Tuesday, June 9, 2015

St Louis

No Virginia, that's not Mc Donald's. It's the Gateway Arch from our Casino Queen RV site in (shudder) East St Louis. It's really quite nice, convienent to all things St Louis, including Baby Sister turning the big 60. RV spots near St Louis are rare and this one, with a glimpse of the Arch was spotless and secure.
Fellow South St Louisian Chris Dunphy of the TECHNOMANDIA blog has done some really excellent posts on the Pleasures of St Louis -- the Cards, City Museum, the incredible Zoo (with new Polar Bear habitat), and Ted Drews legendary Frozen Custard Stand, but here's one more.
Dad's Cookie Company is nestled in Dutchtown, where every corner is a four-way stop, many with a tavern, but nearly always the remains of one of these live-over shops in each corner. In the past, they were delicatessens, groceries, sweet shops or butchers. Every 4-6 blocks was a family owned bakery, each with a specialty treat, baked on a specific weekday. Yes, life was good when a short bike ride could take you to a classmate's home over the bakery and mama or grandma would ply a growing girl or boy with pastry.
Dad's has lived on, providing crispy (mildly addictive) Scotch Oatmeal cookies still weighed out on the same bakery scale, packed in a brown paper bag, and wrapped with white cotton twine.

Carmen has worked here four days a week for sixteen years.
I'd work on Thursday too; I love it here.
Well darn, Carmen. I just told Patty it would take extraordinary charm to get you to even smile, and there you go getting all girly. Was I the target of all that levity?
Note: the large-volume plastic bags indicate Patty just bought the whole day's production of broken cookies.

As a young parent, I have to admit dodging a number of visits to Grants Farm, "one of only two log cabins built by and lived in by an American President." Really nobody cares about that; they are here for the tram ride around the Deer Park and a glimpse of the grand home of the Busch family, brewers of some tasty beverages.

There are tree shaded walks through animal exhibits, free samples of tasty beverages, goat feeding and pampering for the tots, world famous Clydesdales up close and personal, and, did I fail to mention, tasty beverages. LimeOrita, really?

All this graciously presented in a manner quite Disney-like for the pittance of a parking fee. Go early and often, especially if you are blessed with four little ones under four and a cadre of charming parents attending them. It's really a grandparent's nirvana.

Our family time was delightful. After the kids feted Judy with two weeks of birthday surprises, she thought it was over. Then the sisters appeared.

Tots on the floor, tots in laps, tots at the playground. Barbeque, Mexican night and Ted Drews for Fourteen each night!
If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.

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