Visiting family in Springfield, MO

Posted by Jean on Saturday Mar 26, 2011

We got up bright and early on Saturday, March 19, and took what for many of us was a long-overdue shower, and got ready to head to the Springfield home of my cousin Dan, his wife Carol and their daughter Nichole (we missed their son Hank who is away at college). Due to a series of miscommunications between Van and I, and between the two of us and our GPS, our early start became a late one and our breakfast turned into a brunch but our hosts took it all in stride and, in the tradition of a true Hafkemeyer family, served us a wonderful meal. We really enjoyed seeing Dan and Carol’s beautiful home (and hearing about the work they did to make it so) and learning about Nichole’s plans for the future (college and a career as a zookeeper). . . and the girls had a great time playing outside. We drove away feeling grateful that our change in itinerary made a stopover in Springfield possible.

Visiting our favorite relatives in Springfield

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Traveling to the Top of the Gateway Arch

Posted by Ellie on Saturday Mar 26, 2011

To get to the top of the arch you rode in a tram. It was small, round, white, and there were five little seats in a circle. We climbed in a tiny door and it shut. Suddenly it lurched forward. It seemed like it was going sideways, and it was. Then we started to go up and up and up. Through the tram’s little window you could see spiral staircases and regular staircases.

When me and my family got to the top of the arch, there were stairs leading up to the room where you could look out. The room was like a plane, except bigger, and there were no seats. I was frozen with fear in the middle of the room and did not want to go look out. I was high-sick. My Mom finally got me to look out a window. When I looked down, I saw cars, roads, skyscrapers, builds, people, and a stadium. I was looking down at St. Louis. I ran back to the middle of the room and I asked Mom, “How tall is the arch?” She said it is 630 feet tall.

At the very top of the arch

I loved being at the very top of the arch even though I was scared of being so high. I hope we can come back another time.

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Waiting to Go Up

Posted by Stella on Saturday Mar 26, 2011

Here is a picture of Ellie and me imitating the cardboard people while waiting in line to go up in the Gateway Arch

Me and Ellie imitating the cardboard people while waiting in line

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My 3 Sentences about the City Museum

Posted by Ellie on Thursday Mar 24, 2011

The City Museum was fun. I loved climbing in the tunnels. It was a great experience for me and my family.

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The Coolest Museum Ever

Posted by Greta on Thursday Mar 24, 2011

On St. Patrick’s Day I went to the City Museum in St. Louis, MO. It was seriously amazing. Everything was made of recycled parts–cranes, planes, castles, an old log cabin, and so many other crazy things. There were so many places to explore and discover and, in a full day, a person couldn’t explore half of it. The museum was ten stories tall and there was everything you could imagine, including a real school bus hanging off the roof!

Outside, in a big jungle gym of tunnels, paths, and walkways, I went in the scariest passage. It was a round metal mesh tunnel that slanted diagonally upward over an old airplane that was way high in the sky (maybe 80 feet above the ground). As I climbed, I could see the ground, and the people all looked ants. It was fun and terrifying. You could see everything from above because the rods of the tunnel were far enough apart to see everything through them, including my family taking a picture of me. Here is the picture:

The girl at the top of the curve is me!

Luckily I am not afraid of heights!

I did a lot of exploring on my own. I went inside a huge whale, climbed through the trunk of a tree, ran on a hamster wheel, and so much more. After awhile I noticed that most places I went, there were these two boys there too. The three of us explored for a little bit, and in a big dark maze I ran into the one named Luke. I had a big (luckily not very noticeable) bruise on my head. Also, I destroyed my knee on the hamster wheel. I looked very graceful by the end of the day.

I had lots of fun at the museum and it was unlike anything I have ever experienced. I got some really cool handmade shoelaces from a shop in the museum to remember the day. If you are ever in St. Louis, check it out! 🙂

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City Museum

Posted by Ana on Thursday Mar 24, 2011

At the City Museum it was really fun. I felt so great when we got there and I thought it was just going to be papers that you have to read, but it actually wasn’t. It was really cool. There was a ten story slide, but I was too scared to go. So I went down a two story slide with my dad. It went straight all the way to the bottom. There were a lot of spinning things along the slide and you could spin them as you go. It was very very very fun. In a flash I was all the way down. Then I went again.

Halfway Down a Two-Story Slide

We went up stairs and we watched a circus. It was very fun.

