Growing up we would take family vacations every year even if it was just to the campgrounds 45 minutes away from home for a week or travel down south from Ohio.
One year we went on vacation to St. Louis Missouri. The drive down was uneventful and filled with the usual car games such as “My Father owns a grocery store” and how many different state license plates can you see, sing alongs and the ever present audio book for the whole family to enjoy as we sped down the high way in our gold minivan that looked like a loaf of bread on wheels.
(Our van was gold instead of blue)
Thankfully our van had the third row seating as there were 4 kids and my parents, along with all of our camping gear in the back of the van. It was over 800 miles one way, however we loved each moment of drive or we slept. My parents were fan of leaving for vacation at 10 O’clock at night so we would sleep and they didn’t have to hear us bickering in the back seat, of course they handed out the Dramamine medicine for those of us who got car sick namely me but it had the wonderful effect of making you sleepy which helped tremendously.
We arrive in St. Louis to the beautiful Gateway arch and the Mississippi River full of river boats. Living not far from the Ohio River the water wasn’t interesting to me however I loved seeing those old river boats which had been turned into fast food restaurants.
We get settled in at our campground that night the next morning our tour of St. Louis started.
Did you know there is a museum below the Gateway arch? It is the Museum of Westward Expansion, check it out HERE.
A part of my parent’s vacation was also about visiting historical sights and learning American history while on our vacation such was the life of a homeschool family. Vacation are planned around what we were currently learning.
After most of the morning being spent in the museum we finally get our turn up in the gateway arch, now my older sister is deathly afraid of heights to the point that she once got stuck in a tree while only being 2 feet in the air. She was stuck for 2 hours before we could convince her to just step down. While we are riding the “elevator” up the arch she sat in the middle of the right seat and had both hands touching each wall just in case we fell to our deaths. I don’t think she realized we were going in a zig-zag pattern which made for a very bumpy ride.
Once we were at the top the view was spectacular, with windows on both sides you can see for mile and it was and is the best part of that whole vacation.
St. Louis was in the middle of a drought, they hadn’t had any rain for several months. We arrived with our affectionately called “The Magic Rain Tent” whenever we set it up there was sure to be lots of rain and it didn’t fail us this time either. It rained so hard our tent fell in on us several times that night to the point my parents made us go sleep in the van. It continued to rain for the next 2 days, making the river rise and all the creeks swell. Later we heard there had been a tornado nearby as well.
The next day we all came down with the flu, to have the flu while on vacation isn’t what I would call the best time. To this day I still can’t eat grape or cherry Popsicle having gotten sick minutes after eating a grape Popsicle while on our trip.
We were ever so glad to go home and sleep in our own beds, we survived bad weather, the flu and fear of heights.