starting Sunday. We are headed to the Arch and Our Lady of the Snows. The latter will have Christmas lights. I had no idea the St. Joseph shrine existed. Of course, I was not Catholic when I lived there and it is in a part of town I tried to avoid. Might have to check it out. Looking forward to my own mind numbing 10 hours.