St Louis, the whirlwind

After taking a break the previous day, we decided to hit up the main sites on Wednesday.  I knew that we wanted to see both the Gateway Arch and The St Louis Zoo.  The kids and I have been to The Gateway Arch (while Brain was deployed in 2009), but they were all very young and Brian wasn’t with us.  We all looked forward to visiting it together.



The first thing we did after entering the building, is head to the ranger station.  We learned the Gateway Arch (also known as the Jefferson National Memorial Park) is a Jr Ranger program!  The kids got to work right away on their books.  They learned about Eero Saarinen and his dream for the arch.



They also learned about the westward expansion of our country.  We hadn’t planned on doing school today but….




Kenniston learning about William Clark.




After filling in their requirements and chatting with Ranger Steve, the kids were sworn in as Jr Rangers.



We headed to the tram to take a ride to the top of the Arch.  If you haven’t ever done this before, I highly recommend it!  If you are military make sure to stop at the ranger station to get your FREE military parks pass, then take it to the ticket booth to get your discount.

The tram is a small, space age looking pod.  It takes 4.5 minutes to get to the top and 3 to get to the bottom.  I am glad I am not claustrophobic.  IMG_0819

Once you get to the top, you can look out the tiny windows….IMG_0795


This is what you see…









We tried our best to all fit in a photo. This was our best effort.

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After the Gateway Arch we headed down the road to the FREE St Louis Zoo.  I have heard so many great things about this zoo, I had to check it out.



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There were many amazing things about this zoo.  The kids especially loved the bears, the sea lions, and the reptile house.  I loved the butterflies and the elephants.  Aside from the animals, Brian and I both loved the layout and architecture though out the zoo. They left many of the original buildings on the property and they are currently in use.  IMG_1004

We didn’t leave the zoo until it closed.  After walking a total of 13,000 steps today, we were all exhausted.  Shortly after getting into the van, we found the twins like this.


Updated: October 29, 2014 — 11:50 pm
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