To St. Louis! We took the kids out of school early on Thursday for a long weekend in St. Louis... well, a short long weekend. My husband had to be there for training until Monday, so we decided to just drive down since it was just a 4 hour drive down, and then we could come back on Friday (Daddy had work to do after all), and we could visit my sister at Greenville College along the way. We left around 1:30pm and arrived in Greenville around 5-ish. My sister gave us a quick walking tour of the campus, her dorm, and some of her friends and then we went to dinner. After dinner we continued on to St. Louis. We got into our room and the kids went swimming. We all got some much needed rest and then got up the next morning, ate, and headed out for some field trips and then home...or so we thought!
First on our agenda was the Lewis & Clark Boat House. It was so cool! We got to see a diorama of their travels and the boats and the tools needed to build the boats. The kids picked out some inexpensive souveniers and we headed outside to the beach area along the river. The whole trip to this stop cost me a mere $9.00!! It was $2 for adults to enter the museum, and $1 for kids aged 3-17. So entrance was $5 and our souveniers were just $4.
Next stop...the Gateway Arch. This was such a neat thing. The Arch stands 630 feet in the air. And you can actually take a tram up to the top... but we were on a budget so we didn't do it this time. We ate a picnic lunch on the lawn underneath the arch and then went into the underground museum beneath the arch. Entrance to the museum and gift shop was free, and we stopped in the old time mercantile for some candy sticks... 4 for $2.
So far our adventure has only cost us $11...
Last on our list for the day was the Cahokia Mounds area. Now, before reading about Cahokia Mounds in one of the brochures in the hotel, I don't believe I had ever heard about it. But it looked interesting and it was a free entrance also, they just had a suggested donation. We went and climbed the first mound we came to (oops! against the rules we later found out). And then we went to the Interpretive Center and Museum. We donated $2 and went on a self guided tour of the museum and then got to sit in on a film explaining the whole area of Cahokia Mounds. This area used to be home to over 20,000 indians. The mounds were used to bury their dead. The largest mound in the middle of the area is called Monks Mound and had the chief's home on top of it. It is the tallest earthen structure in the America's. Located in this area also is Wood Henge, the calender for the indians. It is a large circle of posts put into the ground with a post in the middle of the circle. It was a very educational stop. The kids had a great time and by the time we left we were exhausted.
So our day only cost us $13 plus the time and gasoline to do it all.
We started out for home...still at least 3-4 hours away and it was dinner time. The baby was hungry, so we pulled over at a McDonalds playplace for the middle 2 to play, while I fed the baby. We ordered some burgers off the $1 menu ($5.34) and called daddy to ask we could come back and spend the night :) We turned around and headed back to the hotel where the kids went swimming once again, and Mommy, Daddy, & baby relaxed in front of a movie.
We got up and had breakfast, watched another movie and headed out around 11-ish. We made it home by 3pm, got the van unloaded and relaxed for the evening... tomorrow is another full day with the oldest boy's baseball games. I hope you enjoyed our tours with us!