welp! jovie successfully got out the door this morning for school. and bonus! no tears!! funny how sleeeepppyy she was, as she woke up at 6:30 or earlier every day of spring broke! tho’ to be fair, we were in central time zone, so that made sense at the beginning.
so from the title, you might wonder if i’m speaking jibberish now. but alas, no, i am speaking the states. (:
our main focus of the trip was St. Louis. my friend heather told me about it a year or 2 ago and said how kid-friendly it was. and in our quest to do all 50, we had to add in kansas. so we flew into KC & out of STL. but then! THEN!!! i looked (closer) at the map and saw that we could sneak yet another state in. i didn’t realize St. Louis was the border of illinois!
we all had such a great time, and it seemed to just get better and better. we were sad to leave, but ready to leave the cold. so of course when we landed in ATL, it was overcast & mild. it was the coldest day of the week, according to my weather apps.
so, in researching what to do in kansas city, most of what pops up is the missouri side! but of course, we wanted to give kansas a color-in on the map. so we found Great Wolf Lodge. last year jovie showed interest in a water park, but we chose “the palace” instead. funny how she always reads my mind b/c shortly after i booked the trip & she had no idea, she said she had hoped maybe for spring break we can go back to indiana to do the water park.
here was our week:
Sun- Kansas City, KS
we left easter afternoon and landed close to dinner time in the snow. nothing really special day 1. jovie enjoyed exploring some of the hotel and having her “own” room. went to bed at a normal time, gearing up for the next day!
Mon- Great Wolf Lodge, KS
so, truly, this coulda gone either way. after a yummy breakfast (bob evans!) we headed for the water park. and so did the very many people that were also there. we scoured the place & there were no seats. anywhere. jovie & i jumped into the lazy river. and so did the very many people that were also there. we finally got one float. jovie didn’t like sitting inside with her legs draped, and every other way we were crashing and bumping into everyone. she even said “i’m too tall for in here”. it wasn’t the greatest welcome. meanwhile, The Mr. was (patiently) standing nearby while we watched jovie wander a little and try to figure out what she could/would do next. the inside of my head was justifying the expense of this place as “well, we needed to sleep SOMEWHERE” and was prepared to venture off into other things KC had to offer. but then i spotted some chairs. 2 together. front & center. and then jovie got her wits about her and explored and played and slid and splashed everywhere. 7 hours later, she was a prune & we needed to eat supper so we left! we got so very lucky! The Mr. & i even ventured into the hot tub for awhile while she played around. so it was a successful day.
jovie must’ve done that splash bucket 34 times; and that was where our seat was!
Tue- Lake of the Ozarks, MO
wow. what a pleasant drive! lots of winding roads. farmland. hills. it was a great and quick couple hours to get to the ozarks. we got there early, and they were able to check us in. they had a beautiful (and necessary!) fireplace in the lobby. perfect for a coffee & a book, which we did later. the throw blankets in our (shared) room were cozy! in fact, after a most delicious dinner, i went on the balcony with said blanket and was quite protected in the 31 degrees. if it weren’t for the 19mph winds blowing my hair everywhere i woulda enjoyed a bit more. our view was overcast, but the resort was lovely & peaceful. unfortunately we weren’t able to stay there 2 nights because they had a conference going on.
Wed- Lake of the Ozarks, MO; Ha Ha Tonka State Park
we got to see pretty sun-shining on the lake the next day before we left. we actually stayed in our room until checkout time because we had hoped for a hike in a nearby state park, but as it was in the low 30s we waited til the last possible moments for it to warm up to the low 40s. once we did the very easy, picturesque, sunshiny hikes, we warmed up to a nice time before our drive to St. Louis. more lovely drives through farmlands. …. i wished i could’ve gotten some pictures of some of the drives.
after the ozarks, we drove the few hours to get up to St. Louis. we really just checked into our hotel & walked to dinner. then we spied the arch from afar that evening.
