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A runner with an appetite for adventure!

St. Louis: Around Town September 11, 2013

Filed under: St. Louis,Travel — Kelocity @ 8:58 am
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On Labor Day, a lot of Saint Louis was closed, but we still had a jam-packed day. We started out visiting the Cathedra Basilica of Saint Louis. It has one of the largest mosaic collections in the world. In fact, it was so beautiful that Pope John Paul II deemed it a ‘Basilica’ in 1997.
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We stayed for part of the mass to view the art inside the church. Very impressive and pretty.IMG_0350

Then we headed over to the City Museum. This place came recommended and we weren’t quite sure what to expect…. but it was insane.
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Basically… it was Gymboree for adults. Seriously, this place is NOT for kids. It’s 10 stories of real-life ‘chutes and ladders’. Here’s Laurie climbing up the dome of the building….
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Think about that… you basically end up upside down by the time you reach the top! That was too scary for me. How do these little kids do it?!

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This piece was on the roof of the building and it looked innocent enough…. but halfway up, i questioned if i could go the whole way! I didn’t really have an option at that point, so up we went! Scary!!!! It was quite the workout!
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There were tunnels and slides that led to underground caves and fantastical worlds. We’d enter on one side and end up on a different floor somewhere else! They don’t have maps in the museum so you have NO idea where you are going. What if you lost your child in there somewhere?!

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We were SO sore after ‘working out’ in there all day. Who needs a gym?

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A random tree house. ha!

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I highly recommend checking this place out solely because it was just SO STRANGE! It’s mostly made out of recycled materials. The highlight is the 10-story slide, but once we got to the bottom, we couldn’t figure out how to get out and had to climb 10 flights back up to the top. it was so confusing.

Annnyways, after that fun adventure, we needed gelato. We happened upon this place and it was delicious!
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Then we drove around the Bellafontaine Cemetery looking for some notable tombs. (Laurie’s idea, not mine! haha) It was really neat though. We saw the final resting place of William Clark (of the Lewis & Clark fame).
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And the tomb of the Anheuser family (the founder of Budweiser).
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There were lots of other pretty ones along the way too. We talked to some locals who said they had never visited there before, but it was worth the drive. A lot of history in there.1185868_10200657655903912_2054948931_n

That night, we met up with some friends we met on our Italian Contiki trip! We had some great burgers at Bailey’s Range. Great choice, food and company were stellar!
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And for dessert, we HAD to try the Frozen Custard at Ted Drewes. It’s been open since 1929! It used to be a popular stop on the historic Route 66. It was SO good!
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By 8:30p we were back in our hotel room heading to bed! We were exhausted! haha

On Tuesday morning, we were out the door by 8am heading to tour the Old Courthouse. The Courthouse used to be the stage for slave auctions and later made history with the Dred Scott case.
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Here’s the courtroom where the case played out:

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When we were done with learning about the Civil War, we headed back in time a little further and visited the Cahokia Mounds.

But first… LUNCH! Laurie wanted authentic BBQ and I wanted toasted ravioli… so we did both! First, we stopped at Pappy’s and Laurie got a really good pulled pork sandwich (apparently the best she’s ever had!)
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And I finally got to grab some food from Cunetto’s. DELICIOUS!!! I got the Ravioli and some Spaghetti and Meatballs (Thank you for suggesting this, Janet!!!)
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We ate in the car when we got to the mounds. They were off the beaten path and pretty fun and interesting too!
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The website I linked to above has a lot of great information, but the short story about these tall mounds is this: They were handmade, built by Native Americans, in 1100AD. The land here was flat and they built small mountains little by little over 150 years. There used to be temples and houses on top of them. And some of the small ones were used as tombs. I had no idea we had ‘pyramids’ in our country! Did we learn about this in school? I don’t remember it if we did!
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We watched a quick documentary about them at the visitors center and then went off to explore. Laurie made me hike to the top of the biggest one (Monk’s Mound). There were a million stairs and it was super hot, but worth the trek up for sure.
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From the top, we could even see the arch! Sadly the native Americans didn’t have that view way back then.
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The mounds are located close to the Great River Road too. It was in the ‘1,000 Places to See Before You Die” book, so Laurie was excited to check the road off the list as well.
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We pretty much did every touristy thing there is to do in St. Louis in just 2 days. We had an absolute blast. It was such a great, clean, fun town. I’m excited to go back again soon, hopefully with Adele and Irving, and explore more. Til next time, St. Louis!!

