Shout out to Lufthansa for starting the trip out right with the most awesome inflight toy ever! Lego jet set! (Clarissa scored a little dice and card game and some coloring pages with pencils).
First, the kiddos and I flew into St. Louis....with a slight delay due to weather (can we say 'fun unplanned night in Chicago' 23 hours into our 25 hour trip making for a 42 hour travel time to destination). We hit Imo's pizza within the hour of landing....priorities people...priorities (that and airplane food ain't all that to write home about!)
Having originally planned on getting in the previous day, I had planned to meet some cousins at the zoo....given I was over crowds, we opted to meet at a small family fun park with go-karts and bumper boats for a fun afternoon (after we showered of course). Clarissa loved steering the go-kart.
Hard to believe I babysat my cousins when I was in high school.....now we are all grown up and have our own babies! I tried to get Clarissa into the picture too, but alas jet lag had set in and she was much more interested in the inside of her eye lids!
We stayed with my Bestie and her family for a few days, we did some shopping (Hello Target and Kohl's...I'm talking to you!). We made it to Mason's favorite restaurant...
We made it to the Science Center and Starbucks.....
We made it to the Zoo, which Clarissa navigated us to the elephants.
The highlight for Mason was the mating tortoises.....which he proceeded to replicate the sounds for anyone who asked how the zoo was. We even rode the train around the Zoo....fun time for all!
We headed over to my cousins house to stay for a few nights... and we attempted to go to my Goddaughter's State championship softball game....made it to the field and everything....did we see the game? Hail No! (well, the hail, thunder, lightning, and tornado warnings sent us running.....Mason's first Midwest storm.....he did not enjoy it). We ended up getting off the freeway and hanging out in some diner since we were actually driving towards the storm....
The next day we had lunch with my brother and his family and my grandmother at our other favorite St. Louis establishment....mmm Pasta House! Mason is officially taller than Busia now!
The next morning Mason caught a flight to Texas to see his dad. He had plenty of fun there....I can now ask him if he remembers the Alamo....(muwhahaha, I'm a dork!). My cousin and I took our girls to Arch....we told Clarissa it was (which it is) an indoor ferris wheel to the top. Where you purchase your tickets you can climb into the type car you ride to the top in.
Clarissa not so sure that we are going to go up in that Arch thing....
Once at the top, I pointed out Busch Stadium and said next time Daddy comes to St. Louis we are going to take her there to see her first Cardinals game!
I started teaching Clarissa about consumables shopping and she is helping pick up some St. Louis Restaurants' house dressings.
The next day, Clarissa and I set out on our 'Girl Adventure'. We drove to Atlanta the first day. Stayed the night and the next day went to the Lego Store before heading to Babyland on our way to Charleston to stay with Richard's parents. While it is super adorable, whenever we head out on a trip Clarissa will ask what country we are going to. The whole car ride she kept asking if we were in Nana & Bajoo's country yet....she doesn't quite get the state concept yet....even though I explained it many many times on that drive 'that is taking all day'!
So I was looking up factory tours between St. Louis and Charleston and did not find much other than distilleries and gun factories...neither of much interest to a 5 year old girl......so Babyland it was.
Clarissa was a little interested in all the dolls, but we were probably done and back on the road in about 30 minutes. She did pick out a new baby doll. We decided to name her Georgia since we got her in the state of Georgia and we live in the country of Georgia.....
I needed a break and let her drive for a bit....(she wishes).....
Richard arrived in Charleston at nearly the same time Clarissa and I did (literally, I think he was landing when we drove past the airport!). Once there we watched sunsets
and took long walks on the beach......
oh.....and we went to doctor, dentist, optometrist, etc appointments..... We may have gone to Target and Kohl's once or twice (or more.....they kept giving us Kohl's cash...must spend it)....we went out to eat with friends, we had playdates, we went painting
Someone went to Frozen camp with Anna and Elsa.
We went to Myrtle Beach to see my Goddaughter playing in the National championship
We went to Winston-Salem to see Richard's grandparents and family.
Mason flew back to Charleston....I think they were happy to see each other after 3 weeks apart (it only took 19 hours before they started yelling at each other again....have no fear the universe alignment was not disrupted).
All the cousins got to hang out together at Nana & Bajoo's house one evening. Mason got to spend the day with his girlfriend (they ran a 'business' for a while at an exhibit in the aquarium where we spent the morning).
Just like that our R&R was over. We headed to the airport where Mason proceeded to pull a tooth out in the bathroom before our first flight.....we then embarked for the loooooonnnnngggg journey home!