Saturday, December 31, 2011

This just happened

I get the familiar low battery alert on my computer, so I move to my backpack where my computer had been packed for work yesterday. My charger is not in it's normal compartment so I proceed to tear my backpack apart looking for it. My heart starts racing, thinking I left my charger at work.

I look back at the couch where I was sitting, and if it isn't my charger sitting right next to my computer. I then remember I brought my charger with me when I got my computer out of my backpack, so that I wouldn't have to go back to get my charger.

Well, it was a nice thought, right?

Gateway to the West (Christmas Part 2)

On the same day we went to the botanical gardens, we also visited my favorite piece of St. Louis: the Arch. I drag my family there every time we go - it's simply a must-see! My family usually rotates who actually joins me, so one of my uncles who came this time hadn't been to the arch in over 20 years. If that's not a shame, then I don't know what is.

First we walked to get some food. The area was so old, there were hitching posts for horses and all of the roads were cobblestone. When we were leaving, we had the "pleasure" of driving on them. In case you were wondering, 100ish year old cobblestone is quite bumpy.

This was the restaurant we ate at. It felt right to sit right next the the Mississippi river and eat fish & chips.

Ahead is many obligatory arch pictures. This one isn't black and white, it's just the wintery colors of St. Louis.

Pictures can't convey how monstrous it is.

It's so gosh darn sleek and beautiful.

Of course, when visiting the arch, you MUST go up in it. They take you up in these tiny egg-shaped trams. I imagine my dad was joking about farting or something equally mature. (Isn't my mom cute?)

We made it to the top! From l-r, top, it's Jason, me, Mom, Uncle Brian, Dad; bottom, my brother Jimmy, Uncle Mike. The sign behind us says "630 feet" which is the height and width of the arch.

I got a little dizzy looking down as I'm terribly afraid of heights. I thought about sky diving from this and it made me sick to my stomach.

My uncle Mike was a great resource in telling us about all the buildings. It's so interesting to hear from someone who's lived there for over 40 years and how he's seen it change and grow in his lifetime.

A janky panoramic (notice the uneven skyline - I didn't have the patience to make it perfect). Behold: downtown St. Louis. On the opposite side of the arch is the Mississippi river, which is much less attractive. You'll just have to go to the arch yourself to see it.

The capital building is quite lovely.

In the left picture, that's my family waving underneath the arch. When I got closer, I caught my uncle sticking his tongue out at me.

Another picture of the capital building.

This is kind of a weird picture, but it's what the arch looks like when you're underneath it.

Jason in awe.

My uncle said this church is on the oldest buildings on this side of the Mississippi. I just think it sounds fun to say that.

The winter scenery and overcast sky made for some moody pictures.

Guys, I really just love the arch.

After we took pictures, we went back inside to visit the museum and watch the documentary about building the arch. Jason was still contemplating the arch's majesty.

The most memorable parts of the museum are this bear,

And this buffalo. Seriously, I can't believe my dad hunted and killed one of those. The picture doesn't convey how ginormous it is.

The documentary was really good. It was terrifying to see those construction workers dangling at the top of the arch with no harnesses. They would hold on with one arm and smoke a cigarette in the other. CRAZINESS. Before construction started, they had estimated 16 men would die before completion. Amazingly, there were no fatalities. I can't imagine going into a job where you're predicted to die though.

And finally, one last picture of the arch. Mmm hmm.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas, Part 1. (yes, there are parts because I am camera happy and Christmas happy)

I haven't blogged in a while. Sometimes I have so much to say that I don't know where to start, and then I just never start.

Well fast forward to Christmas break. It was so wonderful to be with all of my mom's family in St. Louis. I don't get to my family but once a year, if that, so it's always a treat to be with them. And St. Louis will always have a piece of my heart, and I think it's especially magical at Christmas time. Making cookies with grandma, wearing big coats and scarves, waking up to snow, and seeing big brick houses with wreaths, bows, and candles in the windows. My heart is full.

One of the first things we did was go to the Botanical Garden and Tower Grove Park. Even in wintertime, it was gorgeous. I haven't seen it in the spring, but I can only imagine how amazing it looks in bloom.

The gang.

My dad thinks he's pretty funny.

They had an info board with this picture and I loved it. This is part of the garden many many years ago. Not sure who these ladies are but I love their big hats. My grandpa said rumor has it, you could stand on those lily pads in the pond. On a side note, history is everywhere in St. Louis. Makes me happy.

This is the inside of the building in the last picture.

That's my grandpa. He's a keeper.

It was Jason's first time in St. Louis. I was excited for him to see the city! (PS After looking at this picture again, I realized the owner of this garden is buried in that building behind us. If that's not romantic, I don't know what is)

The garden used to be owned by a very well-off man named Henry Shaw. This was his vacation house on the grounds. And really garden workers, did we need to park the golf cart right in front of the house?

These plants were nice and puffy.

Yes, that is my father in the center, looking especially regal.

Alice in Wonderland time!

I wish I could sit here and read a book all day, every day.

Imitation is the best form of flattery, right?

More puffy, fluffy winter plants.

My new friend

For some reason, I took a liking to this guy. Not sure he could say the same thing about me taking a picture of him.

Yes, that is my husband, and yes, that was all his idea.

We saw the cutest robin, among many cardinals. Both such pretty birds.
This was inside the climatron, which simulated a rainforest environment. My camera lens was foggy the whole time, but it made for some interesting pictures.

My lil bro, who obviously loves having his picture taken.

And lastly, an amazing fixture by Chihuly.

Stay tuned for more pictures. This is probably only a quarter of the pictures I've taken - yikees!