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Saint Louis Trip Part 2

Well, nothing can really top the epic experience of losing your child in an elevator, but thanks for tuning in to hear how the rest of the trip went. (Click here if you missed part 1.)

So I manage to get everyone back to our hotel room.  I tried to get Annique to settle down for some quiet time, knowing she really wouldn't sleep.  The cartoons on TV were lame and did not hold her attention.   I eventually pulled out the iPad and had the girl at least still and focused on one thing until Dan got back from his conference.

We met the Vance family for dinner at La Vallesana.  It was yummy, and well priced.  The restaurant was also freezing and included a very whinny Annique.  Avery and Maya just got back from publishing camp and were eagerly showing us the pages they wrote and illustrated in the book.  Holly was entertaining Annique by blowing raspberries and then they would both giggle.  After our meal, I took the whining Annique and Maya outside while Dan paid for our meal.  It was so beautiful out.

Pool time was next on the agenda.  Dan took Annique down while I fed Camille.  The Vance family joined us at the hotel pool.  I wanted to get some pics of everyone swimming and had a hard time locating the camera.  Not in the hotel room.  (Hmmm.)  Held Camille and walked out to the parking garage.  Not in the car.  (Nervous.)  Still not in the hotel room.  Went to the pool.  Dan hadn't seen it in awhile.  Did we leave it at the restaurant?  (Fear.)  Trying to find the phone number to La Vallesana.  (Wrote it off as gone.  Tried to remember what pics I hadn't uploaded and were forever lost.)  Called and eventually got to talk to someone with good english.  They still had it!  (Relief.) Drove down and retrieved it while Dan dealt with an extremely tired child. (Craved ice cream for some reason.)

That night, we let Annique listen to music on her headphones.  She FINALLY gave in to sleep.

Getting the headphones off without waking her took some great ninja moves by Dan.

The next morning, we woke up rested.  The girls hung out while we packed up.  We had a cute baby in a great mood and some nice light for these pics.

The highlight of the trip was spending time with the Vance family at their house before heading out.  I introduced Avery to parkour (via YouTube, not a demonstration).  We snuggled with this sweetie:

Who loved making Camille smile.

 We were in awe of how much this girl has grown:

And were completely amused when Annique learned what a wig was. (SO glad I had the camera back for that!)

We ended the trip with a wonderful family lunch.

The drive home started with Camille screaming for the first 25 minutes.  This outburst was followed by her sleeping pretty much the rest of the way.  SO AWESOME. We drove straight through.  Annique doesn't sleep in the car very well and was up the whole way back.  She was the gold medalist in the sport of whining.

We came home to a very clean house which had no showings while we were away.

Trip to Saint Louis Part 1

This was our first trip as a family of four.  It was also Annique's first stay in a hotel room with us.  It was definitely an, um, memorable trip.  (I don't want to quite as far as to say disaster because quality time was spent with family!)

We arrived on Friday afternoon, thanks for Dan taking the day off work.  It was raining almost the entire drive.  It was pouring rain for a lot of that drive.  We stopped for lunch at the infamous town of Boonvile (spent about 4 hours there on the way to CHIC 2009).  We met another family traveling to Saint Louis with their 18 month-old son. Annique kept asking him, "What are you doing today?" Dan moved the car closer to the restaurant in the downpour only for it to let up minutes after we got in.

We were so happy to see Mary and the girls when we arrived (Steven wasn't home yet). Annique went upstairs with the girls and Aunt Mary got to hold her newest niece.

Avery had a fashion show for us. Soon these two arrived dressed like this:


So cute!  Holly even wore this dress out to our delicious dinner at the Vine. Steven took Maya to a birthday party so it was just Dan and six girls. We felt we mastered the meal having entertained three children in the rain during the long wait for a table (Camille was asleep).

Back at the hotel, we had a miserable night.  We put Annique in her bed at 9:00 (we got back late from the restaurant) and we went to bed not too long after.  That girl was up talking, singing, humming, and quoting Camille's sounds until 11:00pm.  It. Was. Awful.  At 5:30, she woke up and again started talking and singing and quoting Camille's sounds for about 15 minutes, and fortunately she fell back asleep until 8:30.  We all slept until 8:30, the time that Dan was supposed to be at his conference.  He helped me get the girls ready and though breakfast in the lobby before heading out.

We met the Vance girls at City Garden and climbed on some art before heading to a Justin Roberts concert.

He and his band played kids music and Mary and I enjoyed watching the girls dance around.  The last song was called, "Meltdown." Ironically, that is when Annique lost it.  So we had a real fun half-mile walk back to our car where my expert whiny dawdler showed her stuff.  When we arrived at the car, Annique whined for me to change her diaper. Ugh, really?!  So I plopped her in the grass next to the sidewalk and changed a poopy diaper outside.  Let's just say it would have been much more convenient to be in a paper diaper that time...

After parking the car in the hotel garage, the three of us got on the elevator (Camille was in the stroller).  We went down to the first floor and the doors opened, I pushed Camille off and turned around in time to see the elevator doors shut, with dawdler extraordinaire still on it.  This situation did not improve her mood.  I pushed the up button but the elevator was already heading up to the second floor with Annique.  I could hear the precise moment the doors opened and the screamer emerged one floor up.  Fortunately, the stairs were open and right next to the elevator.  I left Camille in her stroller on the first floor, bounded up a flight of stairs, grabbed the sobbing Annique and whisked her back down to her oblivious sister.  Seriously, kid.

Click here for my next post to see if this day got better or worse and to hear about the end of our trip..

(I also got a few more great pics!)


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