Missouri via Instagram
This year, due to busy schedules and whatnot, we decided to take our Summer vacation at our neighboring state of Missouri. At first, it felt like we might be cheating ourselves (and the kids) out of a wonderful experience, but soon enough we discovered two things: 1. there is LOADS to see and do in Missouri, and 2. the kids really don't require much to have the time of their life. It helped that my sister and her family were also there for a conference, so we got to spend a lot of QT with their kids.
I did bring my big camera, but duh, I forgot the charger back at the office, so I relied on my trusty old iPhone and my new favorite app, Instagram, to document our travels.
The bulk of our vacation was spent like this...
...which was fine by me because my biggest wish was to have a stress-free trip. Mission accomplished! I caught up on all the family gossip while working on my tan and watching the kids splash around in the water.
But, like I said, Missouri has LOTS of to offer. In between walking trips to Cheesecake Factory (yes, we had one that close to us!) and occasional drives to Starbucks, we did manage to catch a few local attractions and do a little sightseeing.
We were lucky enough to be able to catch the Lantern Festival at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Now, if you have been a long time reader of my blog, then you already know how much of a fan I am of MoBo... so much so that I based a whole fabric collection on it! But the Chinese Lantern Festival takes the gardens to a whole other level of awesomeness!
We got there at 7 p.m. (an hour before they light up the lanterns) and were greeted by this:
Inside the park, we new it was gonna be awesome when we saw this:
And then it got dark and they lit up the lanterns and ohhhhh myyyyy!
I did bring my big camera into the park and got a few dozen shots before the battery died, so if I get a chance I might do a whole post just on this show later on, but if you are in the St. Louis area this Summer, do check it out! It was AMAZING!!!
The following day, we headed about 60 miles south to the Meramec Caverns... another must see in my book!
Yes, this photo was taken with my phone, believe it or not! Looks like a postcard, no?
It is that beautiful in there. I have tons more, but after a while they start looking quite repetitive, so I decided to keep it short & simple. ;)
We took a boat tour along the Meramec River and that was so much fun too.
Sydney was representing that day. (yes, I did take a picture of my 7 year old's butt with Instagram!) haha
The breeze was cool on the boat, even though the temps that day were in the high 90s!
The following day, we visited a local indie fabric shop, Fabric Nosherie (a.k.a. "The Nosh") and chatted it up with owner, Shannon. (below photo courtesy of Shannon)
This shop was seriously one of the coolest places I have stepped foot in. Just take a peek...
I found out while I was there that Laura Gunn was also in town and was scheduled to visit The Nosh that day. We seriously missed each other by about 2 hours... waaaaah! We are definitely planning a little something something for later on this year, though. Stay tuned!
And, of course, we couldn't leave St. Louis without spending a long and crazy afternoon at the City Museum. I've also blogged about this place before (oh my, the kids were so tiny the first time we went!)... total visual overload here!!!
After a long awaited trip to Ted Drewes, we headed back home ... full bellies, happy hearts and head full of great memories. This was one of our best vacations yet!
Where are you spending your Summer vaca??