Gypsy Caravan St. Louis Road Trip

Today we traveled I-55 to St. Louis to celebrate a day off from work together. Nothing like a beautiful day and a little road trip to make a little family memories.

Destination: St. Louis, MO.
Objective: Gypsy Caravan. \
Soundtrack: XM 90's on 9 and John Mayer's new album Born and Raised

This is my third Gypsy Caravan and the boys' first. I was a little nervous that they wouldn't enjoy it since it was technically shopping. They loved it though! Winner winner!

 Gypsy Caravan is a flea market/craft/antique fair that raises money for the STL Symphony. It is held every year on Memorial Day. This year there was a large increase in vendors, from what I could tell. It had expanded into additional lots of the University of Missouri St. Louis campus. They had also doubled the entrance fee from $5 to $10. I was a little put off by the doubling increase and from the talk around the Caravan so were the patrons (and the vendors). I had been prepared for the increase since I checked the website the night before. For a patron that hadn't I would have been pretty mad about it. That aside, it is a nice little open air shopping experience.

My personal favorite being the handcrafted vendors that sit at home in their little "studios" sewing, gluing, stirring, and molding little wonderful treasures. Conveniently, they put all these nifty little vendors together on one strip of walk way. As you jump from one carefully thought out and planned booth to another, you see a little piece of each individual in every item they make, each unique display and every neat little hang tag.

I also love the shabby chic upcycled furniture and home decor. The fun of searching for treasures in the antique booths and digging through costume jewelry for that one unique item. The beautiful handcrafted jewelry that are so different in each booth. My favorite items I saw were recycled typewriter keys made into necklaces and rings.

Stick em' up!

Cooling off in the open fire hydrant.

I tried to get a soaking wet smile but he was just too distracted with having fun.

A tigers blood icee to round to make the walk back to the car a little more enjoyable.

On the way home we stopped by The Pink Elephant Antique mall at Livingston, IL. It was, unfortunately, closed but we got to see some fun things anyway. That half naked man is 24 feet tall by the way. I was curious. I thought you might be too.

Lots of HUGE and ODD things like a space ship. It was green. Gavin was smitten.

 ..a big pink elephant...
..an enormous tricycle...
...and a rather large ice cream cone that you can buy ice cream from. (It was open.)
Gavi actually took this picture. Look! I am actually in a photo!

Tomorrow, I will share my treasures I brought home.


Belated happy birthday to me! Part One

At the end of April, I turned 31. I am officially "in my thirties" now. I was feeling a little glum about my birthday when a very wise person told me, "Hey, you are still alive." I thought, wow. That is some serious perspective. I decided that the time with being disappointed with my birthday is over. Life is what you make it and I am not going to let anything get me down.

So we made plans! That got me excited!
I made cupcakes for work. Duncan Hines French Vanilla with a pudding frosting recipe I found on Pintrest from the Not Just Cute blog. They were a yummy hit.

I received my very first ever flowers from my husband (and kiddos) at work. Let me tell you, if you are a man and think that your woman doesn't really care about getting flowers, even if she told you not to bother spending the money on something so short term, do it anyway. There is this amazing feeling when someone walks through a door holding beautiful flowers that someone has sent you. Or maybe its just me. I like the feeling when someone goes out of their way to make me feel special!

After work, we headed off to St. Louis. We ate dinner at The Spaghetti Factory on LaClede's Landing.  

The kiddos thought is was pretty much awesome and both ordered spaghetti and meatballs.

Gavin's first taste of spumoni ice cream.
The next day we visited Forest Park!

Me in front of the art museum. I wish we would have had time to walk through. It is one of my favorite places to go.

The penguins are always a good time. They were splashing the kids and swimming up to the edge and popping up out of the water. I love the penguins! 
 We rode the carousel.
Gavin met his doppelganger.

We took the typical gorilla statue pic. Oh, don't let that sour face fool ya. She actually did have a good time. I think. I had to encourage her to take pictures and be our personal family vacation documentarian to actually get her excited about seeing the animals but it worked out in the end. I now have 300 pictures she wants printed out and made into an album.

 We rode the train. Gavin talked and talked about riding the train. He was just so excited.
 And he got to see a real dragon.
 The very best part of the whole zoo experience, in my opinion, was petting the sting rays. Well worth the $3. They were so neat. They would rise up to your hand sometimes like a cat or a dog. They felt just like I always thought too.
It poured down rain as we hid in here but I think we could have hung out forever just watching them swim!

The St. Louis Zoo is a great place to visit. We hadn't been in a while so we were ready to go.

Part 2