This weekend was a whirlwind road trip. The Hubby and I took Friday off to drive down to Carbondale, Illinois for my Mom’s 60th birthday party. We had to pick up my sister, Erin, at the St. Louis airport at midnight along the way, so we worked it out so that the Hubby and I could spend a couple hours at the City Museum in St. Louis. The City Museum is one of my favorite places to play in the world. I always feel 10 years younger there. The museum is eccentric and whimsical; it consists of found art and lots of tunnels and man-made caves to explore and crawl around in, curving staircases to climb, and slides and ropes and even a ball pit!
The Hubby in one of the “caves”
Here there be dragons.
This beaver likes his fishy friend and wants to hug him and pet him and squeeze him and call him George.
The rooftop was breathtaking! There was a full bar and cafe, a large fountain, intimate low-light seating areas, the giant slide in the foreground of this photo, the ferris wheel, and a couple of places to crawl and climb through the air!
The Hubby crosses the fountain using stepping stones.
I find a Northern cousin of Beyonce.
This guy is climbing up the side of the inside of a dome. Because it’s there. The cage/stairs curves and goes all the way up to the pinnacle of the dome.
A better photo of the ferris wheel
The Hubby and me on the ferris wheel
Why yes, that is a giant preying mantis atop the roof at the City Museum. Because it is.
You can climb up the blue post and crawl around in the airplane at the top. We did not as we were running out of time (yeah – that’s it – not that we were tired and feeling old-like…yeah).
Big kid ball pit! We were hot and sweaty and figured the other ball pit denziens would be also, so we decided to opt out. Curse you adult brain and your reasoning!
The Hubby gets his Boys n’ Trucks groove on our way out of the museum.
We left the museum at about a quarter to midnight, picked up Erin at the airport and arrived in Carbondale at about 3am.
We woke up at 9am to run errands, set up party decorations and then BAM! – at 2pm the birthday guests started to arrive. At the party we had what I’m fairly convinced was the best pulled pork in the entire universe, potluck sides and alcoholic slushies. Mom’s friends were great; we shared some great conversation and good-natured debates. I think we may have solved all of the world’s problems, but no one remembered the solutions that we had come up with the day after the alcoholic slushies. After everyone went home, we gave Mom her presents (we WON at birthday presents this year) and then I introduced Erin to Anchorman (well part of it; again – alcoholic slushies. She was out like a light by the time Ron Burgundy threw the burrito into Jack Black’s face).
We woke up at 8am on Sunday and the sis and I went for a walk around the neighborhood. We ended up finding a walking path through the woods and played around in there for a while. On the way back I found six ticks on my legs. When we got home I found four more.
I ended up tossing all of my clothes in the washer, begging Mom to lend me a spare t-shirt for the drive home, and then we were on our way back to Minneapolis. Thus I got to visit numerous small towns across the Midwest wearing a Human Rights Campaign shirt that shouted “LEGALIZE GAY!” Yup, that was me stirring up the l0cals yesterday. I got numerous nasty glares, confused glances and incredulous double-takes all through rural Illinois and Iowa. I also got a couple of smiles and one thumbs up. Them’s adventure times.
I spent most of the 12 hour road trip reading a work-required self-help book. I am now standardized to current workplace expectations for strategic leadership, as well as in how to balance innovative, creative team knowledge-sharing and the delivery of tactical business-driven outputs. I also learned that real leaders don’t poo-poo industry lingo and manager-ese. Oops. But I finished the reading assignment, so there’s that.
And then one final adventure on the way home:
We went to change it ourselves, but then discovered that we didn’t have a T-bar (Star bar, etc – the x-shaped wrench that fits lug nuts), so we ended up having to call AAA. They had a local truck there in under 20 minutes. AAA is amazing. Everyone who has a car should have AAA. Unless you’re a car fixer-upper guru, perhaps. But even though we had the know-how to do the work ourselves, it was nice to not have to change the tire on the side of a busy highway at night without the big tow-truck emergency lighting (memories of Anousone Phanthavong’s fate…no thanks).
We thought maybe we had hit a nail or something. Turns out not:
Yowza! That’s a glowstick inside of the blown-out tire. Only the thinnest strip of rubber was holding the rest of the tire to the wheel. Guess who’s buying four new tires over the lunch period?
But like I said, AAA and the local mechanic was super-speedy and we arrived home only about 45 minutes later than anticipated. We were in bed by 12:30 am. And now it’s Monday and we’re back to work!