This week I wrote a round-up of handmade upcycled baby gifts and a review of the St. Louis City Museum, basically my favorite place ever.
I purposely scheduled a day in St. Louis as part of our road trip to visit my parents in Arkansas, solely so that we could spend this time at the City Museum. We haven't been in years (it's spendy, and we don't always have the room in our budget for spendy), and it was fascinating for me to see how our experiences of the museum have evolved since we last visited trailing a preschooler and a toddler.
For me, it evolved into a lot more of this:
My Will has evolved from a confident climber with whom I could keep up into a confident climber with whom NO other mortal could keep up. Matt and I were separated right after we arrived when we discovered that Sydney, who had been instructed to put on sensible shoes, had instead chosen her second-hand Crocs, and he marched her back out to the car to change (I recognize that I am wildly permissive in many ways, but about sensible footwear I will NOT compromise, and I was appalled at the number of children being permitted to play strenuously here hindered by flip-flops and loose-fitting Crocs). This meant that when they returned, not knowing where Willow and I were, they basically climbed around together--
|Can you see them in the distance? Matt's in the orange shirt|
|Look at that smile!|
or this distance--
--or this, not so much distance--
--but certainly not accessible, either! This crawl-way is set UNDERNEATH a catwalk that's about three stories up. Well, children can crawl through it, but adults are required to either face-down army crawl or face-up pull themselves along with their arms. I am NOT a fan of enclosed spaces (I can trace this phobia back to one extremely inappropriate made-up story told to me by my mother so long ago that it's one of my earliest memories--if you ask nicely, I can give you a long itemized list of inappropriate things that my mother has said to me, rated in order of trauma-causing potential, and this is only the third) and, since I've gained a lot of weight in the last few years so that I've become less confident about knowing the physical space that my body takes up, I chickened out and took this path of videography instead:
I did, however, haul myself up this incline many, many, many times:
It was a fabulous quad workout, judging from the pain in my quads for the next three days. I LOVE a good quad work-out, don't you?
Other amenities of just the outdoor playground at the City Museum include the giant ball pit--
--in which, having long forgotten about each other while running their separate routes through the playground, two sisters re-discovered each other. Alas, they were on separate sides of an iron structure!--
--and lots of slides, including this free-fall slide:
Inside, the climate may be more amenable--
--but the play is equally challenging:
I fought some demons in this giant artificial caving system, which is dark, so that you can't see where you're going well, and has lots of tiny tunnels and slides that disappear into the darkness, so that you (or at least I!) don't know if the tiny tunnel slide that you would barely fit in will lead somewhere that will also fit you, or somewhere that you can get out of again.
Of course, now that I'm home and can pump up the exposure and contrast on my photos until they're legible, I can see that at least these parts of the caving system are MUCH roomier than I'd imagined in the darkness:
Silly me! My vow is to be MUCH more adventurous in our next visit. After all, I didn't come across any corpses of fat people wedged anywhere in any part of the museum, so it's not as if I can't be rescued even if I DID get stuck, right?