There was a big room on the first floor of the museum. There was a big whale. It was a slide and full of tunnels for little people like me and it was very big. There were so many tunnels in the big room. Some were small and some were big. Some were like climbing up tree branches. At the top was a scary part, squeezed between the ceiling and a big wood barrel. I felt like my shoe was going to fall off, and then I finally crossed it. There was a big tank of turtles and big fish in the big room.

My favorite part of the City Museum was the cave. There were lots of holes. I loved going down in the tunnels. I think the cave was made for little people.

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The City Museum

Posted by Stella on Thursday Mar 24, 2011

March 17 was St. Patricks Day and our first full day in St. Louis. We went to the coolest place I have ever been, which was the City Museum.

Outside, in front of the museum, was a huge maze of tunnels and walkways. They were made of wires, airplanes, metal plates, trees, firetrucks, cranes, even a castle building. There was one walkway really high up in the air made from the arm of a construction crane, and attached below it was a really small, tight tunnel-ish thing. It was long and seemed like it was meant for only kids and I was sure I would never go in it because it looked really scary, but I saw a grown woman squeeze through it and I decided I had to go. So Ellie and I decided we would go through it together. Here is a picture of me looking very horrified and Ellie looking thrilled:

Me and Ellie under the crane walkway

I climbed through it as best I could, but when people walked above me, the whole walkway shook. I tried to look below me, but the tunnel was so small that my body covered up the whole bottom and I couldn’t see. I was kind of glad, though, because if I had looked down, I would want to get out and I would be trapped. I was happy I went in it. It was really fun even though it was terrifying.

The inside of the museum was just as cool, if not cooler. There was a whole cave which you had to navigate through to get to a slide ten stories tall. In the cave there were so many nooks and crannies that it was impossible to go through all of them. Near the beginning of the cave, there was a big path to the outside. Along that were two animal mouths and above that was a passageway enclosed by teeth. Ellie, Ana, and I crammed inside the animal mouth and Dad took our picture:

Me, Ellie, and Ana in a mouth in The Cave

I was surprised the picture would turn out so well since it was very dark. But it turned out great. Being in the animal mouth wasn’t so great, though. The ceiling was very low and rough. I scraped my back and head on it plenty of times, just as I did in all the tunnels throughout the rest of the cave.

There was a main room in the cave. There was a pretty rock with colored lights shining on it. Water dripped from above and the ceiling was open so you could see way up. A floor above that was a railing so you could look down into the main room, but when you looked up, you could see ten stories above to the top of the slide. To me, it didn’t look like a slide–it looked more like a bunch of winding stairs. I wasn’t very eager to climb up to the top. Once I did though, I was glad. The slide went round and around and around, all the way down. It was kind of rough and made me dizzy the first time. Later, though, Ellie, Dad, and I climbed up the stair workout again. When we were almost up, right before the top, some mean boys kicked dried paint onto Ellie and my heads. It made me really mad at them because it was stuck in my hair. But as I spiraled down the slide I forgot all about it. It was much better than the first time because I didn’t go as fast or get as dizzy.

We had so much fun at the museum. At least I did–read on to find out how my sisters felt about it.

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Driving into St. Louis

Posted by Stella on Tuesday Mar 22, 2011

On Wednesday, March 16, we left Louisville. Me and my sisters were sitting at the table in the RV on our way into St. Louis. We were playing a game of Tripoly when Dad said, “Girls, in about 15 minutes, I am going to say, ‘Come up here,’ and I want you to come sit on the couch and buckle up.” About 15 minutes later, Dad said, “Okay, come up here now!” I rushed up and grabbed the front seat on the couch because I guessed it was a very important thing. Then Dad pointed out the window and said, “Do you notice anything different about this city?” I looked out the front window and said, “Well, there is a big curvy thing over that building!” I was joking around because I didn’t actually think that was what he was talking about.

Looking across the Mississippi River at the Arch

Then Dad said, “Remember in The Lightning Thief when Percy was up in the Arch in St. Louis with the thingamagig monster and there was a big hole blown in it and Percy jumped out into the water and met the water-angel-thingies for the first time?” I raised my eyebrow and looked at him weirdly. But I said, “Yes, I remember. That’s so cool!” I thought it was really fascinating and a couple days later I felt like Percy when I went in it! But that is another story…

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