Picking up where I left off...after a relaxing Monday, on Tuesday we got up and got around (which is a monumental task in my family), then headed into the city for a whirlwind tour of the highlights. We started off at the Gateway Arch downtown, which stands an amazing 630 feet tall. When you stand at the bottom and look up, it looks like it's going to fall over on you. We went on a brief tour of the museum in the ground under the arch, but didn't actually take the tram to the top. I've been up many times, but Darrell hasn't, so hopefully on a future trip we'll get to do this. Then we walked through the park over to Laclede's Landing, which is an older part of downtown which still has cobblestone streets. We stopped to grab grandma a bite to eat, then went back to our cars.
We drove through downtown over by the new Cardinals stadium and snapped a couple pics as we drove by. It is absolutely beautiful, and I have to say that even though I was so sad they tore down the old Busch Stadium, the new one is so awesome. I can't wait to go back and actually see a game there.
Next we drove to the Anhueser-Busch Brewery, which is their world headquarters. It is on an impressive 100-acre campus, with beautiful old brick buildings. They keep some of their Clydesdales there, in a gorgeous stable complete with two Dalmations which Anthony was so excited to pet. After the tour, of course, comes the Hospitality Room - AKA free beer. We got to taste some new stuff, including one called Winter's Ale, which has vanilla in it and was delicious.
After that, we went to the Galleria, one of the many shopping malls, and had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Yum! Even though it was only about 7:00 when we finished, we were all exhausted and headed home.
Wednesday was spent relaxing, doing some last minute shopping, and my mom and sisters and I went and had a spa pedicure. We had to make our toes look pretty since we were having photos taken barefoot on Friday! Wednesday evening we started some baking in preparation for Thursday's big meal.
Thursday was spent in the kitchen, with everyone pitching in. We sat down to a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner around 2:00 p.m., followed by football, dessert, more turkey, naps, etc. We had a grilled turkey, a grilled rib-eye roast, hand-made noodles in beef broth, mashed potatoes, gravy, homemade stuffing, green beans, homemade cranberry sauce, rolls, cranberry-walnut bread, and of course wine. For dessert, there was caramel-apple pie, raspberry pie, and pumpkin pie, all homemade, of course (including the crusts!).
Friday morning, we had a professional photographer come to my mom's house to take some family photos. We all dressed in jeans and white shirts, and had bare feet. I can't wait to see how they turned out, although Anthony was not exactly cooperative - he was so cranky, tired, and whiny. Hopefully she got some with him smiling and laughing! After the photos, it was time to pack up and head to the airport.
We got back home last night from St. Louis. While it was sad leaving family, it was so fun watching Anthony when we finally got home - he ran all through the house, exclaiming (in expressions we mostly couldn't understand) over everything, touching things, laughing, so happy to be home. He did ask many times last night and today, "Where's baby?" referring to his cousing Emma, and "Where's gramma?" Poor kid - so confused!
Anthony kissing his cousin Emma
Darrell and Anthony at the base of the Arch in St. Louis
My sister Karen, husband Heath, and baby Emma below the Arch.
My grandmother holding her great-granddaughter, Emma.
We had good flights back to Ontario, and were only 1 exit from home on the freeway when Darrell's front passenger side tire shredded. He had to pull over three times to literally tie it around the wheel cover to secure it, but by the grace of God, the tire did not go flat and we slowly but surely made it those last few miles home.