Meet me in St. Louis(ville)

From Omaha we made our way to St. Louis via Kansas City.  Mr. CPQ is a bona fide barbecuer/bbq’er/bar-b-quer so we had to make a pilgrimage to Kansas City to have the real deal Holyfield barbecue from Jack Stack’s downtown.


That is a happy man.


Burnt ends, my friends, burnt ends.

Slap your mama good.

We ambled to St. Louis and when I tweeted that we were pulling into town, Amber tweeted back “Are you going to see the ponies?”

Didn’t know she was a racehorse gambler.

She wasn’t.  Turns out she was talking about the Clydesdales at Grant’s Farm, a place I didn’t even know existed.  Lucky us, it was only 5 minutes from our hotel.

See, this Twitter thing pays off!

The boys enjoyed riding around in the little car on safari, and the big people enjoyed the fact that it was free.


Those are high dollar store binoculars around Tommy and JJ’s necks.


Ulysses S. Grant’s cabin


This is Eddie, the goat with blue eyes.  We fed him milk out of a baby bottle, and Travis almost came undone with laughter. I almost came undone to watch germy goat hoofs all over my human kid, but I took a deep breath and dealt.

459454451And I thought MY feet were big….

We didn’t stay long at Grant’s Farm because Mr. CPQ wanted to make a stop at Volpi on the way to the Gateway Arch.  We had seen a Food Network show about Volpi and heard about their incredible Italian meats/prosciutto, and we had to make a stop.

Put this on your list, people.  Trust me.


This is Mr. Pasetti.  He is a master salumieri and very cute to boot.  He was embarrassed for me to take his picture, but he was the heart and soul of the operation, so I had to do it. (He said “When I was young, no girls wanted to look at me.  Now that I’m old, everybody wants my picture.”)

Loaded down with pounds of salami and prosciutto, we went to the Arch where I drew the short straw and got to ride to the top with JJ and Tommy. (Note: The Museum is accessible, but the tram ride to the top is not.)


That’s a panicked smile.  An “Are we going to make it out of this alive?” smile.  The boys were a little nervous about the jerkiness of the ride up, and I was doing my best to keep a brave face on so that the nice couple from Omaha that was smashed in there with us wouldn’t witness a Class A freak out.

We were on deadline to make it to Louisville to have dinner and spend the night with Mr. CPQ’s art-collector aunt (and if that doesn’t strike fear in the heart of every mother with “active” children, I don’t know what will), so we hightailed it out of Missouri and as we drove, we discovered that we were going to get to add a new state to our trek that we didn’t think we’d go through.

Of course, we had to document it.


We managed to make it out of the art collector’s house alive the next morning and with the added bonus of not having shattered anything of value (or anything at all, for that matter) and went to the Louisville Slugger Museum.509

Can you tell this is the last day of my vacation and I’m out of clothes and I no longer care one whit about how I look? But look, we’re still smiling!


Tommy played with Babe Ruth’s bat.497

I played with Derek Jeter’s.

Because he’s cuter.

Welcome to the shallow end of the blog pool.

We took the tour (no pics allowed, sorry) and absolutely loved it.  Mr. CPQ got a personalized bat and the boys picked up souvenier mini-bats that they used to pound the living daylights out of each other all the way home.

And that was our trip.


14 states

791 pictures taken.

5,025 miles driven.

More french fries consumed than I care to count.

In closing, I’ve just a few Ranger Rick Road Trip tips to help you if you decide to embark on a similar journey of your own.

1.  Don’t arm the terrorists.  Choose your souveniers wisely.

2.  Fiber, fiber, fiber.

3.  The in-room hair dryer, pressed against the mirror while in the “on” position, will overheat and set off the smoke detector.

4.  Ethnic food should not be consumed in non-ethnic states.

5.  Volumizing hotel shampoo + zero humidity = Texas big hair, even in Nebraska.

Get out there and see America.

Have a nice day.


