Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Weekend in St. Louis

Olivia on the slide at the fabulous City Museum in St. Louis, MO (In this picture, Olivia looks so much like my sister, Sarah, did at this age!).

This past weekend, we drove to St. Louis, MO to pick up Matt's vehicle (shipped from Portugal). We decided to spend some time in the city and were pleasantly surprised by all the city had to offer! Of course, we made a stop at the Arch.

Lila paints a picture (at City Museum) in her pretty bonnet, acquired at a shop in the Arch.

I had visited St. Louis with my family as a teenager. However, I was still too young to realize what a family-friendly city it is! It's also becoming a "local" city. While eating at a local brewery, I spotted a little flier encouraging visitors and locals to, "Buy Local, spend wisely...the dollars you spend with locally owned independents keep city and county neighborhoods distinctive, vibrant, and stable."

I support this choice 100%. Here in Kansas, I try to buy local whenever possible. Whether it be locally-owned eateries or stores (I love The Pot Rack- a family-owned kitchen store here in Leavenworth). Sometimes I know I'm spending a bit more money than I would if I bought it online. But, I'm supporting not only the owners of the store or restaurant, who I often even get to meet, and offer suggestions or products I'd like to see them carry, but also the local community. St. Louis has an online Community Buying Guide. I wish each county had one! Even my husband, who is always telling me, "Economics will ALWAYS win," does, for the most part, support my locavore ways.

I meant for this to be the post header picture. The connection is so slow, it won't move the picture!

The best family photo we've gotten in a long time - despite Olivia's lack of desire to be photographed in the arch and Lila's lost hair tie.

I know we'll go back to St. Louis. There are a few more local breweries that we'd like to tour and so much more to do with families. It's a four-hour drive from our home here in Kansas and it's worth it! We saved on gas with our Prius. At one point, we averaged 51.6 MPG (which, if you're wondering, we have fit two Britax car seats and one booster in the back seats! It may not be the perfect carpooling car, but, it's perfect for a family of five to use on trips and around town. I truly believe there is no need for so many families to have two huge gas guzzlers - but, hey, that's the World According to Natalie!

If you're one of our friends already here in Leavenworth or moving here soon, I highly recommend spending some time in St. Louis!


Jay and Amie said...

Hey Nat - I love St. Louis! Used to travel there (and KC) for business when I was at the Teddy Bear Co.

The Budweiser Brewery is "local" by the way :) Did that tour by myself one trip. Not a huge fan of the beer but the tour was pretty good.

Angie said...

The zoo and art museum are free. Also, try Laumier sculpture park, I love it.

The Matthaidess' said...

Looks like you guys had a lot of fun! I haven't been back to St. Louis (except for dropping our car off for Alaska a few years ago) for touring in years. I believe that I was a teenager as well. The only thing that I can remember is the Arch.

Ed and I won't be going back to Leavenworth. He's taking the expedited course at Fort Belvoir. It starts in a week.

The Dunns said...

A family of five?!? Is there something we should know? ;)

Great pictures. The arch is beautiful. Sounds like a fun discovery.

The Dunns said...

Oh, is there room in the Prius for 3 car seats, a double stroller, a bike, and a St. Bernard? ha-ha (That's what our van has to hold!)

Natalie said...

Holly, it will hold a stroller, an Ergo, a frame child's pack (think Kelty) two car seats, one booster, some reusuable shopping bags (I keep several full size ones stuffed in one large bag), three medium-large size duffle bags filled for travel. Also, Each child could put a backpack on the floor in front of them.

It will not hold a big dog like yours, I don't think. Well, it will if you have nothing else in the back. I think we could fit three Denali-sized dogs (50lbs each) in the back - but, it'd be tight.

We have a 4-Runner for big stuff. Like when we are using our bikes and the bike trailer and bringing the dog. But, for around town and on trips - if you're tenting or staying in a hotel w/o dog, it's so nice and save so much money. I mean, I fill up every 500 miles and spend b/w $23-$25. I think we'll always have one bigger vehicle for lugging around dogs, extra people, runs to hardware store, extra equipment, etc. However, it'll be the vehicle we use the least. As in, Matt drives the 4-Runner to work and parks it there on days I'm just bringing the girls to school, running errands, going to the gym, etc. But, when I need a vehicle for more kids or the bike trailer, etc., we'll switch vehicles and he'll bring the Prius to work. So far, the plan has worked GREAT!

Oh, so not pregnant. I'd like one more when I get all my health issues under control. But, Matt is DONE. He wants nothing to do with one more - so we'll see if he gets his part taken care of b/c I do very very very very little to prevent a pregnancy. So, I guess we'll see!

brenda said...

Three is a great number for a family...:)

kentandjaerin said...

I miss my Civic Hybrid!!! It was great in Alaska during the frigid winters b/c I only had to fill up once every 2 weeks (although I really didn't go anywhere!) but even in the summer I only filled up every 4 weeks (although even then I really only still traveled local!)