 

St. Louis: Forest Park September 10, 2013

Filed under: animals,St. Louis,Travel — Kelocity @ 8:15 am
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One of our ‘must sees’ on our St. Louis to-do list was to visit all the attractions in Forest Park. The park became famous in 1904 after hosting both the Summer Olympics AND the 1904 World’s Fair (aka: The Louisiana Purchase Exposition).
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Most of the World’s Fair buildings no longer exist anymore (it would have been too expensive to build them for long-term use). But you can still feel the history there.
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This pavilion was built decades after the World’s Fair, but it commemorates the big event. That 1904 exposition was the first time the world had seen an ice cream cone, hamburgers, hot dogs, cotton candy, Dr. Pepper, peanut butter and iced tea. <—all my favorite things!
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Look! A map of the Louisiana Purchase!
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More history! We were in nerd heaven!
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Also in the park is the Saint Louis Art Museum.
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Oh, hey Mr. Saint Louis!
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We only had a little bit of time, so we grabbed a map at the front desk and set off to find all the important pieces. We got to see some Van Gogh, Picasso, Pollock and Matisse.
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I also saw this piece again. I think this is my 3rd time seeing this one (unless there are multiple versions of it?) It’s by El Anatsui. I like it, it’s made out of liquor bottle tops.
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After our quick jaunt around the museum, we hopped back in the car to drive over to the Jewel Box. It’s an art deco greenhouse in the park.
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And the last thing we did in the park was visit the Zoo! It’s free, why not! It was really hot and we were getting hungry, so we only did a quick loop around. It was a really great zoo, someday, i’ll have to go back with Adele!
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Forest Park gets an A+ in my book. It’s bigger than Central Park and so beautiful and clean!

 

Where the Buds are Born September 9, 2013

Filed under: St. Louis,Travel — Kelocity @ 8:01 am
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Laurie and I tried to hit up all the historical sights in St. Louis while we were there….so we had to visit the Anheuser Busch Brewery. It’s not just that we wanted free beers, promise.

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Anheuser-Busch has been around since 1852 and has been in fully-functioning since then (minus a few years during prohibition!) It’s now a national historic landmark!
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We saw the stables where the iconic Clydesdale horses are kept. (And apparently there are 100 more at farms around Missouri too).
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Then we moved into the factory where the good stuff is made.
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I was impressed to learn that once the beer is finished brewing, it is usually bottled, packaged and shipped within a couple of hours. That’s fresh. Budweiser is also one of the only beers in the industry that uses rice as an ingredient. It’s the same recipe that was used since the 1800s.
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What better way to end a tour than with two fresh-out-of-the-tap beers. Mmmm.
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Funny story… our plan was to go sightseeing, grab lunch and THEN hit up the Budweiser tour… but when we were driving, we saw the sign for the brewery and accidentally followed it all the way to the entrance. It wasn’t until we were out of the car walking to the door when we realized it wasn’t our plan to go so early! But we shrugged our shoulders and went anyways… we were laughing so hard!

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Please drink responsibly! 
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St. Louis: Gateway to the West September 8, 2013

Filed under: St. Louis,Travel — Kelocity @ 11:01 am
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When Laurie found out I was visiting Indianapolis, she called me and said “wanna road trip down to St. Louis for a few days”? Answer: Yes.
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EJ let us borrow her car (Thank you so much!!!) and we drove four hours out to St. Louis. It was so cool to see the Arch in the skyline greeting us as we arrived! It’s been on my bucketlist to visit here for a long time!
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We got in around 5p on Sunday night and after we checked into our hotel, The Hyatt Regency. We couldn’t have asked for a better location. We could see the arch from our room, it was literally right across the street.
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We dropped off our stuff and headed straight for the Arch!
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The Arch was opened in 1967 and stands 630 feet tall, making it the world’s tallest arch.  It’s also America’s largest man-made monument. It symbolizes America’s Westward Expansion and the Louisiana Purchase (which effectively doubled the size of the United States).
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Laurie and I were furiously reading information on our phones the entire time we were in St. Louis. We had forgotten what the Louisiana Purchase even was… and one click led to the next and soon we were excitedly reading about Lewis and Clark, the Civil War and the Oregon Trail. haha Two geeks on vacation. That’s what you get!
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It’s amazing how much history you forget until you visit the places in the text books. Suddenly it all clicks and makes sense… and it actually becomes exciting. Living History. I’m a fan.
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A couple days later, we visited that old courthouse in the picture behind us here… but I’ll get to that later! More history!
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We bought advanced tickets to go up inside the arch the next day. We got the first tram up and avoided the lines. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the little tram cars are like ferris wheel cars.
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It was fun to see the Mississippi river from up there…
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…and the beautiful city below it.
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We wanted to go to a baseball game, but they were out of town when we were there =(
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Kieffer’s my Hero January 30, 2012

Filed under: Television — Kelocity @ 10:18 pm
Tags: ,

I used to watch ‘Teen Mom’ and ‘16 and Pregnant’ all the time. Now, I don’t have cable, so sadly that train wreck of a show no longer graces my television, but my sisters keep me up to date on what’s going on.

Anyways… My sister posted this picture of her boyfriend, Chris last week and I almost died laughing. SO FUNNY!
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Just had to share!

