After leaving OKC on April 28th, we have spent the last two weeks in St. Louis and Rhineland, MO visiting family and friends. We ate many delicious meals, cherished toasts, enjoyed beautiful lake scenery and cheered on the Cardinals.Prior to leaving the U.S we decided that we wanted to take some time to visit family and friends that do not live near us and that we don’t see very often. It is extremely important to Wes that we end up in California, so that we can spend some quality time with each of his grandparents. We also need to get our favorite furry friend, Moby, out to Washington where she will be living while we are gone. With that being said, we will be spending the next month driving out to the west coast, making several stops along the way to stay with loved ones.
Our first stop on our road trip was spent with my family in St. Louis and at my parents lake house in Rhineland, MO. It is time that I will cherish forever. Wes and I ate numerous meals with parents, discussing our travel dreams and planning when/where they would come visit us. It was so wonderful to have them all to ourselves for so much of time in St. Louis. We ate at all of our favorite St. Louis spots…Imo’s Pizza, Ted Drew’s Frozen Custard, King Doh Restaurant and Wes even found a new favorite, Sugarfire Smoke House. We were lucky enough to eat breakfast with my grandpa twice and to tour the new apartment he will be moving into this summer. We ate donuts with him, asked him questions about life and learned things we never knew about him. My grandpa will celebrate his 93rd birthday next week (which is awesome) and he has wonderful stories and memories to share. My mom being the wonderful hostess that she is, had family over twice while we were in town. Typically, our family gatherings are large and rather chaotic but these were small, more intimate gatherings. It was so great to catch up with my aunts, uncles and cousins. We also got to spend time with our niece and nephew; we went to the Magic House and the Missouri Botanical Garden. To wrap up our time in St. Louis, we spent an evening drinking wine with the photographers that so beautifully photographed our wedding. A little over a year ago they bought a mid century firehouse in downtown St. Louis and are renovating it. We toured the firehouse and spent the rest of the night enjoying great conversation and wine in their awesome outdoor space.
Probably my most favorite time while visiting my family was our time spent at my parents lake house. We spent two weekends down at the lake. The first weekend our good friends drove from Little Rock, Arkansas to hang out with us. We biked the Katy Trail to the Hermannhof Winery, hiked around the lake with my dad searching for morel mushrooms, laid by the lake, rode on the boat, watched a great fireworks display while sitting by the fire, and enjoyed beautiful sunsets while sipping on margaritas.
The second weekend we spent at the lake celebrating Mother’s Day with my family. My brother, sister and I worked together to prepare a special dinner for my mom on Saturday night. We played our favorite board game, water skied, watched my brother-in-law teach my nephew how to fish, chased after my curious little niece and watched an incredible lightning storm while sitting by the fire. I am so glad that we all got to be together to celebrate our amazing mom! All in all it was a perfect first stop on our journey out west.
Monday we left St. Louis and drove to Denver, CO to spend a few days with my sister & brother-in-law and are planning to leave Friday to drive to Washington.