Thursday- St. Louis, MO
jovie woke up fairly early with a slight fever. complaining of her belly & not being able to talk well. so we had a very lazy late start in the morning. The Mr. & i were obviously wondering if this would be a re-do of the grand canyon, but we were also hopeful. we were silently willing her to feel normal because THIS would be the only day it would near 60 degrees! it worked. i got her to take a shower & she said she felt better so we went to the arch. some people call that the Gateway Arch. i think it needs to be re-named the Wait-way Arch. because we did a lot of that! jovie was feelin pretty anxious about it, too. we only asked her 216 times if she wanted to go up. (she did). it tests your anxieties and patience, that’s for sure. luckily it was a gorgeous day, so it was (mildly) worth it for the views. it’s amazing we can do it at all, and i really don’t know the right answer. but by the time we were leaving the views and going down i think we were all just wanting to shout COME ON ALREADY. it did not help that jovie was feeling complainy,sick,rundown too. so we didn’t get to explore all that we could have, but we made it back to the hotel for some chill time.
the only other thing we had planned to do that day was go to the big, beautiful library we passed on our evening stroll that first night. however, The Mr. being a genius & all found some indian mounds to explore in illinois that was a 15 minute drive away. we wanted to take advantage of the one “spring-ish” day and save the library for the next day when it would be cold again. once jovie was up for it, that’s what we did, and it was so neat!
jovie & i enjoyed the mounds near us in Macon this past summer. it was neat to see a whole different view.
(that’s me, touching the very top of the arch)
getting to illinois:
(i kinda like the side view of the arch!)
Cohokia & Monks Mounds:
maybe THIS is the windy city in illinois?
Friday- St. Louis, MO
well, as expected, it was a chilly day so we knew we’d wanna stay inside. luckily jovie seemed a bit better after having a dose of tylenol before bed. the only plan we had was to NOW go to that library…. but before that, we went to a place called City Museum.
this place defies all explanation (& logic!) i could show you a thousand-word-picture that could NOT do it justice. i can write a million words on the topic and you still wouldn’t have a clue what amazingness it was.
when researching our trip, i saw this place, and the thing they tout a lot is an outside thing, so i immediately dismissed it. but luckily The Mr. also happened on it in his own google search and saw that it was INSIDE. and boy was it ever!
all i can really say is- if you have a kid, or know a kid, or used to be a kid, you gotta go to this place! if your mobility is ok with stairs, go. if you want to test yourself on slides, go. if you wanna see what some crazy imagination looks like in real life, go. i truly think it’s worth the trip just for this, b/c St. L has lots to offer! we didn’t get to take advantage of their supposedly stellar zoo & botanical garden. it would be awesome to go back!
basically this is a place to explore to the fullest.
- nooks & crannies galore.
- cave rooms.
- 2 story colorful slide? ✅!
- 5 story twirly slide? ✅!
- 10 story twirly slide? (not to be outdone)- ✅!
- regular slides galore? ✅!
- holes you would be afraid to go into? ✅!
- paths you have no idea where they end up? ✅!
- paths you think surely you shouldn’t crawl THERE, but yes! go ahead and crawl there! ✅
The Mr. said it defied even HIS imagination as a kid.
so, here’s a couple of pictures that really and truly can’t even show you the scope. but let’s just say our less-than-daring kid had a GREAT time and we spent 5 hours there, only leaving so we’d have time for a coffee & GET TO THE LIBRARY ALREADY!!
look close enough and you can see people in almost every wired structure. at one point there’s even a place to slide on your back to maneuver. (no, not for jovie. but i did see ben on the airplane wing at one point!)
example of: probably aren’t supposed to go here, but sure go ahead. there’s a kid is going from one wire tunnel thing to the whale fin up at the roof.
here’s my favorite example of looking below my own feet while standing in line for the 2 story slide and seeing people crawling out of a hole below even that!
asked 100 times, and jovie couldn’t pick a favorite of this trip. but each new place, she seemed more and more excited.
all in all, i’d say our spring break #5 was a great success!