 

Top of the Sears, I mean Willis, Tower! August 17, 2011

Filed under: Chicago,Family,Sisters,Travel — Kelocity @ 1:24 pm
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Sunday morning, we had plans to go to the top of the Sears Willis Tower. Even though I’d been to Chicago twice before, I’d never been up there! IMG_7186

Laurie explained that the Willis is known as the King, and this crown building is the Queen! They kind of do look like they’d be in love, I suppose.
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We thought we had VIP tickets, but apparently there was still a long line. Oops!
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I had a flight to catch in a few hours, so we convinced the employees to take us up the back freight elevators to bypass the movie and the crowds. Not sure how, but it worked! Up to the top we go!
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My mom is afraid of heights, but she did really well! Good job, mom!
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Looking down at the “Queen”! My, she’s short!
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They also have these glass boxes that jut out of the building that you can stand in. SO cool!
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And no, my mom did NOT go on this. LOL
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Why do both of my sisters pose so well for the camera and then when it’s my turn I do this?! No seriously, Why?!

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I guess that’s my ta-da pose or something.

How amazing is this picture?! So neat! Sisters in the city!
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Shortly after this, we had a fun leisurely lunch just chatting about anything and everything. It was so nice and relaxing. Then it was time for me to go. Sad, I know. There were definitely tears on the “L” platform, but we were all so happy to have a fun weekend together!

 

It’s a shame that such a nice weekend would end with such a horrible airline experience. Stay tuned for that trainwreck of a story!

 

What did I miss in Chicago? Have you been there? I’m making a list for next time!
I’ve been to Navy Pier already. Anything else? I love that town!

 

I got the Bottom Bunk!!!!! July 26, 2011

Filed under: Family,New Hampshire — Kelocity @ 11:27 pm
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We had a nice time in my hometown, but we were pretty excited to head up to Lake Winnipesaukee! I grew up spending my summers up there, and it’s also where we got married. We absolutely love it up there and always try to get in as many lake days as possible when we’re home. My grandparents live up there in the summer too, so it’s nice to spend some time with them.

(PS, my grandparents read my blog so I have to say hi!!!)

Of course as soon as we got on the road to get up there, it started to pour! We were really hoping it would clear up by the time we got up there, the rain was coming down in sheets! Typical New England, right?
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But sure enough, as soon as we arrived, it cleared up! (Also typical New England!) We have arrived!
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Did you see that big boat in the background? That’s the Mount Washington and she’s a beauty. We love watching her go back and forth across the lake during the day.
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I say it all the time, but this spot right here is my “happy place”. If I only had this view for the rest of my life, I’d probably be ok with that. Something about this lake just gives me such peace and really restores my soul.
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It makes me so happy that I now get to share my favorite place with Irving. I’m so glad that he loves it as much as I do. We both practically jumped right into the water after saying hi to my grandparents! We couldn’t wait to dip our toes in the water and then dive right in!
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The rest of the afternoon was spent doing a lot of this:
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And then later, a little of this!
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I love playing Mexican Train Dominos with my grandmother. We pretty much played all kinds of games all week long, if that doesn’t scream summer vacation, I don’t know what does! I forgot how much I like it, I have to try to play more often at home.
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Around dinner time, my mom, sister and her boyfriend joined us at the lake too! We headed out to dinner up the road. Along the way, we stopped to look at the new “Monkey Trunks” playground they built nearby. Isn’t it cool? It’s a bunch of ziplines and high ropes and obstacle courses! It’s on my list of things to do for next time!
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For dinner, we ate at the Lobster Pound, a nice restaurant across from the beach.
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It was so fun chatting with my sister and Chris. We miss them so much!
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Mom and Daughter (with that fresh-out-of-the-lake hair!)
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I think Irving was drinking a blueberry beer that is so reminiscent of the east coast!
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Chicken Parm = my favorite meal!!! And don’t be fooled, this dish served me dinner and TWO people lunch the next day. It was Huge!!!
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Group shot!
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We were so stuffed, we decided to walk back to the lake house after. But first, a photo-session!
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And one with just the boys!
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When it got dark, my mom and I took a walk on the beach and Mikaela, Chris and Irving went off to play mini-golf up the street. (Yep, twice in a week, it’s crazy!) After a couple of hours, my mom and I went to investigate to see how they were doing. We caught them deep into a very serious golf game.

Pictures from earlier in the week for visuals!
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Apparently the stakes were really high. They were playing for a very important prize: who gets the bottom bunks. (You see, our lakehouse has two sets of bunk beds and since we’re older, the bottom bunks are very desirable!)
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In the end, Irving came in first, then Mikaela and Chris. I didn’t even play, so I automatically got 4th place (rude, right?)…. but then it came down to a rock-paper-scissors game. 4th place vs. 3rd place (which I won!)… and then there were two other rounds, no one would really explain to me what was going on, but I kept winning in rock-paper-scissors…. long story short, I got first pick in the bunk arrangements! Sa-weet!!!!!

Here’s the final standings! First place, baby! Of course I picked the bottom bunk! Irving got stuck up top. BAHAHA!
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Oh the hilarity!
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So many more adventures to come!

 

 
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