So today we got to go on a day of family vacation to Hermann, MO.
We went for Kabyn to preach on behalf of an out of town pastor friend of a friend. He has now officially joined the ranks of people who have preached a Sunday in a tiny church in a tiny town. Actually, outside a tiny town. We were in the suburbs of Hermann, really. It was beautiful farm country and very sweet people.
Our kids were the only kids at the church, or that we saw in the whole town! Thankfully they were decent human beings. Here they are in the wildflowers outside the church building (this after they got strawberries, blueberries, and cheesecake at the fellowship hour! happy sugared kids!):
We had a nice little lunch after. Kabyn was hoping for some breakfast foods, but when we arrived they informed us they had just stopped serving breakfast and were now serving lunch. Alaythia turned her big blue eyes and smile towards the server/owner woman and said, “Excuse me, do you think we could have some breakfast food? I would really love breakfast.”
Out come waffles for Alaythia, and not one but two orders of eggs and bacon for Kabyn.
We had to work that off with a walk by the riverfront! The kids loved it, though being from the Northwest, I’ll have to admit it was slightly depressing to have your toddler’s first play in sandy water be at a boat lunch on the Missouri River.
We were all hot and tired after, but we did think it would be neat to ride the trolleys. There was a whole trolley (as in, trolley top and bus bottom) system out to all the area wineries, and we asked if we could just ride one briefly. They guy chatted with us and said we could just ride out on the next ride to the winery and back for free! Alaythia was thrilled.
Yes, my child rode on a park bench kind of seat, next to a big open window, on two lane highways in a giant trolley bus thing. She loved it. I tried not to think about it and let her love it, though I did think of Elisabeth Haggard and her knowledge of carseat laws and I couldn’t help but wonder if this was even legal. I kept Cos strapped tight to me. Thankfully the wind blowing in the wide open window next to us kept her mostly distracted from her extremely tired state.
On the ride back, Alaythia and Kabyn got to ride up front, next to the driver! She loved it.
And it wore her out. (not pictured, Cos sleeping in the Ergo on me. yay! her first nap not in her bed in months and months. they napped a good 30+ minutes while we carried and pushed and trekked up hills in the midday July sun. Granted, this is like the coolest July ever in St Louis, but still! We were awfully sweaty by the end. They were peaceful and rested. 🙂
Which then necessitated a stop for something cool to drink and eat, when they awoke. Nothing was open on a Sunday, so we returned to where we had lunch, but they were just closing! Not a problem, when you have future politicians for daughters. Alaythia just said, “Excuse me, can I still get some ice cream? I would really love ice cream.”
So they stayed open, for us, to eat our amazing homemade ice cream (they did make us buy it 🙂 I got a not too sweet fresh coffee bean ice cream with sweet caramel swirled in, caramel macchiato they called it, that was AMAZING. Alaythia got mint chocolate chip that was not the least bit green. Cos got her own tiny bowl of vanilla. And Kabyn even got a dairy free smoothie!
It must be noted that Hermann, and the surrounding equally small towns, are packed full of resale shops. I’m not exactly sure why (“Grandmas love Hermann,” our trolley driver had told us, though more in the context of parents going wine tasting while kids stay with Grandma–and go resale shopping, perhaps?). At any rate, there was one little one that benefited the local animal shelter. It was full of eclectic items, tasteless clothes, and a few great finds for pennies. Alaythia of course fell in love with the place, and insisted we return there for a second trip after ice cream. I remarked I hoped they sold something that could entertain a tired Cosette for 1.5 hrs driving home.
But being in small town Missouri, it only took cash, which we were at that point out of, so we explained to her we couldn’t buy anything. She kept asking what different things cost and I said they cost cash. So then she found some wrapped heart-shaped lollipops and asked the owner what they cost. He smiled, being very sweet and quite taken with her after just our first visit, and said for her they cost nothing. She squealed with excitement.
Then we decided to split up the drive home (we’re not really much for travel, obviously), to stop in Washington, MO for dinner, and get a few miles in before anyone totally fell apart.
Guess what kept Cos happily occupied for 45 minutes? Yep, a wrapped lollipop (with safe wrapper and plastic stem)! Indeed, the one thing that perhaps could entertain her. Both of them, actually, played with them (wrapped!) the entire trip home. Who needs expensive travel items!
Then we had an amazingly good dinner, during which our children mostly managed to stay sane. We did it all as quickly as we could, but great food takes time! Cos had a blast playing with ice and water for a while, and Alaythia made friends at local tables, much to the amusement of all the nearby wealthy retiree couples. She reported back at one point, “News flash! The mussels are good, I heard.” So we decided to order them for the girls to see what they were. Cosette couldn’t get enough of them, but we were too busy to get a picture, unfortunately. Priorities…
Mighty full, happy, and tired:
And that was our summer trip! Thanks for reading!