Saturday, July 13, 2013

On the road- day four and five

Our travels according to Clair...
Day 4. We trudged through the rest of Kansas and into Missouri. Missouri was delightful with its green fields and diverse roadkill. Deer, turkey, and the occasional armadillo. Our destination for the day was St. Louis.  My grandfather's sister lives there and at 80 years old, she was as funny and sweet as ever.  Her home was beautiful, filled with antiques from her mother.  As I looked around at her collections, I was surprised to see many things similar to the antiques I grew up with.  Staffashire dogs, cinnibar dishes, toby mugs.  Turns out, my mom had subconsciously filled her home with things she had grown up with. As I said, antiques.  And you already know we are travelling with toddlers. Sooo, my sister and I got a room, at the Best Western of course, and my mom and the oldest girls stayed with Aunt Georgeann. Here's how our evening went: Room service, yay!  Cheesecake with strawberry sauce, yay! Clumsy kids, sauce in the air! Baby boy crying, strawberry ooze streaming down his face and all over the surrounding furniture and people, ie my pjs. I slept in a towel, on strawberry scented sheets.
 My great Aunt Georgeann and mom
Day 5. The road to Illinois was broken by a gigantic pink elephant looming into the horizon. You better believe we stopped for that!  It was an antique store with funky vintage attractions living on the lawn.  A huge green space ship, a handsome 70ft shirtless man enjoying an ice cream.  And an actual ice cream shop in the shape of an ice cream cone. We next drove to Springfield to visit where Abe Lincoln lived. The city itself was not impressive so we figured we'd forgo seeing Abe's home and just head straight to Chicago but we knew if we didn't stop we would have regretted it later. This was something important for my mom to see so we're glad we made it happen. The kids ran around, the moms looked at the beautiful historical buildings of our past president and we got a few fun souvenirs along the way.
Next stop was Chicago, land of 1000 joggers.  Seriously. The fog was so thick the tops of buildings apperied to be floating.  And yet, people were out jogging.  And playing volleyball. On a Monday evening!  In the blinding fog! Now that says something about the perseverance of this town.  Not so much about our own.  We were once again tired and hungry.  Through most of the trip the babies have been well entertained, trading off their aggravations, one baby crying at a time.  And the big girls in the back have behaved like saints. Watching movies, reading or listening to music, playing peekaboo when the little kiddos get restless. But we had all hit our limit tonight. A quick scan of the GPS told us that there was a pub nearby and I called ahead to make sure they were kid friendly, cause man we had kids with some pent up energy.   The pub was called Bridget McNeill's and Chef Patrick was a big Irish fellow who took a natural liking to Miles, a fellow redhead.  The kids played with blocks, while the adults nursed their beers.  When dinner came, we feasted on gourmet mac and cheese, bbq pulled pork sliders, and Margarita pizza. Food was suburb, costumer service was amazing, best of all kids got to be themselves and nobody complained.  Chef would come around and play with the kids, stopping once to sit and chat. This was the perfect ending to a long day.

 So, this photo doesn't even do what we saw justice! The streets were PACKED with joggers but it give you an idea of how thick the fog was.
Sleepy walk back to Aunt Jeanies after stuffing out faces with beer and food from the pub.

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