17 responses to “Meet me in St. Louis(ville)

  1. Girl, I told you about Grant’s Farm LOOOONG before someone Tweeted about it. Hmp. I deserve credit for that one.

    Glad you got to test ride the Arch for me. Just confirmed that I still do not care to go up in it.

  2. Hmmm….

    14 states. Not one of which included the beloved history of the OREGON trail. Completely unacceptable. When you’ve recovered (you know, in like 7.4 years) and are ready for your next Ball of Twine & Beyond Tour I fully expect you to mosey on over Gretchen, Meredith and my way. (Please don’t attack me Punctuation & Grammar Nazi.) M-kay? Aaaaallllrighty then.

    But seriously…you and your fam are just as cute as cute can be…even in your “end of trip” outfit and “holding off a freak out” smile.:)

  3. You covered so MUCH on this trip! Its been fun to “travel” with you….now lets pretend to travel to whatever city the pedicure was invented and then jet set to Japan for some (non-mayo)Sushi. And lets do it next week sometime like Thursday or Friday?

  4. I’m with Kellie-you DEFINITELY deserve a pedicure! Glad you went to the top of the arch-we lived in St. L for four years and it was one of my kids favorite places! (Grant’s Farm, too!)

    And burnt ends from Stacks” Mmmmmmm

  5. When is the next trip?? 🙂 I’m ready for more!

  6. “I played with Derek Jeter’s.”

    Must … resist … urge … to … make … inappropriate … joke …

    Too late.

  7. As we prepare for our own super long car adventure, I must say, the list is a big help. Especially the fiber. Thanks.

    I’ll have to agree with imnotned. Funny funny girl. Now wake up. =)

  8. Mr. IMNOTNED stole my comment. Dern that NotNed KnotHead.

    So glad that you had a great time. You deserve pedicures and hairapy appts. and shopping trips and all that other good stuff.

    And I’m so glad that y’all had fun at Grant’s Farm. Knowing that Travis giggled all over himself made it all worth it!!!!!!!!!

  9. I’m pretty much loving reading about your trip. I prefer doing nothing on my vacations, but it’s super-fun to live vicariously on yours! 🙂

    ps – Welcome to the shallow end of the blog pool. Cracked me up.

  10. I recognize the terror lurking under the smile in the Arch photo…I’ve been talked into many a ‘tram’ ride in the past few years and everytime I get in one I’m reminded of how much I dislike them. Love the views, just not the ride.

    Looks like you had a wonderful trip and made some great memories!

  11. Love the re-cap! I think it looks like a Marvelous Vacation. I lived outside St. Louis as a girl and still remember the kinda scary tram ride to the top of the Arch.
    Did you feel like you had enough time in each of the locations? Would you like to go back to certain places and do more? Yes, I like asking questions!

    • For the sights we saw, yes, we had enough time, with one exception. I would have preferred a little more time in southwest South Dakota to soak it all in.

      There were some neat small towns that we drove through on our way to Rushmore that looked fascinating, and I would have loved to spend another hour or so in the Badlands to hike a (very) little or have a picnic overlooking the view.

      So little time… I guess there’s always next year.

  12. I have lurve every second of your adventures, Sus. You know “Best Mom Ever” awards are coming soon. I think you’re in the lead.

  13. I have family less than an hour from Louisville and we’ve never been to the Slugger Museum. What is wrong with my family?!

    Derek Jeter’s bat. I can not BELIEVE Imnotned and Amber would go there.

  14. We’re glad you and your family had a great time on your trip to Kansas City. Thanks for the great mention in your blog. As an appreciation, please use the code QBlog (15% off) and order some of our barbecue online to have back in your home town.

    Thanks from Jack Stack Barbecue

  15. it’s true, New Every Morning and I think alike. 😉

    Loved this and every post about your trip. 5,000+ miles with three boys…and you still gave them mini bats! You da mom! So proud of you…

  16. We are so looking at RV’s for our trip next summer. I wondered how many days you spent driving those 5,025 miles?

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