Category Archives: City Museum

Flashback: Late August 2010…Mike Does London

Mike loves rainy weather especially when it lasts for days and days, so he was thrilled to go to London. Or not. Having not been to London, I don’t really have an appreciation for that comment. Although I’ve heard Gwyneth Paltrow say the same thing in interviews so it must be true.

Fortunately, he took some awesome pictures and filled us in on the details of it all – without the rain. Given that my view and recent knowledge of London is based on audiobooks I’ve listened to with the kids (The Red Pyramid (affiliate link) and The 39 Clues: Maze of Bones (another affiliate link)), I had to do a little studying to be able to bring you decent highlights. I know how much you appreciate that!

I don’t know what I thought the London Eye was but I didn’t think it was a big freakin’ ferris wheel. That description doesn’t really do it justice, but that’s still what it looks like in the pictures. A well-positioned huge ferris wheel but…I’m just sayin’. Ok, you can see up to 40 km in all directions from it – not sure if that’s on a clear day or on a rainy one. It is the biggest paid attraction in London (open since 2000) and gets about 3.5 million visitors each year. I’m not sure what number Mike was in 2010…let’s call him visitor #2,330,432.

Mike’s comment on all of this? He was thrilled to figure out a way to get into the “express line” to go up in it…something to do with having bought a 4D ticket (yes, 4D) – I really should listen closer. And the view was incredible…even in the rain (which you can get a glimpse of in the picture. (For my part, I sorta felt that way being in the ferris wheel at the top of the City Museum in St. Louis but being in London seems more exotic.)

London Eye – before the ride…
…and during…dang, that could be 40km!

Of course, there were also the required pictures of the guys with the big fuzzy hats (beefeaters, right?),   Buckingham Palace, Westminster Palace and Big Ben (via webcam!). It’s nothing if not traditional – just like you’d expect. Too bad this was before the big engagement announcement…

I need a hat like that!

Westminister Palace and Big Ben…I think

 On a related note, Mara is really looking forward to her own trip to London in June 2011 with People to People. I’m sure there will be lots of pics from that trip – if she can keep track of a camera that whole trip…and it doesn’t get rained on.


St. Louis: Day 2

We love Drury Inn! Pretty much a full breakfast buffett not to mention this expanded happy hour/dinner thing they have going. Ahhh….help for the food budget! Plus an indoor pool…bonus!

That’s the good news. The bad news for the day is that one kid seems to be under the weather (fortunately, it’s the oldest one so he can largely take care of himself). Grandma, Mattie, Mara and Max head to the City Museum while I go scout out tickets for the afternoon tour of Cardinals Stadium. Interestingly, we all think that walking is a good idea…must have forget it was like, oh, 125 degrees. Ever the intrepid tourists, we still get plenty of photo ops at the ever-cool City Museum (highly recommended for all ages!)

And…here’s the stadium. It becomes clear during this tour that Austin is going down for the count. He’s a big Cardinals fan – but is ready to leave 1/2 way through the tour. UH. OH.

At least I have experience in this (I can see strep coming like a car with an oil leak)…find a Wal-Green’s with a Take Care Clinic, write down the directions, get the insurance info faxed from Dad and spend quality time with Austin. What a perfect afternoon…at least there’s is air conditioning! And…it’s strep throat. We miss 3-D glow in the dark mini golf (not nearly as exciting as what Mara and I missed when she got it in Hawaii), but get drugs that kick in within hours. Woo-hoo for modern medicine!

Last but not least, there was paddleboating at Union Station (which is right across the street from our hotel). The girls got one boat, but Max wanted to paddle so I joined him. Ummm…he didn’t paddle – he steered. Did he not remember that I had already walked about 50 miles in 165 degree heat?!