July 26th, 2008

little review

Poem for Saturday

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Friday morning our car decided it did not like our plans for the rest of the trip. First it turned on the "maintenance required" light, which as it turns out means that it had been more than 500 miles since we had the oil changed; we had it changed two days before we left on this trip, but apparently Toyota has the onboard computer programmed to instill fear into the hearts of drivers nonetheless. So we stopped to check that out, then got back on the road, only to get a flat tire while driving through terrible traffic around Columbia, Missouri. By the time AAA arrived, helped put the spare onto our very heavy van with all our traveling stuff, and directed us to the next town where the first tire place we came to was out of business and the downtown looked like it had been in a recession for several years, we knew there was no way we would get to both the St. Louis Zoo and the City Museum that day.

So we went to Dairy Queen for lunch while our ripped tire was being replaced, called to change our hotel reservations for the night, and finally drove to St. Louis's awesome City Museum, which is both brilliant and somewhat indescribable -- the museum doesn't have a map, just sets people loose on its massive climbing structures that go several stories up both inside and outside the museum, leading to caves, a hall of mirrors, a collection of architectural decorations, an arcade, a pair of small airplanes, an aquarium with more than a dozen touch tanks and open cages to allow petting of rabbits, parrots and tortoises, a model train display of the city with tunnels that people can climb in, an artistic seascape with ship ropes and live fish and turtles, and a nice little sandwich shop where we had dinner before finally heading to the hotel to let the kids swim a bit before bedtime. I cannot recommend this museum highly enough, especially if you have kids.

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We will go to the St. Louis zoo early in the morning since we skipped it today, meaning that we won't go to the Indianapolis zoo this trip, though we have been told by our friends from Indianapolis that this is definitely the right choice (and I am still planning to meet mamadracula for dinner somewhere in Indiana, whoo!). I am just hoping for slightly less chaos!